Still looking at this past weekend’s NFL draft, here’s a short piece categorizing MWC related things into winners and losers. This clearly isn’t an exhaustive list but are some of the trends and observations from the draft.
The conference produced the first Group of 5 player chosen, the only G5 player taken in the 1st round, and ten overall. In addition to this, there were three Mountain West players selected before any player from the American conference. In total, 10 MWC players were drafted, and another 21 players signed free-agent contracts.
They had three players drafted, the highest total in the conference and tied for their second-highest total in team history. Plus, two of the three players were early entrees.
They had two players drafted and four more sign as free agents. Those 6 NFL players are the highest total in the MWC for 2020 at the time of this writing.
First-round draft pick. Initially low expectations were he can develop his enormous potential. Being able to learn from one of the greatest QBs ever. There isn’t much not to like here from Love’s perspective.
He landed in a great spot with the first pick of the third round. Wilson was a late riser in the draft process and viewed as one of the more complete inside linebackers in this class. He should fit in well with his team and is poised to have a successful NFL career.
Though the conference had their fair share of draft selections, this unusual process also hurt many players who were not able to get on the radar of teams due to little to no Pro Days or no opportunities for in-person meetings with teams. Due to that, it is likely many players went from high to low draft picks, low draft picks to UDFAs, or from UDFAs to nothing.
Colorado State, Nevada, and New Mexico
These three teams had no players selected in the draft, signed as free agents, or anything of the sort. Considering teams like to hang their hat on draft pick status as a recruiting tool, it’s one they can’t take advantage of this year (not that Colorado State didn’t try to spin it).
Weaver was perhaps the most obvious example of what is described above. He was a first-round draft pick in many mocks drafts the past few months. However, after a very mediocre combine and no pro-day, he became a Day 3 draft selection.
It’s not entirely his fault, but the linebacker did leave school early, went undrafted, and at the time of this writing, has yet to sign with any team as a free agent. Injuries hampered him without a doubt, as they ended a promising junior campaign and prohibited him from any workouts. Still, there was no good news for him this weekend.
In other years, a more significant number of players would’ve received UDFA or mini-camp invitation status. Not this year, though. Without those in face opportunities, it may be difficult for players to stick out and last over the summer or into training camp. And those are the ones who were fortunate enough to get an opportunity. Many quality players didn’t get any news this weekend.
Your turn: What did we get right and wrong? What winners and losers would you add to this list? Comment below.