All the anticipation is almost over...the NFL Draft starts tomorrow!
There is a lack of local talent expected to be picked, but there are some Cougs who could go. The following is a glimpse into the profiles of three Cougar players on NFL.com (the only guys listed on the websites Draft Tracker) with some of my own analysis (or opinions):
Washington State's career passing leader in touchdowns (76) and yards (10,913), Brink's poise and intelligence make him a potential second-day draft pick. Brink lacks the big arm and has only marginal accuracy, but he's a gutty competitor who will fight for a roster spot.
Positives: Poised, intelligent quarterback. ... Washington State staff raves about his football IQ. ... Quick delivery and set up. ... Compact delivery. ... Good short- and medium-range accuracy when he gets into a rhythm. ... Feels pressure and is athletic enough to step up in the pocket and keep the play alive. ... Leader on and off the field. ... Only quarterback in Washington State history to beat the rival Washington Huskies three times.
Negatives: Marginal size for the position. ... Lacks prototypical arm strength. ... Streaky passer whose passes too often force receivers to break stride. ... Will try to force the action, throwing passes into coverage. ... Has to wind-up for longer throws. ... Athletically limited quarterback with only marginal technique despite starting 40 games over his career.
My Input: I talked to Alex on Thursday afternoon. He told me that he's hoping to be picked on the second day, but he really has no idea what's going to happen. I honestly never thought of Brink as an NFL quarterback...I was wrong. If Alex is not drafted, he'll more than likely sign as a free agent.
He also told me that 12 or 13 different teams have expressed interest in him. He said that Seattle, New England, Atlanta, Jacksonville, and Miami have most recently contacted him.
Brink described the entire process (combine, pro day, etc.) as one of the most difficult things he's ever done in his life and he can't wait for the "hurry up and wait" to be over. He also said it's been a very fun at the same time.
Instead of staying in Pullman, Brink is driving to the Oregon coast on Friday to be with his mom this weekend. He plans on playing golf on Sunday with high school friend and college teammate Chris Baltzer. He says he won't watch the draft.
Click here to hear my entire interview with Alex Brink.
Husain would love to join his brother, former WSU safety Hamza (now with the Denver Broncos), in the National Football League. Husain, a three-year starter at free safety, made his own name in Pullman, earning honorable mention All-Pac 10 honors as a senior with 93 tackles, 8.5 for loss, four interceptions and six passes broken up. Potential is there for a quality versatile backup and special teams performer.
Positives: Shows good instincts. ... Plays downhill with attitude, stepping up quickly to support the run and closing well on screens and other short routes. ... Will break down and wrap up to make the tackle in space on backs. ... Willing to throw his body around to fill a hole or stop a back from getting the extra yard. ... Fair hands for the interception, and can make a play on the ball in the air. ... Will go for the strip after securing the tackle. ... Contributed on special teams in college, and will continue to do so in the NFL.
Negatives: A bit of a free-strong safety 'tweener. ... Lacks the fluid hips and range to play deep or cover in space and he also does not have the strength to hold up in trash inside. ... Needs to keep his head up when tackling. ... Has a tough time bringing down larger backs and receivers in the open field unless he cuts. ... Struggles in his backpedal, needs to keep the play in front of him.
My Input: NFLDraftScout.com definitely thinks that Abdullah has a future in the pros. Two things really stand out in the profile...
"Potential is there for a quality versatile backup and special teams performer."
"Contributed on special teams in college, and will continue to do so in the NFL."
It doesn't sound like they expect much from him (except special teams), but they do think he'll play. They also don't mention if they think Abdullah be drafted...I think he will sign as a free agent.
Collins is the latest example of a recent NFL trend of looking toward smaller tight ends and slower linebackers to convert into fullbacks. Even with Collins' minimal experience as a lead blocker and marginal instincts and explosiveness as a runner, his prototype size and reliable hands make him an intriguing developmental prospect.
Positives: Rare size for the fullback position. Short, stocky build that looks the part. ... Reliable receiver who has the route-running and soft hands to be quite effective out of the backfield. ... Developing blocker who displayed more physicality and toughness as a senior. ... Effective short-yardage runner. ... Attacks the line of scrimmage and runs with good forward lean.
Negatives: Will be making the transition to fullback after spending his entire WSU career at tight end. ... Not a natural ball-carrier. ... Lacks elusiveness and has only marginal speed for the position. ... Still developing as a blocker and hasn't always been as tough or physical as his size would indicate. ... Will face up as a blocker, but doesn't generate consistent movement.
My Input: I find it hard to believe that Collins will play in the NFL (not trying to knock the guy, but I just don't se it). I hope he proves me wrong. Just like the other two, if Jed is not drafted he'll probably sign as a free agent.
There are several other guys who will get looks from NFL teams including: Michael Bumpus, Bobby Byrd, and Ropati Potoitua.
We'll find out what happens this weekend...stay tuned for the latest.
P.S. Feel free to leave me any comments (they're actually encouraged)...do you think any Cougars will be drafted?