CU at the NFL Draft


April 29th

Jon Wilner’s Pac-12 draft report … CU on “Rising” list

From the San Jose Mercury News

Rising: Pac-12.

Finished fourth behind the SEC, ACC and Big Ten in total selections but exceeded the Big Ten on the picks-per-team ledger:

The Pac-12 produced 2.5 selections per school, while the B1G had just 2.3. (It can blame Michigan and Michigan State, which combined for just three picks, for that.)

Worth noting: The Pac-12’s modest number of first-round selections (four) matched the ’16 figure but is not the lowest total of the 12-school era. It had just three first-rounders in the ’14 draft.

The top end? The conference did a spot-on impression of the SEC in the spring of ’15, with nine first rounders.

Rising: Colorado.

Isaiah Oliver went in the third round (to Atlanta), giving the Buffs four defensive backfield selections in the past two drafts.

There are worse things than being the Pac-12’s version of DB U.

(Granted, the Buffs will have a difficult time holding that monicker when Washington’s young cornerbacks and safeties become draft-eligible.)

Falling: Pac-12.

The total number of picks (30) marked the conference’s lowest output since 2013 — it was nine fewer than the high-water 2015 draft and six fewer than last year.

Bottom lines: Talent equates to winning, and the conference must improve its recruiting in order to compete with the SEC and ACC on the national stage.

Falling: Arizona.

Yes, safety Dane Cruikshank was selected in the fifth round, but he was the Wildcats’ only selection and marked just their third pick in the past four drafts.

Teams with more selections than Arizona in that span: Temple, San Diego State and Memphis.

Continue reading story here


April 28th

2018 NFL draft represents sixth draft in ten years with fewer than two Buffs taken

CU finished the 2018 NFL draft with only one selection, with Isaiah Oliver going to the Atlanta Falcons in the second round. The 2018 draft represents the sixth draft in the past ten years in which Colorado has had fewer than two players selected, including three seasons (2010, 2015, and 2016) in which no Buffs were taken.

The past decade of CU players selected in the NFL draft:

2008 (2)
45. Jordon Dizon, ILB Detroit (2)
62. Terrence Wheatley, CB, New England (2)

2009 (1)
218. Brad Jones, OLB, Green Bay (7)

2010 (0)

2011 (4)
17. Nate Solder, OT, New England (1)
27. Jimmy Smith, CB, Baltimore (1)
118. Jalil Brown, CB, Kansas City (4)
227. Scotty McKnight, WR, N.Y. Jets (7)

2012 (2)
160. Ryan Miller, OG, Cleveland (5)
231. Tony Clemons, WR, Pittsburgh (7)

2013 (2)
109. David Bakhtiari, OT, Green Bay (4)
172. Nick Kasa, TE, Oakland (6)

2014 (1)
45. Paul Richardson, WR, Seattle (2)

2015 (0)

2016 (0)

2017 (4)
60. Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Dallas (2)
66. Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, San Francisco (3)
111. Tedric Thompson, SS, Seattle (4)
246. Jordan Carrell, DT, Dallas (7)


April 27th

Isaiah Oliver taken in the second round by the Atlanta Falcons

Colorado cornerback Isaiah Oliver lasted longer into the second round than anticipated, finally getting the call from the Atlanta Falcons with the 26th pick of the draft of the second round (58th overall).

CBS analysis … Burner on the outside who can run with any wideout down the field. Coached well to get his head around when the ball is approaching. Lanky and athletic enough to routinely get his hands on the football … This is a nice value pick in the second round. You can never have enough corners in their division … Atlanta draft grade: B+

Oliver becomes the 48th CU defensive back taken since the merger. Colorado entered the 2018 NFL draft tied with Miami for fifth on the list of schools (Ohio State came into the draft with the highest total since 1970 … 58).

CU and the Atlanta Falcons: Oliver becomes the first Buff to be taken by the Falcons since Mike Pritchard went to Atlanta in the first round of the 1991 draft.

