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2011 NFL Draft Projections: UNLV Rebels

UNLV isn't exactly the name said the most on draft day, yet they most of the time will somehow manage to get one to two players on NFL squads. Last season, both Joe Hawley (OL) and Ryan Wolfe (WR) of the Rebels were selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the 4th and 7th rounds respectively. While most NFL mock drafts don't have anyone from UNLV getting picked in the 2011 NFL Draft, some do. You want all the info on where former Rebels maybe headed in their pro careers? You'll get that, and as well as my own projection. First up on the list is the Rebels' former left tackle, Matt Murphy.

Matt Murphy


Height and Weight: 6-4, 308 lbs.

40 yard dash: 5.14

20 yard dash: 3.00

10 yard dash: 1.82

225 Lb. Bench Reps: 25

Vertical Jumps: 33

Broad Jump: 9'4"

20 yard shuttle: 4.73

3-Cone Drill: 7.56



Here is the article by National Football Post reporting that Murphy had worked out with the Dolphins, Bills, and Colts.'s full mock draft has Murphy going in the 6th round (206th overall) to the Bills. did a Q&A session with Murphy on Wednesday, January 19th.

Here is Murphy's Full Draft Profile from

Murphy is regarded as a late round draft pick by many experts and has gained some attention from a few clubs. The San Diego Chargers, New York Giants, and Kansas City Chiefs all attended his pro day at UNLV, and he lined up a few teams to come to his private workout. Out of those clubs that attended the workout (Indianapolis Colts, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins), the Bills have shown the most interest. Buffalo worked out Murphy on several other occassions and looks like he could easily be picked up by them in the 6th or 7th round.

Some interesting things to note about Murhpy is that he never missed a start after starting in the 4th week of his Freshman year on campus. Yes folks, that's 45 games. He didn't go to the Draft Combine, and was an honorable-mention All-Mountain West Conference Selection.

Projection: Undrafted, signed by Bills

Murphy is a big run-blocker up front, but doesn't pass block well (as evidenced by the disaster that was UNLV's pass protection last season) For that reason, I don't see the Dolphins or Colts (who both need Offensive Line help) taking Murphy since their offenses involve a lot of passing. The Bills, on the other hand, live in the cold weather of New York and therefore need a ground game to succeed in December. Adding Murphy would help in the category of run-blocking. While the Bills could use Murphy, they also most likely know that nobody else is going to be willing to spend a draft pick on Murhpy. That means they could use what would be his pick to pick up another player and then just sign him in the undrafted player signing session.

John Gianninoto


 Height and Weight: 6-4, 297 lbs.

40 yard dash: 5.01

20 yard dash: 3.01

10 yard dash: 1.78

225 Lb. Bench Reps: 21

Verical Jump: 32

Broad Jump: 8'11"

20 yard shuttle: 4.82

3-Cone Drill: 7.83


Here is Gianninoto's draft profile.

According to a league source, the Patriots had Gianninoto workout for them last Thursday.

Last May, Gianninoto clocked in at 95 on's Top 150 prospect for 2011 list.

John Gianninoto is a Center designed for run-blocking. The scouts who were at UNLV's pro day were impressed with how well Gianninoto could run-block. Although strangely enough, he was one of the few linemen to get clocked right around the 5 second mark for his 40 time. Gianninoto has worked out with the Patriots, Bills, Dolphins, Colts, and Falcons, but the Patriots are the only ones who seem to have really kept working with him.

Projection: Undrafted

Gianninoto is regarded as a a Top 150 overall prospect, but most of those are from the Center position. With him checking in at the low 20's for his position, it will be hard to see him get taken off the board, or even drafted.

Other than those two prospects, the only UNLV player that was to be considered for this year's class was Quinton Pointer. He was supposed to be a senior last season, but a spring injury forced him to sit out the entire season. As a result, he got a medical redshirt and will play his senior season this year.

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