This week’s roundtable discussion is short, simple, and to the point. Following the 2018 NFL Draft, who (in your opinion) are a few players from each team in the MWC who have the potential to be drafted in 2019? Feel free to include what round you could see them going in as well as teams or schemes they might fit the best.
Hawaii: The Warriors will feature one of the youngest teams in college football this fall, so the pool for draft candidates is small. That said, the clear and obvious potential draftee is linebacker Jahlani Tavai. Some were surprised Tavai decided to return for his senior season with whispers that he could have been a mid-round pick in this past weekend’s 2018 NFL Draft. I’m not sure when Tavai will be picked. Maybe late day two, early day 3? However it plays, I expect him to be picked.
Colorado State: After Michael Gallup was drafted this year in round 3, along with numerous players being either signed as UDFA’s or invited to mini-camps the prospects next season are very scarce. Linebacker’s Josh Watson and Tre Thomas should get looks on day 3. Watson fits the build of a middle linebacker and can get to the quarterback. Thomas is fast and can both stop the run and get to the quarterback. I would say OT Ben Knox may get some looks too, it would also be late day 3. There are some other players that could get looks depending on how their seasons go.
San Diego State: Defense should be the strength of the Aztecs next season and one of the leaders of that unit will be SR LB Ronley Lakalka. He and fellow SR Parker Baldwin, a safety, should form a nice tandem. I don’t expect either of them to be high draft picks, but if they duplicate their junior campaigns, they shouldn’t have a problem becoming day 3 selections. They also boast one of the top kickers in the country in SR John Baron. While kickers are a coin flip of getting drafted, I think he will definitely end up in an NFL rookie mini-camp, likely as an UDFA.
San Jose State: With the dismal 2017-2018 season, it was probably a surprise seven Spartan alumni made an NFL impression. 2019 will also have more under-the-radar players. A few come to mind right away only because you notice heart, instinct and athleticism, regardless if they’ve built a great body of work in their careers or on a losing team: Senior DT Bryson Bridges, senior LB Jamal Scott and senior kicker Bryce Crawford, I’d say are UFDA’s or mini-camp invites, which is a speculative gut reaction at this point. TE Josh Oliver is another one that just seems the part and should be in the mix as well.
Boise State: Boise State has a chance, once again, to have a few players get their names called in the 2019 NFL Draft. One of which is Brett Rypien. He is currently listed as the 74th best NFL prospect according to CBS Sports. If this holds true, you could actually see a Boise State quarterback taken in the first three rounds of the NFL draft. This would be quite an accomplishment for both Boise and Rypien, seeing as there have been times in his tenure at Boise State where a portion of the fan base have been calling for someone else to take over at QB. Another Bronco who could hear their name called is Jabril Frazier. Frazier translates well to the next level at OLB or possibly even DE, but his size and athleticism are sure to get him noticed by some NFL squads (probably Dallas - hell, it’s a pretty good bet). Boise will probably put more than just these two on NFL rosters, but these are the two names that should come off the board first for the Broncos.