The NFL draft starts tonight at 8 pm and its not all about the highly touted, big-name players scattered about in the top teams of the Mountain West Conference. There are other players on several MWC teams who barely register a blip on the NFL radar, but who have shown they have moxie and might be hearing their name being called in this week's NFL Draft. Four of those prospective candidates are Colorado State Rams.
Guy Miller, 6' 2" 297 lb DT (nose guard) out of Scott City, KS is one outstanding athlete whose name might be called by a NFL team. He one of two permanent defensive team captains. His senior year was one in which he was the first CSU Ram defensive player since 2003 to earn first-team all-conference honors from the MWC coaches and media, as well as by Phil Steele. Earlier in the year was noted one area he needed to improve on was a need to increase his speed off the line of scrimmage. His stats on Pro Day at NFLDraftScout.com states a time of 5:27 in the 40. But there is no question about his grit and toughness or his dedication, however. Miller played in 49 straight games and did not miss even one in his college career, and started in his last 24.
Ricky Brewer, 6' 2' 212 lb OLB, is another CSU Ram who because of his ability and leadership was one of two permanent defensive team captains last year, sharing that honor with Guy Miller. As a player, he led the Rams with 105 tackles, eight for loss and one QB sack. He also accounted for two fumbles and recovered another. Another quality Brewer has shown is his versitility to play different levels and positions. As a contributor on special teams he covered both kickoff teams, coverage and return. Last year he was mentioned as a first-team all-conference player by Phil Steele. He is rated 30 out of 169 OLB's in this years draft. Brewer has shown he has the aggressive energy it takes to be the difference on some NFL team.
Zac Pauga, 6' 1" 248 lb FB who played in 49 straight games for the Rams games and is known as good runner and a strong receiver out of backfield. In 12 rushing attemps he averaged 4.4 yards a carry last season, but receiving he also had 33 catches for 308 yards, averaging a respectable 9.3 yards. NFLDraftScout.com has him rated 20 out of 89 FB's nationally. Pauga made an official pre-draft visit to the Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals. One word on the street is that his name has come up with the Houston Texans as another team that has expressed interest in him. While not a stong candidate for the draft as a FB, he will probably get a free agent invite.
Scott Albritton, 6' 3" 234 lb. LS who since 2008 handled all the snaps for the Rams punts, field goals and PATs. Of special note was that all 232 of his snaps came without major errors. Beginning in 2010, he played in the first five games until sustaining a torn ACL while covering a punt in Week 5. That was the Oct. 2nd game against TCU. Until that injury, he was noted as one of the top long snapping prospects by longsnap.com for the 2011 draft. Today, Albritton is rated 9 out of 29 long snappers nationally and it remains to be seen if last years limited performance will be enough for a calling.