CU DRAFT CHOICES by the Atlanta Falcons
Player … Position … Year selected … Round … Overall pick
Bill Harris …  RB … 1968 … 13 … 329
Dennis Havig … OG … 1971 …  8 … 189
Doug Paytovern … OG … 1975 … 6 … 133
Brian Cabral … ILB … 1978 … 4 … 95
James Mayberry … RB … 1979 … 3 … 75
Stuart Walker …  LB … 1979 … 12 … 323
Mike E. Davis …  SS … 1980 … 6 … 146
Mike Pritchard … WR … 1991 … 1 … 13

Woelk: Oliver Is Latest Buffs DB To Blossom In Boulder

From … Despite what the numbers might suggest, there is no secret sauce being administered to University of Colorado defensive backs, no magic bullet that allows Buffs DBs to seamlessly make the transition from Saturdays to Sundays.

Rather, it is the opposite. It is fundamentals that make the difference. Learning the game, learning the position, learning the basics — and practicing those basics until they become second nature.

Colorado’s Isaiah Oliver, selected in the second round of Friday night’s NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons, is the latest example.

Three years ago, Oliver was a relatively lightly recruited athlete out of Goodyear, Ariz., who received only nominal attention from Power 5 schools. But CU head coach Mike MacIntyre and his staff (beginning with assistant Gary Bernardi, who “discovered” Oliver) saw something in Oliver that other schools missed.

They saw a great athlete with all the “measurables,” as well as the intangibles — the character, work ethic and discipline — required to become an elite-level player.

Continue reading story here


April 26th’s Isaiah Oliver draft profile: “Elite size and speed with arms that go on and on for days”



Oliver possesses an outstanding combination of size, speed and length and those traits are highly coveted by NFL general managers. There are coverage holes in Oliver’s game and he needs to play with increased toughness, but he’s just scratching the surface of what his talent could allow him to do on the next level with more experience and technique work. Oliver has a high ceiling as a bump-and-run, lockdown corner, but might benefit from a limited role his rookie season.

  • Elite size and speed with arms that go on and on for days
  • Looks the way teams want corners to look
  • Competitive decathlete
  • Plus deep speed and explosive leaper
  • Disrupts route release with long jabs into receiver’s frame from press
  • Easy to open and sprint against vertical threats
  • Has tools and trigger to stalk and challenge routes underneath from off-man
  • Greater margin for error early in the rep due to makeup speed and arm length
  • Aggressive to claw and rake hands and arms through catch attempt
  • Has soft hands
  • Requires touch and precision to drop downfield throws over his rangy frame
  • Struggles to gear down from sprint mode
  • Unable to stay in phase with comeback routes from bump and run
  • Too tall in backpedal
  • Transitions to match pattern carry wasted steps
  • Mirror and match footwork doesn’t come easily from off-man
  • Allows workable separation from route stems and breaks
  • Can’t plant and redirect quickly on lateral change of direction
  • Doesn’t play with much edge
  • Too much ankle biting as a tackler and will need to increase aggressiveness in run support
Draft Projection … Rounds 1-2


April 24th’s Phillip Lindsay draft profile: “Running style borders on manic at times”



Lindsay’s lack of desired size may limit his draft stock somewhat, but his versatility as a running back, pass catcher and special teams contributor should work in his favor. Lindsay plays with unbridled passion that is infectious on the field. Lindsay has the ability to handle inside running duties and blitz protection despite his size. His football character and field demeanor give him a good chance of becoming a solid backup in the league.


Compact, well-defined frame
Looks bigger in the uniform than listed size
Nicknamed “Tasmanian Devil” for boundless energy and playing style
Feet move like beaters of a hand mixer
Goes from patient to urgent instantly as a runner
Loves football and plays with tremendous heart
Uses committed, downhill burst
Rarely slows into contact
Contorts through crevices and finds the second level
Pops right up after monster hits
Runs with timing and instincts
Works to keep pads squared
Steadies himself through contact and continues rolling
Has lower body power to drive through leg grabbers
Fearless in his pass protection
Gains separation out of breaks and can pile on additional yardage after the catch


Running style borders on manic at times
Frenetic pace features flailing arms and excessive upper body movement
Not always as shifty as his movements would lead you to believe
Will cut back into traffic rather than finding less resistance
Below NFL standards for running back size
Aggressive running style combined with 545 carries over last two years has seen Lindsay take plenty of punishment
Struggles to secure throws with pace on them

