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2011 NFL Draft Projections: BYU Cougars

BYU does not have any players projected to be drafted due to the loss of so many players last year. There are only three BYU players who are entered in the draft and below will have their scouting reports and where the players are ranked.

The highest rated player is place kicker Mitch Payne is the 16th rated kicker by ESPN. Payne most likely will not be drafted, but once the NFL lockout is officially over he should get at least a tryout with a team.

The next is safety Andrew Rich who has a shot to get taken late in the draft. Yahoo has him rated as the 18th rated strong safety:

Positives: Excellent size. Great instincts. Smart, steady and dependable on the back end. Throws his weight around. Durable and productive. Is tough and will play through pain. Character player - highly respected by teammates and coaches. Dedicated to his craft. Has special-teams experience. Has long-snapping experience.

Negatives: Overaged. Tight-hipped. Pedals tall. Shows some rigidity when asked to change direction or break down in space. Limited range. Is not sudden or explosive and does not pop out of breaks. Lacks top-end speed. Is not a heavy hitter and too often goes low and does not wrap.

Summary: Mature, productive, Johnny on the spot who always might be a step late arriving in the NFL game. Has the makeup of a fourth safety and core special-teams player.

Yahoo also believes he will be a priority free agent once teams can sign players. Rich was a JUCO All-American prior 

The final BYU player that is entering the draft is offensive tackle Nicholas Alletto who is rated the 30th offensive lineman by ESPN. So again, he is a fringe draft prospect at best.

Not the best year for BYU football players in the NFL draft, but that happens since they lost a ton of players 

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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.