I recently talked with Jesse Bartolis, editor of NFL Mocks, about the upcoming football season. Here is what he asked and what I answered:
1). Who is currently projected to go in the first two days of the NFL Draft in 2013?
There is no one currently projected to go in the first two days, and if any Wildcats have a chance, they will have to have very strong senior years. Here are two players that could get a hard look by scouts if they make their final college year count:
Adam Hall (6’4″ 220lb Safety): He is the heart of the Arizona defense. The only problem is that he only played one game last year due to a knee injury and injured his knee again in spring training. He will have to stay healthy to get any serious consideration.
Dan Buckner (6’4″ 214lb Receiver): After transferring from Texas and sitting out a year, Buckner got to play last year with an NFL-ready arm (Nick Foles, who was drafted to the Eagles) and a deep receiving core. He got his catches but had to share those with a handful of other receivers (Foles threw to anything that was open and had two hands). He also had to play outside of the spotlight of Juron Criner, who was drafted to the Raiders.
Buckner, however, will be Matt Scott’s main target this year. This is his time to shine.
2). Of the current players in the N.F.L. who have not yet made their mark which do you think are poised for big seasons?
Watch out for Mike Thomas, wide receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars, who hasn’t reached his full potential because he plays for a crummy team. Nick Foles and Juron Criner could have big seasons as rookies. Nick Foles is backup to Michael Vick, who we all know is capable of re-injuring himself on any play. Criner is raising eyebrows at spring camp in Oakland.
3. Who are some of the later round prospects fans should keep an eye out for?
See #1. Also keep an eye out for Taimi Tutogi, a 260lb fullback beast who could catch the interest of some teams.
4). Who are some players to watch out for during the season who are not yet draft eligible?
Ka’Deem Carey is a sophomore running back and flat-out stud. He has the potential to go down as the best running back in Arizona history. He has the stuff.
5). What game are you most looking forward to and why?
Kicking off the season with Toledo. Arizona faithful are aware that this season is a rebuilding one, but this will be the first game under the helm of Rich Rodriguez. I’m very excited to see what he has to bring to the table in the beginning of a new era.