Draft Projection … Rounds 6-7


April 23rd 

CBS Mock draft: Isaiah Oliver first-rounder to Philadelphia; Phillip Lindsay to Rams in seventh round

From R. J. White at CBS Sports … With less than a week until the start of the 2018 NFL Draft, you’ve seen plenty of mock drafts at this point (and here are some more great ones). Most are of the one-round variety, but you’ve been able to dig up some that go deeper, and even a few that cover all seven rounds. But how many have you seen that go the full seven rounds and include trades throughout the entire draft?

That’s what we’ve done here, going pick by pick to determine what teams could do with each of their picks over the three-day draft. This project combines overall prospect talent, team needs, prospect visits in some cases, and sensible trading in order for teams with enough draft capital to move around for the right guy.

First, you can find my team-by-team mock drafts, complete with analysis for each draft class. After that, you can see the full 256-pick mock, with mock trades noted by an asterisk. Finally, I’ve included a table with every mock trade in my draft, including which player teams moved up to select. Hat tip to the great prospect visit tracker at Walter Football for collecting all that info in one spot.

Philadelphia Eagles

132Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
4130P.J. Hall, DT, Sam Houston Statefrom MIN
4132Jaylen Samuels, TE, NC State
5169Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida State
6206Justin Watson, WR, Penn
7250Justin Jackson, RB, Northwesternfrom SEA/NE/PHI

I wouldn’t be shocked if the Eagles trade down from No. 32 (maybe with Buffalo?), but after the team quickly moved on from Daryl Worley and his off-field issues, cornerback could be a great position to target with the talent expected to be available in the late-first, early-second range. Oliver gives the team long-term insurance in case Ronald Darby isn’t re-signed, and he has the upside to be one of the league’s top corners.

Los Angeles Rams

382Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, OLB, Oklahomafrom DET
387Traded to Detroit
4111Micah Kiser, ILB, Virginiafrom MIA
4135Quenton Meeks, CB, Stanfordfrom NYG
4136Traded to Washingtonfrom NE
5142Scott Quessenberry, G/C, UCLAfrom WAS/DEN
6176Joe Ostman, OLB, Central Michiganfrom NYG
6183Traded to Detroitfrom MIA
6194Dane Cruikshank, DB, Arizonafrom DET
6195Timon Parris, OT/G, Stony Brookfrom BUF
7231Phillip Lindsay, RB, Coloradofrom WAS

… Lindsay is a great value in the seventh and could end up a factor on an offense that doesn’t have much depth at running back.


April 22nd 

Isaiah Oliver’s dream of playing in the NFL about to become a reality

From the Daily Camera … For Isaiah Oliver, the dream of playing in the National Football League was born not long after he was in the fall of 1996.

“I would say it started immediately, right when I really started playing football, when I was 5 or 6 years old,” Oliver, 21, said this week. “I always had dreams of playing in the NFL; watching the games on TV, going to some games. It was something I knew I wanted to do and I was going to work for it.”

The dream is nearing reality, as the former Colorado cornerback awaits the upcoming NFL draft, which takes places Thursday-Saturday.

Oliver and several other Buffaloes have spent months training for the draft.

… Being around that much talent pushed Oliver, but it was the opportunity to work with CU head coach Mike MacIntyre — a respected defensive backs coach – that really furthered his development.

“I can’t really put it into words, to be honest,” he said when asked how much MacIntyre helped him develop as a cornerback. “A lot of what I was able to learn in terms of my technique and really playing the corner position came from him over these last three years. It was big for me. It’s one of the biggest reasons I’m in the position I am now.”

