April 25, 2011
2011 NFL draft preview
Mount Union wide receiver Cecil Shorts III has been the best NFL
prospect in Division III football for some time, dating to last
season. But although Shorts was the only one drafted,
certainly he won't be the only one to get a shot at the big
Teams cannot sign undrafted players as free agents during the
NFL lockout. The top prospects to hear their name called, either on
draft day or from a general manager or player personnel person
(eventually) over the phone, listed alphabetically:
Becker impressed at the University of Minnesota pro day, with a
4.71 40, a 36-inch vertical and 24 reps at 225 pounds. Becker
transferred to St. Thomas from Minnesota. A third-team all-region
selection by D3football.com, Becker forced two fumbles, intercepted
two passes and blocked two kicks to go along with 106 tackles.
SIGNED: Tyler Beiler
Beiler, a D3football.com first-team All-American, opened eyes
with a 40.5-inch vertical and 4.39 40 at James Madison's pro day.
He caught 61 passes for 1,342 yards and 16 touchdowns last season.
He's worked out for the Eagles, Steelers, Jaguars, Broncos and
49ers, among others.
Video of Beiler's workout
SIGNED: Keith Darbut
Darbut, a second-team All-Region selection by D3football.com
last season and the most outstanding defensive lineman in the Ohio
Athletic Conference, compiled 10-1/2 sacks for the Yellow Jackets
at defensive end. He's being looked at as an outside linebacker at
the pro level. He ran a 4.38 40 in a pro day at Akron, with 26
225-pound bench reps and a vertical of 38.
SIGNED: Jared Jenkins
Jenkins has drawn interest from almost every NFL team and flew
to Seattle for a private workout recently. He had a disappointing
pro day at UW-Madison, with a 4.62 40, a 33 vertical, and 10
bench-press reps. He reportedly ran a 4.47 for the Packers with a
35-inch vertical. He also has punting skills in an
SIGNED: Kyle Miller
Miller ran a 4.85 40, had a 28-1/2 vertical and had 14 reps on
the bench press. Although Miller has receiver or tight end size,
the rest of his measureables don't stack up quite as well. Long
snappers don't get drafted but every team needs one.
Olson was hardly on the radar before his pro day at UW-Madison,
in which he posted numbers comparable, if not better than
the strong safeties invited to the NFL Scouting Combine. Of
course, at 5-8 he has a bit of a disadvantage in the size
department. He ran 4.48 40, posted a 38 vertical, and had 24
SIGNED: Mike Preston
Preston, a third-team D3football.com All-American as a senior,
has a 4.60 40, a vertical of 35 inches and 13 reps at 225 pounds.
He caught 76 passes for 1,213 yards and 15 touchdowns this past
season for the Student Princes.
Rindt started the season at tackle but was moved back outside
for the final six games of the season. He's run a 4.72 40 at two
separate tests, including the UW-Madison pro day, benching 25 times
and showing a vertical of 31-1/2 inches.
Video of a
DRAFTED: Cecil Shorts
Shorts, along with Beiler, was a D3football.com first-team
All-America selection. He has been projected to go as high as the
third round and frequently in the fifth. He has run a 4.50 40, with
a 34-1/2 vertical and 21 bench-press reps. Scouting services love
his quickness off the line of scrimmages and his adjustment to
poorly thrown balls.
The brother of NFL (and fellow Trinity alum) Jerheme Urban has a
shot to make a name of his own in the league. The Chargers,
Saints, Falcons, Jaguars, Dolphins, Panthers, and Texans have been
in contact and he posted a 4.51 40 with a 35-inch vertical and 17
North Central (Ill.)
The D3football.com Defensive Player of the Year, Wenger ran a
4.64 40 at a pro day in March, putting up a 34-1/2 vertical and 23
reps at 225.
Wenger's workout video
Wilson started his football career at Iowa in 2006, which gives
him a leg up. He intercepted seven passes, returning three for
touchdowns for the Wolverines, while breaking up five other passes.
He ran 40s of 4.52 and 4.54 and sports a 34-inch vertical. Teammate
Ellis Krout could still get picked up as well coming off his
late-season injury, but he hasn't been able to work out for
Other names have been mentioned as well, such as Leer
Biddle of William Paterson, ZaVious
Robbins of Hardin-Simmons, Nate Heard of
UW-Oshkosh, Michael Galatas (SIGNED) of Millsaps.
And every year, it seems, someone comes from out of nowhere to get
a camp invite or a post-draft tryout. Sometimes quarterbacks are
brought in to tryout camps solely to give preferred wide receivers
a workout. But any opportunity is a chance.