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CU at the NFL Draft

Early 2020 NFL mock Draft – Laviska Shenault No. 6 overall pick

From Pacific Takes

  1. Las Vegas – Tua Tagovailoa QB Alabama
  2. Arizona – Trey Smith T Tennessee
  3. Giants – Jerry Jeudy WR Alabama
  4. Washington – Derrick Brown DT Auburn
  5. Miami – Andrew Thomas T Georgia
  6. Jets – Laviska Shenault WR Colorado – I think Shenault picks up where he left off before getting hurt last season and turns into a potential franchise receiver for a young QB like Sam Darnold.
  7. Buffalo – Collin Johnson WR Texas
  8. Tampa Bay – Jake Fromm QB Georgia
  9. Detroit – AJ Epenesa DE Iowa
  10. Cincinnati – Isaiah Simmons S Clemson

Read full first round draft here (includes seven Pac-12 players) …

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Jon Wilner: Pac-12 winners and losers from 2019 NFL Draft (Washington has more picks than L.A. schools combined)

From the San Jose Mercury News

Winners … 

Washington: Led the conference with eight draft picks (only Alabama and Ohio State had more). That brings UW’s total to 18 selections over the past three years — all based on recruiting classes that were outside the top 25 in the early years of Chris Petersen’s tenure. The total this year isn’t a school record; in fact, it’s not even close. Nor does the ’19 class set a school standard for the number of selections in seven rounds. In ’98, the Huskies had 10 players picked from a group that stuck around despite the sanctions handed down by the Pac-12 and the NCAA.

Utah: The Utes machine just keeps churning out victories and draft picks (five this year, 14 in the past three) at rates that exceed what you’d expect from the recruiting ratings. The player development in SLC is first class, but that’s only one piece of Kyle Whittingham’s success. No program in the conference better meshes scheme and philosophy of the head coach with the natural recruiting pipeline. Washington State, Washington and Stanford are on Utah’s level in that regard, and several other programs — Arizona State and Cal come to mind — are on the correct trajectory.

Neutral … 

Pac-12: The 33 draft picks was in line with recent history and ranked third among the Power Five conferences. The Pac-12 had 2.75 picks per team, which was third behind the SEC (4.6), Big Ten (2.9) and ahead of the Big 12 (2.6) and ACC (2.0). The position breakdown was interesting, particularly in this regard: The conference had three specialists drafted (two kickers/one punter) and only one quarterback (WSU’s Gardner Minshew).

Losers … 

The Los Angeles schools: The lagging performance by USC and UCLA last season was a central reason for the Pac-12’s trouble on the national landscape; their poor production in the draft (five combined selections) underscored the issue: For the first time in the Super Bowl era, the schools failed to produce a first- or second-round pick (per Sam Farmer of the LAT). If the Trojans and Bruins don’t return to their historical level of success in the next few years — especially USC — the Pac-12 will have trouble maximizing its brand potential in the next round of media right negotiations.

UCLA: The Bruins had one player drafted, tight end Caleb Wilson, who went to Arizona with the last pick of the last round. This, from a school whose recruiting classes were ranked No. 18, 12 and 13 nationally from 2014-16. (And Wilson, if you’ll recall, was a walk-on who transferred to Westwood from USC.) Put another way: Utah had more specialists drafted this week than UCLA had total players selected. Underperformance of that magnitude cannot be attributed to one factor: The recruiting ratings aren’t always accurate, and the player development under Jim Mora was clearly lacking.

USC: Yep, another entry on the SoCal situation, which should indicate the level of seriousness with which the Hotline view this issue. The Trojans had only four picks — one less than Utah and Stanford and half Washington’s total — and didn’t produce a first or second rounder for the first time since the 2003 draft. Obviously, plenty has gone wrong at USC (the athletic director himself identified culture, discipline, scheme, staff and personnel), and the Trojans are sucking the entire conference into their tailspin. On the bright side, USC’s resources and recruiting base make a swift turnaround possible, if the right people are in charge.

Continue reading story here

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CU free agent signings

Running back Travon McMillian – Pittsburgh Steelers

Safety Evan Worthington – Baltimore Ravens

Defensive lineman Javier Edwards – Houston Texas

Linebacker Drew Lewis – Houston Texans

Wide receiver Kabion Ento – Green Bay Packers

Wide receiver Juwann Winfree goes to the Denver Broncos in the sixth round of the NFL Draft

From the Daily Camera … The Broncos added some more hometown flavor to their 2019 NFL draft class Saturday with the selection of CU wide receiver Juwann Winfree in the sixth round at pick No. 187.

“It’s all I’ve worked for since I was a kid,” Winfree said on a media conference call. “I still have a far ways to go. This is just step one.”