Continue reading story here

CU not “DBU” … but the Buffs are not far off

Below is a list of the schools which have had the most defensive backs drafted in Common Draft Era (since 1967, when the NFL and AFL began taking steps towards their merger in 1970):

58- Ohio State

54- USC

50- Notre Dame

49- Nebraska

47- Colorado, Miami

46- Oklahoma, Texas

44- Florida State

Colorado at No. 22 on the all-time list of NFL draftees

CU’s place on the all-time draftees will be in jeopardy this week. Colorado has had 270 players drafted into the NFL, with only one or two being added to the list in 2018. Auburn, which has had 269 players drafted, is right behind Colorado, and has a half dozen or so draft prospects this spring (Arkansas and Minnesota do not appear to be poised to jump the Buffs, as those schools do not have a deep list of prospects for the 2018 draft):

No. 20 – Pittsburgh … 278

No. 21 – Wisconsin … 273

No. 22 – Colorado … 270

No. 23 – Auburn … 269

No. 25 – Arkansas … 266

No. 26 – Minnesota … 265


If Isaiah Oliver is taken in the first round … 

… he will become the 25th Buff to be so honored.

Colorado has had 24 first round draft picks in its history, tied with Washington and Arizona State for fifth in the Pac-12. Oregon State, with the fewest, celebrated just its sixth first round pick in 2014 with Brandin Cooks.

Washington State broke the longest Pac-12 drought without a first round pick, dating back to 2003, when Deone Bucannon went to Arizona with the 27th pick in 2015. The longest drought without a first round pick now belongs to Arizona, which last had a first round pick in 2008.

The Pac-12 conference and the first round of the NFL draft (rank nationally, number of all-time first round picks, and each school’s most recent first round picks):

No. 1 – USC – 80 … Most recent: 2017 – Adoree Jackson, CB, 17th pick, Tennessee

No. 16 – UCLA – 34 … Most recent: 2017 – Takkarist McKinley, DE, 26th pick, Atlanta

No. 22 – California – 27 … Most recent: 2016 – Jared Goff, QB, 1st pick, Los Angeles Rams

No. 23 – Stanford – 25 … Most recent: 2017 – Solomon Thomas, DT, 3rd pick, San Francisco 49ers; Christian McCaffrey, RB, 8th pick, Carolina Panthers

No. 24t – Colorado – 24 … Most recent: 2011 – Nate Solder, OT, 17th pick, New England; and Jimmy Smith, CB, 27th pick, Baltimore

No. 24t – Washington – 24 … Most recent: 2017 – John Ross, WR, 9th pick, Washington

No. 24t – Arizona State – 24 … Most recent: 2015 – Damarious Randall, 30th pick, S, Green Bay

No. 39 – Oregon – 18 … Most recent: 2016 – DeForest Buckner, DE, 7th pick, San Francisco

No. 46t – Washington State – 13 … Most recent: 2014 – Deone Bucannon, S, 27th pick, Arizona

No. 54t – Arizona – 10 … Most recent: 2008 – Antoine Cason, CB, 27th pick, San Diego

No. 59 – Utah – 8 …  Most recent: 2017 – Garrett Bolles, OT, 20th pick, Denver

No. 66t – Oregon State – 6 … Most recent: 2014 – Brandin Cooks, WR, 20th pick, New Orleans

(And, in case you are wondering … No. 68t – Colorado State – 5 … Most recent: 1987 – Kelly Stouffer, QB, 6th pick, St. Louis)



5 Replies to “CU at the NFL Draft”

  1. So……….?…….?.?.?

    Your old

    TunaMac’s lost season caused this debacle. Or was it his Coach of the year victory tour????

    You are what your record says you are. The Big Tuna

    1. and if he tears his ACL in fall practice and is out for the year, then what?
      Oliver was projected late first/ early second round. Can’t blame him for going. Luke Falk was projected first round pick as one of the top QBs before last year and decided to come back for his senior season. He had a mediocre year and saw his stock plummet and is undrafted after day 2. Oliver did the smart thing.

    1. Patience, patience VK. There are still 4 more rounds tomorrow, that is 128 players yet, and doesn’t count some of the compensatory awarded picks. In my opinion if I had confidence that I could play in the NFL and wasn’t drafted I would actually feel better at least getting the opportunity to become a FA for a team where I felt I would have at least a chance landing with a team where I would be a good fit.

      You have got to get over this IIT (instant ice tea) Syndrome where all you need to do is add water to make something work out. Some of these FA CU kids might bounce around for the next year or two and then find success with a most unlikely team.

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