Ten Boise State Broncos Who Could be 2011 NFL Draft Prospects

This year's draft could be one of the most confused drafts in memory and no one is sure how it is all going to play out.  There are a lot of questions on exactly who will hear their name called---and there just might be a few surprises in store for all of us because of the NFL lockout that is in its seventh week.  The Associated Press is reporting that If the NFL teams can't use free agents to fill in the holes, then don't be surprised to see pro teams selecting a crew of rookies that might be able to have an immediate impact.  That is why I am looking at the top ten horses who could find their way onto an NFL team.

Either way, the Boise State Broncos look to have at least three players selected in this year's NFL draft, but this year's talented team could conceivably place four or even five Broncos on NFL rosters.  NFLDraftScout.com has singled out and profiled a number of Boise State players whom they feel have a chance to hear their names called this week by NFL teams. 

Here is a quick rundown of those ten players who are being closely watched in this years draft.

Titus Young, a 5" 11" 174lb. WR who is a three-time first-team All-WAC selection, and Boise State's all-time leading receiver with 3,063 yards. He also set the school's all-time single season receiving yards record with 1,215 for the year.  He was recognized by the Associated Press as a third-team All-American.  Young should be a second- or third-round pick.  Here is his draft profile from NFLDraftScout.com.

Austin Pettis, 6' 3" 209 lb WR is the No. 17-rated wide receiver by NFLDraftScout.com.  He was Boise State's all-time leader in receptions with 229 catches and 39 of those were touchdown catches.  As a two-time first-team All-WAC selection he also ranks second on the school's all-time receiving yards list with 2,838 yards for his career.  Pettis has been rated a fourth- or fifth-round pick by most scouts who have studied his profile, but he but could go as high as the third round. 

Jeron Johnson 5' 10" 212 lbs earned his stats as Boise State's strong safety and was the pillar of the Bronco defense were for the past three seasons he as led the Broncos in tackles.  Among his many honors he was named first team All-WAC in 2010.  He should be a fourth- or fifth-round pick judging by his profile but Johnson also had questionable reviews at the Combine.  They noted that while Johnson holds up well in man coverage and has the athleticism to run with and and shadow routes, he is small in size and has only adequate speed.   At that time they noted it was possible he could be late-round pick or free agent pickup.

Ryan Winterswyk is a 6' 4" 268 lb DE who often gets criticism for lacking in power, speed or athleticism and was once doubtful to start in the NFL.  But at the same time he is known as a hard-worker with good instincts and great motor skills.  Because of his steady improvement his profile  indicates that Winterswyk will probably be a seventh-round pick.
Tommy Gallarda, a 6' 5" 265 lb TE is another who has a shot at being drafted, but he’s considered a long shot in this year’s senior class to find his way onto a NFL roster.  It's unfortunate that he is often overlooked due to a season-ending foot injury that sidelined this talented player.  A few scouts, however, have kept an eye on him and have measured his limited play this year with a closer look.  More than one consider him good enough to land a spot on an NFL team, although his course is thru free agency. 
 

Brandyn Thompson, 5' 9" 189 lbs, is a CB who started in 12 of Boise's 2010 games and registered 30 tackles on the season, a feat that caused him to be named to the All-WAC Second Team.  Over the three years he started for the Broncos he racked up 146 tackles and 13 interceptions.  While he lacks the size most NFL teams prefer as a corner, Thompson has good speed and it might be just enough to give him a chance to be drafted.  At the Combine it was noted that while he lacked size and speed, he "has the instincts, initial quickness, hands, mentality and special teams experience to be a productive" defensive back in the NFL.  On pro day he ran the 40 in 4.47. 

Winston Venable 5' 11" 212 lbs SS was named All-WAC First Team this past year.  While on the Bronco offense in the nickelback position he was known as a "tweener" because he was usually between the receiver and quarterback on passing plays or between the ball carrier and the end zone on running plays.  That is not always a great position to be in when you want to catch the eyes of an NFL team.  But the word on the street is that he has caught the eyes of the Chicago Bears.

Jeremy Avery 5' 9" 181 lbs is a RB who rushed last season for 1,151 yards on 209 carries.  He led the Broncos in rushing and ended up on the second team All-WAC offense.  It will probably not be enough to see his name come up on the draft sheets.   But because of his speed and explosive abiltiy on the field, he should get a free-agency calling. 

Derrell Acrey 6' 1" 242 lbs LB.  Acrey played in 11 games this past year as co-starter at middle linebacker and showed he was capable of making big plays.  Over his four year Boise State career he had 137 tackles and 4 interceptions.  On Pro Day he ran the 40 in 4:80.  Acrey has a small chance at being drafted, but he is projected to get a shot as a free agent.

Kyle Brotzman 5' 11" 186 lbs K is a kicker who needed 3 points to break the school record but missed the last three field goals of his college career.  Two of those attempts were at Nevada when Boise State (12-1) suffered its only loss of the season.  Unjustly or not, his end of season performance has raised concern and speculation about his confidence and his ability to handle pressure making him long shot for the NFL.

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The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft starts at 8 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, April 28th and SB Nation has everything you need to prepare for it - NFL mock drafts, draft projections, scouting reports, the full NFL draft schedule and more. Check it all out at SB Nation's NFL Hub, our NFL Draft blog Mocking the Draft and of course here on this site for Mountain West draft news.

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