Winfree is an athletic 6-foot-3 and 210-pound pass catcher who played two seasons for the Buffs after transferring from Maryland. His CU career concluded with 49 catches for 649 yards and four touchdowns. Winfree’s production was significantly limited by injury; a 2016 ACL tear that ended his season and an ankle problem last year that held him out four games.

The Broncos packaged a sixth-round pick and seventh-round pick to move up to and draft Winfree. He is their sixth and expected final selection of the draft. Winfree is former college teammates with Denver running back Phillip Lindsay. On Twitter, general manager John Elway described Winfree as “a tough, physical player with a lot of top-flight traits with his size, speed and hands. Great to add another player with in-state ties to the Broncos.”

Continue reading story here

Winfree becomes the first Buff taken by Denver since Laval Short in the 1980 draft.

Winfree becomes the 272nd player drafted out of Colorado and the first wide receiver since Paul Richardson was drafted in the second round by the Seattle Seahawks in 2014.

All-Time list of Buffs taken by the Denver Broncos

Player, Position Year Round Overall Pick

Mel Semenko, E 1960 … ……
Chuck Weiss, FB 1961 17th round … pick 129
Jerry Hillebrand, E 1962 2nd … pick 10
Gale Weidner, QB 1962 10th … pick 74

Jim Perkins, OT 1962 21st … pick 162
Dan Grimm, OG 1963 20th  …pick 156
Frank Rogers, K 1966 16th … pick 128
Charlie Greer, DB 1968 13th … pick 330
Mike Schnitker, LB 1969 4th … pick 84
Bobby Anderson, RB 1970 1st … pick 11
Larry Brunson, WR 1972 11th … pick 263
Ozell Collier, DB 1974 4th … pick 92
Bubba Bridges, DT 1975 16th … pick 409
Laval Short, NT 1980 5th … pick 136

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LB Drew Lewis – Draft profile

From NFL.com

Player bio … Lewis has football running through his veins. His father, Will, played cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks and was a personnel evaluator for multiple NFL teams. His uncle, Tim, was a star corner at Pitt and played in the NFL until a neck injury forced him to the sidelines; he coached in the league for 30 years, however. Cousin Louis Riddick was another Pitt defensive back and played in the NFL before becoming a scout and personnel director, and then joining ESPN as an analyst. Lewis signed with home-state Washington as an All-King County pick but was dismissed from the team after his redshirt season for violating team rules. He played at Coffeyville Community College in 2015, racking up 63 tackles despite missing parts of five games with a broken thumb. Lewis transferred to UC for the 2016 season, when he played in 14 games as a reserve (eight tackles). Given a starting role in all 12 games his junior year, Lewis led his team in tackles with 119 (four for loss, four pass breakups). Lewis only started six of 12 games in 2018, but made 66 stops with six coming behind the line of scrimmage (two sacks). He also intercepted a pass and broke up four others.

Overview … Athletic three-down linebacker with impressive speed and overall explosiveness in his movement. Lewis comes from a football family and it shows with both his athletic ability and the way he plays the game. He needs to continue to fill out his frame and work on the fundamentals of the WILL linebacker spot, but his athletic traits, special teams background and third down talent give him an important head start in becoming a Day 3 draft pick and future NFL backup despite a Combine snub.

Draft projection … Rounds 5-6

Other Buff potential draft picks … 

WR Juwann Winfree, 6-3, 210: A bumpy path through college included a series of injuries during his three years at CU. He doesn’t have the stats of other receivers, but his work ethic and ability are off the chart. Potential late round pick.

RB Travon McMillian, 6-0, 210: As CU fans know from last year with Phillip Lindsay, even great college backs go undrafted sometimes. McMillian fits the NFL mold better than Lindsay, though, and had 1,000-yard seasons in two different conferences. Potential late round pick.

DL Javier Edwards, 6-3, 330:Former junior college transfer showed a great deal of improvement from 2017 to 2018, and he did well during his pro day this spring. Has great size and strength. Potential late round pick.

WR Juwann Winfree: “I just want an opportunity”

From the Daily Camera … Three schools, a torn ACL, an ankle injury and the lack of statistics to become a college star.

It wasn’t exactly what Juwann Winfree had in mind for his college career when he graduated from Dwight Morrow (N.J.) High School in 2014, but his eyes have never left his goal of playing in the NFL.

This weekend, the former Colorado receiver is one of several Buffs hoping to hear their names called during the NFL draft.

Safety Evan Worthington, linebacker Drew Lewis, defensive lineman Javier Edwards and running back Travon McMillian are among the other Buffs with a chance to get drafted.

All of them are projected as late-round selections or undrafted free agents, but all are simply hoping for an opportunity.

“Of course everybody wants to go first round, but I understand a lot of things happened, a lot of things didn’t go my way,” said Winfree, who caught 49 passes for 649 yards and four touchdowns during his time at CU. “I had to deal with a lot of adversity, and just to be able to hear my name would be a blessing for me. I just want an opportunity.

