15 local college players to participate in NFL Combine, including 5 each from BYU, Utah
Mike Mayock, NFL Network analyst and draft guru, said the upcoming draft, which starts May 8, is filled with talent.
“From my perspective, this is the deepest and best draft class I’ve seen in probably 10 years,” he said.
Van Noy is expected to be the first local player to be drafted. Many project him to be taken late in the first round or early in the second round.
“Van Noy, I like him,” Mayock said. “He’s a productive guy in all phases of the game. He can drop, he can rush. The question is, what is he? I think he’s probably a 34 outside linebacker. I’ve got a third-round grade on him. It wouldn’t surprise me if he went in the second (round). It wouldn’t surprise me if he went in the fourth.”
What does Poppinga hope to see out of Van Noy at the Combine?
“A lot of scouts know he’s quick and explosive,” he said. “They want to see — and I don’t know why, I don’t think it’s very relevant in my opinion — how fast he runs the 40. For him to rise up on the draft boards, they’re going to want to see him run a low 4.6, high 4.5. If he could do that, that will move him up. That’s really how (former Cougar) Bryan Kehl made some jumps in the Combine and at Pro Day. NFL scouts put a lot into that.”
Van Noy’s football IQ will impress NFL teams, Poppinga said.
“What it really comes down to is the interviews. Hopefully he can show his knowledge to the team. That’s one of his positives. He’s super-smart and he understands schemes really well and how he understands football.”
Mayock is curious to watch Utah State’s Lawson at the Combine.
“Lawson’s a quick-footed kid. He has really good change-of-direction skills,” he said. “He looks to me like a natural nickel. I need to see how fast he is, like most corners. I don’t know what he really runs. But I thought he was a little bit intriguing.”
Utah’s Murphy could go toward the end of the draft, according to Mayock. “I’ve only seen one tape of him and I had a late-round grade on him,” he said.
Of BYU's Hoffman, Mayock said, “He’s kind of a straight-line guy. I don’t see the burst and acceleration. He had heavy production (in college). I wanted to like him, but he’s got to show people that he can separate more. I want to see what he runs this week and how he catches the football. His height and weight fits today’s NFL wide receiver.”
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