Handicapping Coug hopefuls in 2013 NFL Draft

TRAVIS LONG

A QUICK PERUSAL of the NFL Draft gurus and internet sites name four Cougars who hold the most end-of-December cache. We asked our resident NFL expert to handicap their draft order and more…

The draft takes place April 25-27 and there's a lot that can happen between now and then. And there will certainly be a large number of Cougars working at WSU's Pro Day in March, trying to catch the eye of NFL scouts.

That said, internet draft gurus at years' end see a pair of Cougars being selected in the draft: Travis Long and Marquess Wilson.

If that holds true, it will be the first time since 2007 the Cougars have had multiple draft picks (Jason Hill – 3; Eric Frampton – 5).

In November, Long appeared ticketed to go early, as a second or third round selection. But his stock has taken a slight hit after he suffered a knee injury and missed the Apple Cup according to the draft sites. He is still, however, projected as a Round 3-4 pick.

Wilson, assuming he goes pro, is currently projected as a Round 6 selection.

The other two WSU names being mentioned most often around internet draft circles: Jeff Tuel and Andrei Lintz.

"It's hard to be objective in assessing Long's draft prospects after what he has meant to Cougar football," said CF.C Managing Editor Emeritus and NFL savant John Witter. "It's not certain at the moment how his late season knee-injury will influence his draft status, but he will hear his name called. My feelings on Long and the NFL are much the same as they were with Steve Gleason: just try stopping him from playing at the next level."

Tuel is rated by nfldraftscout.com as the No. 20 QB available. Last year, 11 quarterbacks were taken in the draft, a fair representation of the usual number taken each year over the last 10 years.

Lintz is a dark horse. Coming off a monster spring, he was projected to thrive in Mike Leach's offense in 2012. But he started only the first two games of the season and finished his senior season with a mere two catches in 11 games. The Cougars do not release injury information but that would seem a plausible reason, at least in part, as to why he all but disappeared this past season.

"No question, Lintz is a long shot for an NFL career, but he reminds me of Devin Frischknecht. No one expected Devin to make it to the League, but he did (although on Green Bay's IR roster). Lintz has the same athleticism and body type of Frischknecht--he's actually a couple inches taller-- and he has more speed. At the least, he would be worth a look by an NFL club as an undrafted free agent/project signing. He's also the kind of guy who could put up big pre-draft measurable, if he gets an invite from the Combine," said Witter.

Witter is bullish on Wilson's draft prospects, but not on Tuel's.

"Unfortunately, Tuel's injury-laden career will keep him from getting a serious look from the NFL," said Witter. "He's a tireless worker and I do think that will potentially get him an undrafted free agent deal -- but when it's all said and done, I don't think he'll stick.

"Wilson should end up on an NFL roster; the League is full of talented receivers with a history of questionable work ethics."

NOTABLE NOTES:
  • Among the other crimson NFL hopefuls: Wade Jacobson, Daniel Simmons, Gino Simone, Adam Coerper, Carl Winston. Jacobson, along with Tuel, accepted invitations to the second annual Casino Del Sol College All-Star Game on Jan. 11.

  • From 2003-2012, 14 Cougars have been selected in the NFL Draft. For the latest CF.C weekly edition of NFL Cougar Highlights, click here.
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