2011 NFL Draft Projections: Hawaii Warriors

HONOLULU - SEPTEMBER 2: Greg Salas of the University of Hawaii Warriors runs the ball during second half action at Aloha Stadium September 2 2010 in Honolulu Hawaii. (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

Hawaii's name doesn't come up on the draft board very often, and that will be the case this season. The Warriors only have Greg Salas and Alex Green who are up on the board this season and that mostly has to do with Hawaii returning most of the impact players from last season's team that went 10-3 and was ranked in the AP Top 25 during the season.

When talking about Wide Receivers in the NFL Draft, you almost never hear Greg Salas mentioned, yet he is on everyone's draft board. Salas had 119 receptions for 1,889 yards and 14 touchdowns in Hawaii's high tempo offense last season and has been a mid-rounder on draft boards since then. Mock Draft experts have him all over the board, as Mel Kiper Jr. has him going in the 3rd round to the Kansas City Chiefs and this Mock Draft by Ken Howes has him going at the end of round 4 to the Patriots.

Mock Drafts have him going all over the place, and it's honestly tough to tell just who has the most interest in him. The Chiefs, Patriots, Lions, and Browns have all shown interest in him, but none of them were blown away by Salas. If I had to take my pick, I'd say he's most likely to go the Chiefs since they need a receiver to complement Dwayne Bowe and each of the other teams I mentioned also showed interest in receivers similar to Salas.

Whether or not Judge Susan Nelson rules for the lockout to continue during the draft or not will have a big impact on Salas' position in the draft. If the lockout continues, then we should see Salas' draft stock go up as teams may not be able to trade back so that they don't make a stretch for Salas. If the injunction is upheld and the lockout ends, then his draft stock could dropped.

Salas should get drafted somewhere between the 3rd and 5th round, but ti's tough to say. I will say the Chiefs will take him in Round 4, but he could be a real steal for any team if he drops past that point.

The other prospect Hawaii could place on an NFL squad this season is Alex Green. Green was a very productive running back at Hawaii, rushing for about 1,200 yards. Green has visited a variety of teams, including the Tennessee Titans, New Orleans Saints, and Atlanta Falcons. Bleacher Report's Jon Gilbert points out how Green could help the Falcons at running back:

He's visiting with the Atlanta Falcons April 19, reports Jason La Canfora of NFL Network. The Falcons have a premier running back in Michael Turner, but Jerious Norwood is recovering from injury and will be a free agent once a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is reached. Jason Snelling is a solid backup to Turner but is more of a bruiser that won't be breaking off any 75-yard runs. Atlanta missed Norwood's ability to get to the endzone every time he touched the ball. Green has that capability. With 4.53-second 40-yard dash speed, Green would be a nice pickup in a middle round. With a few carries per game, he could provide a darty change-of-pace to Turner's downhill running style.

While the Falcons sure could use his help, the Giants also need help at running back, as GiantGab.com explains:

The Giants’ have major question marks regarding their backfield heading into the 2011 season (Assuming there is one). RB Ahmad Bradshaw might be an UFA, or he might be a RFA. However, there is a chance he might not be back (Both the Giants and Bradshaw want to workout a long term deal. He remains one of their top off-season priorities). RB Brandon Jacobs might have played his last down with Big Blue, too. He was a distraction at times and has a large, $4.65 million dollar base salary due. He said he’d be willing to take a fair pay-cut, but at this point the Giants might be better served cutting ties with the big strong back. Danny Ware signed a two-year extension to be the teams third down back. Added a back in the draft to create some competition and give the team some depth would be nice.

He has the Giants taking Green in the 6th round, 3rd pick and that's very realistic. I think Green should make it in the NFL draft. His size and speed make him a good second option at running back and there are enough teams in need of running back depth for him to be taken. The only reason he doesn't get taken higher in the draft is the fact that this year's running back class is very deep and he is placed somewhere between 25-30 in this year's running back class by multiple sources.

I see Green getting taken in the 6th or 7th round. By who? That's tough to say. Three or four teams could all take him so it really just depends on what happens with each team's draft board during the previous rounds.

 

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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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