“Wherever I go, undrafted or drafted, I’m going to bring the same mentality every day coming in to work.”

Continue reading story here … (with list of CU draft hopefuls) …

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CU NFL Draftees – It’s been pretty quiet decade for Buffs

The 2018 NFL draft represented the sixth draft in past ten years in which fewer than two Buffs were 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)

 

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Evan Worthington – Draft Worthy?

From NFL.com

Player bio … A three-sport star in high school (football, basketball, track) in nearby Aurora, Colo., Worthington earned playing time as a true freshman for the Buffaloes. He started three of 12 games played and made 31 tackles. Worthington was a reserve in 2015 (two tackles in 11 games) and then was suspended for the 2016 season for violating team rules. While away, he took a semester off of school (working as a security guard) and changed his last name from White to Worthington, his mother’s maiden name. He was allowed to return in 2017 and made most of the opportunity by making a team-high 66 solo tackles (86 total, six for loss), intercepting three passes, and breaking up seven others. Worthington was an honorable mention All-Pac-12 selection as a senior (48 tackles, three for loss, one INT, six PBU) despite starting just nine games due to a concussion.

Overview … Versatile defensive back with the tools and traits for catch disruption as a future NFL starter. Worthington’s value to teams could depend on where they project him since he’s played all over the field. He has the size, athleticism and ball skills to handle a variety of man-cover targets from the slot or as a deep safety. He could use more toughness as a run defender and some evaluators have a red flag on him for character concerns. He could be a Day 3 selection with an ability to over-play his draft slotting.

Draft projection … Rounds 5-6.

From Draft Analyst.com

Positives … Tough, instinctive safety with a well-rounded game. Quickly picks up assignments, works well with cornerbacks and displays solid range. Fluidly changes direction, has a burst to every area of the field and goes sideline to sideline to make plays. Has a burst to the ball out of his plant, takes proper angles to the action and wraps up tackling. Keeps the action in front of him well and stays with assignments.

Negatives … Lacks long speed and cannot recover. Not forceful on the blitz. Often gets tall in his tackling. Was suspended for the 2016 season for a violation of team rules.

Analysis … Worthington is a hard-working defender at safety with a complete game. He has speed limitations but offers possibilities as a traditional strong safety or in a zone system.

Draft projection … Round 6

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

If Evan Worthington is selected in the 2019 NFL Draft, he will become the 49th Colorado defensive back to be taken. The Buffs are right up there with the blue-bloods of college football when it comes to defensive backs selected.

Below is a list of the schools (source: DraftHistory.com) 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):

60- Ohio State

57- USC

51- Notre Dame

49- Nebraska, Oklahoma

48- Colorado, Texas

46- Miami

44- Florida State

Colorado at No. 23 on the all-time list of NFL draftees

CU lost a place on the all-time list this past year, with only one selection (Isaiah Oliver being taken by Atlanta in the second round).

Colorado has had 271 players drafted into the NFL, with only one or two to be added to the list in 2019. Auburn, which had four players drafted last year, jumped the Buffs into the No. 22 position. Florida State and Arkansas are right behind Colorado, at 268, and may pass the Buffs this year.

No. 20 – Purdue … 280

No. 21 – Wisconsin … 278

No. 22 – Auburn … 273

No. 23 – Colorado … 271

No. 24t – Florida State … 268

No. 24t – Arkansas … 268

No. 26 – Minnesota … 265

No. 27 – Stanford … 260

NFL First Round history for the Pac-12 … 

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

Last spring, CU dropped out of the Top 25 in all-time No. 1 picks. The Buffs were tied with Washington and Arizona for 24th position, but the Huskies moved up into a tie for 23rd with the selection of Vita Vea by Tampa Bay in the first round of the 2018 draft.

Washington State broke a long 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 – Source: Winsipedia):

… Updated to include 2019 NFL Draft … 

No. 1 – USC – 81 … Most recent: 2018 – Sam Darnold, QB, 3rd pick, New York Jets

No. 14t – UCLA – 36 … Most recent: 2018 – Josh Rosen, QB, 10th pick, Arizona; Kolton Miller, OT, Oakland

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

No. 23t – Washington – 26 … Most recent: 2019 – Kaleb McGary, OT, 31st pick, Atlanta Falcons

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

No. 27t – Arizona State – 25 … Most recent: 2019 – N’Keal Harry, WR, 32nd pick, New England

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

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

No. 47t – Washington State – 14 … Most recent: 2019 – Andre Dillard, OL, 22nd pick, Philadelphia

No. 55 – Arizona – 10 … Most recent: 2008 – Antoine Cason, CB, 27th pick, San Diego

No. 60t – 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)

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One Reply to “CU at the NFL Draft”

  1. Can’t believe that Worthington wasn’t drafted. He was a difference maker on defense, and his absence was a decent part of the epic losing streak to finish the season

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