I don't know what it is about the NFL draft, but I can't help but get drawn in for endless hours every April. I'm not crazy about the new prime-time format, but we'll see how it goes. It always seems to be great TV.
Most expert's don't expect UTEP to have any players drafted this year. Former DB Cornelius Brown was the only Miner to participate in the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. In fact, only 11 players from the entire C-USA were invited. Several Miners should sign free agent contracts. Brown, if he isn't selected, will get calls. Jeff Moturi, Mike Aguayo, and Da'mon Cromartie-Smith are also in the free agent mix.
Cornelius Brown (CB; 5'11, 198)
Brown had a monster Texas vs. The Nation Game (my thoughts here). After a so-so showing at the combine, he rocked UTEP's pro day. Brown ran a 4.46 and 4.47 40 yard dash, broad jumped 10'1, and had a 31' vertical jump. Brown's workout caught the attention of NFL.com's Gil Brandt.
Jeff Moturi (WR; 5-11 1/2, 183)
Moturi is a big play receiver with great athleticism. I don't see how he wasn't invited to the NFL Combine. He runs a 4.42 40 yard dash. He had 974 receiving yards last season (18.4 ypc). He has 26 career touchdowns. Moturi should get a chance to attend a mini-camp via the free agency route. Like Brown, Moturi also had an impressive pro day. According to Brandt:
WR Jeff Moturi ran 4.42 and 4.43 in the 40, had a 30 1/2-inch vertical jump, a 9-10 broad jump, a 4.24 short shuttle, a 6.76 three-cone drill and did 18 bench press reps.
Cromartie is an absolute tackling machine. this is a guy that averaged 10.8 tackles per game which was good enough to have him ranked 9th in the nation. Among DB's he averaged more tackles per game than anybody else in the country. He had 19 tackles against Buffalo (12 solo/7 assisted) and 16 against UAB (12/4). He has a nose for the ball, and when he finds it, he's going to make the tackle. He has NFL size and I think he could help someone right away on special teams.
DB Da’Mon Cromartie-Smith (6-1 1/2, 206) ran 4.63 against the wind and 4.50 with the wind in the 40, had a 32-inch vertical jump, a 9-9 broad jump, a 4.47 short shuttle, a 7.24 three-cone drill and did 20 bench press repetitions at 225 pounds.
Mike Aguayo (OL; 6'4, 300)
He's a durable, consistent left tackle. Aguayo started 37 games for the Miners over 4 years. In his sophomore and senior seasons, he started every game of the season. Mike has been the anchor of UTEP's offensive line for three years.
Around the League
Onobun used to play basketball at Arizona before transferring to Houston to play tight end. He had an absolutely insane pro day and is one of the draft's biggest boom or bust cases. He's a phenomenal athlete, but can he transfer his basketball athleticism to the football field? Check out this Houston Chronicle report on his pro day.
Onobun, a former University of Arizona basketball player who transferred to UH this past season, wowed the scouts by turning a 4.48 time in the 40-yard dash. The scouts measured him at 6 feet 5½ inches tall and 252 pounds, with a 37½-inch vertical jump. Onobun had the best vertical jump and broad jump (11-1) and tied for the best shuttle time (4.15, matching receiver Tim Monroe) of the 12 players who worked out for the scouts.
- Jeremy Williams (WR; Tulane Green Wave)
The 6'1, 200 lb. wide receiver who's known for having sure hands. His biggest problem is that he runs a 4.6 forty. He has obvious game speed, but when the scouts had the stop watches out, he couldn't get it done.
Tulane wide receiver Jeremy Williams had an outstanding senior season and an outstanding Senior Bowl. The 6’1, 200 pound Williams is strong, has good hands and runs good routes. Williams had 84 catches for 1,113 yards receiving in 2009. He can return kicks as well. He doesn’t have break-away speed but is a good player with an excellent work ethic who should go in the third or fourth round.
I think I speak for everybody in the C-USA when I say "Thank goodness Joe Webb is graduating." He's an incredible athlete and is more than willing to play WR to make an NFL roster. He could be a good Wildcat QB for an inventive offensive coordinator. Webb is anxious to see where he ends up.
The 6-foot-3, 223-pound Webb certainly helped himself with head-turning results during UAB’s Pro Day at Legion Field on May 11. The Pittsburgh Steelers brought him in for a threeday interview and the Baltimore Ravens also had Webb in town for an interview. Webb said several teams have called about the possibility of signing a free-agent contract if he does not get drafted.
- Matt Dodge (P: East Carolina Pirates)
- Linval Joseph (DT; East Carolina)
- Jay Ross (DT; East Carolina)
- C.J. Wilson; (DE; East Carolina)
- Darius Marshall (RB; Marshall Thundering Herd)
- McClellan, Albert (DE; Marshall)
- Shawnbrey McNeal (RB; SMU Mustangs)
- Emmanuel Sanders (WR; SMU)
A phenomenal athlete, with good size, Sanders has drawn lots of attention from NFL teams. The Pittsburgh Steelers brought him in for a personal workout. He caught 98 passes last season and is also a dangerous return man. The Dallas Morning news has him rated as the 78th best prospect in the draft.
- Torell Troup (DT, Central Florida)
El Paso Connections
- John Skelton (QB; Fordham)
Skelton has prototypical NFL size at 6'5 and 243 lbs. The former Burges High standout was a "Top Performer" in four separate events at the NFL combine (40 yard dash, broad jump, vertical jump, 20 yard shuffle). Some reports have him going as high as the third round.
- Edward Britton (WR; Texas Tech)
Britton. a former star running back at Montwood High, never quite emerged as the go-to-guy in Mike Leach's spread offense at Texas Tech. In fact, he's probably best known for being the guy Mike Leach made study on the team's 50 yard line after he fell behind academically. In 30 degree weather.