Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Former UConn products on NFL draft radar

There was a time when the idea of a former UConn player being drafted was a big deal.

More than a decade passed after Paul Duckworth was taken with the 190th pick in the 1994 draft. When Alfred Fincher and Dan Orlovsky were taken in the third and fifth rounds in 2005, it started a remarkable run for the Huskies as UConn had more than one player selected seven times in the next 10 drafts. This will be the ninth straight season that at least one former Husky will hear their name called and if the speculation proves to be true, Byron Jones would join Donald Brown as the only UConn players to be selected in the first round.

While Jones won't need to wait long to hear his name called, it is going to a more of a wait and see process for Geremy Davis and B.J. McBryde.

Davis is the third-rated player with ties to Connecticut on the NFL Draft Scout database at No. 232, eight spots behind former Yale running back Tyler Varga.

There are so many sites out there listing top draft prospects but NFL Draft Scout was pretty close in projecting where the top two Connecticut natives (Khairi Fortt and Kevin Pierre-Louis) would go in last year's draft. Even more impressive was that they rated former UConn defensive lineman Shamar Stephen as the 222nd rated prospect and he went with the 220th pick. The site lists 14 players with ties to Connecticut with Jones (No. 21)., Davis and Varga (224) the only ones falling in the top 256 meaning that they are projected to be drafted. It should be noted that Ryan Griffin was prospect No. 341 when he was taken by Houston in the sixth round back in 2013 so the ratings should not be taken as gospel.

Here's the breakdown of players with Connecticut ties with their NFL Draft Scout rating

 20 Byron Jones UConn CB: Stole show at NFL Scouting Combine and could become first state native to go in first round since Dwight Freeney
224 Tyler Varga Yale RB: Bruising runner scored two touchdowns in Senior Bowl and could be first Yale player taken in top five rounds since 1982
232 Geremy Davis UConn WR: Helped his chances of being drafted by running in 4.5 range at UConn pro day
365 Ryan Delaire , Towson DE: Former Windsor High star had strong showing at Towson pro day and  local prospect days held by Ravens and Redskins.
398 Gordon Hill Sacred Heart S: Had solid showing at pro day held in Tolland and his agent Joe Linta believes he will go in sixth or seventh round.
558 Will Tye Stony Brook TE: Former Xavier High star ran 4.47 (at 257 pounds) at Stony Brook pro day
651 Lyle McCombs Rhode Island RB: Former UConn running back had 4.49 time in 40. went 11-3 in broad jump with 37 1/2 vertical jump at a regional combine
656 B.J. McBryde, UConn DT: Opened some eyes when 300 pounder had 10-3 broad jump and ran a sub 5.0 in the 40 at UConn pro day. Kansas City Chiefs had him in for workout.
670 Tebucky Jones, Fordham WR: Son of former first-round pick of the same name, the Farmington native and former UConn receiver Jones got invitations to local workouts with the Giants and Jets.
634 Tyler Murphy, Boston College QB: Former Wethersfield High star could be one of fastest quarterbacks in the draft,
709 Shakim Phillips, Boston College WR: Former UConn receiver ran in 4.3 range at BC pro day, took part in Giants local pro day and reportedly worked out with Patriots.
724 J.D. Roussel Sacred Heart CB: Set Pioneers' career record with 17 interceptions and is reported to have worked out with the Colts
752 Keshaudas Spence Sacred Heart RB: The 235 pounder ran for 780 yards as a senior after running for 1,669 yards during his junior season.
913 Rob Hollomon CCSU RB: Speedy back not only ran for 1,000 yards as a senior but also had 35 catches in addition to returning 20 kickoffs and six punts.

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