By Austin Metz
Editor in Chief
With the NFL draft right around the corner, there seems to be one or maybe two certainties.
The first is that Andrew Luck, quarterback from Stanford University, will be the number one pick.
The second near certainty? Robert Griffin will be the number two pick in the draft. From there, everything is up in the air.
General Managers are studying hours of game tape trying to figure out if Ryan Tannehill deserves to move into the top 10 or if he should go in the mid-twenties where I believe he belongs. They are checking the statistics and looking at work-outs to make sure that come draft day, they get their player.
On the day of the draft, many college players lives will be changed forever and below are a list of five players who could change a team for the next 10 to 15 years.
Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama– Remember Alabama running back Mark Ingram from last year? Add speed and the ability to make tacklers miss and you have Richardson. Coming out of the SEC, Richardson is a tough, hard runner who could make a difference early in his rookie season.
Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State– With the emergence of Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and other big, strong wide receivers in the NFL, teams are drooling over the chance to get the next great receiver. Listed at 6’1”, Blackmon has huge hands, long arms, and speed to blow by NFL cornerbacks. Couple that with the ability to spread the field and you may have the next Calvin Johnson.
Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College– Every team needs to be able to tackle and whoever adds Kuechly will be drafting a tackling machine. Kuechly has the strength needed to play inside linebacker in the NFL and the speed to match it. While he may be a mid to late 1st round pick, Kuechly could be the anchor to a team’s defense for years to come.
Michael Brockers, DT, LSU– In the pass first NFL we see today, the ability to disrupt the timing of the offense is crucial. Brockers is a big body who should be able to add pressure up the middle into the faces of opposing quarterbacks which should force them out of the pocket. While playing against top college talent, Brockers excelled at putting pressure on the quarterback and stopping the run.
Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin– Zeitler was a staple of the Wisconsin offensive line this past season and was instrumental in Montee Ball’s unlikely run at the Heisman Trophy. He had good footwork and should excel at the NFL level with pass blocking.
It’s not a flashy pick but it’s a pick every team should consider making at some point. Would be a steal late in the first round or early in the second.
Come draft day, the days, weeks, months, and years of hard work will finally pay off for a lot of players. Some will be busts and some will become stars. With the NFL draft, there really is no sure thing.