Which MAC players heard their name called over the past 3 days at the NFL Draft? (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
That's all I can say about how the draft ended. Personally, as a WMU fan/student, I was holding my breath hoping for Jordan White to hear his name called. There were MAC players selected before him, and it allowed me to congratulate them. But I would still be anxiously waiting. 10 picks to go, still he hadn't been called.
As a matter of fact, only 5 MAC athletes were drafted up to that point, with 3 of them coming from Temple. That's when somebody hit the MAC switch. 3 MAC players were drafted in the last 10 picks (253 in all), leaving us fans no time to actually enjoy each player's accomplishment.
Let's take a look at each draftee, and evaluate their chances of making their team's roster.
G - Miami (OH)
3rd Round - 13th pick
76th pick overall
Brooks was the first MAC player taken in the draft, and as geeves put it, should provide an instant impact at either guard position.
RB - Temple
3rd Round - 21st pick
84th pick overall
Geeves also hit on this, and we will include Temple because these players played their career in the MAC. Pierce should be the main back-up to Ray Rice, and should see a decent amount of carries.
TE/FB - Temple
4th Round - 16th pick
111th pick overall
Rodriguez was the first MAC player to go on Day 3, and goes to a decent place in Chicago. Chicago has no proven TE, so Rodriguez will be able to compete for a starting spot from the get-go. He will probably have to improve his blocking with the offense the Bears will be running if Matt Forte gets the pay-day he is due, but Evan should still see some open looks with all the WRs the Bears should be running on the field.
OLB - Temple
5th Round - 3rd pick
138th pick overall
And who better to guard Rodriguez than his former teammate Whitehead? The Lions came in and were able to snatch the 6'1" OLB as the only MAC defensive player drafted. Whitehead however won't have the same ease that his other MAC counterparts should have so far. The Lions also picked up the Lewis-es from Oklahoma with picks before and after Tahir, and have Justin Durant and Eugene Levy already in the organization.
Honestly, I'm not the biggest Lions fan, so I could be wrong about Durant and Levy. Still, they are already there, and Whitehead is coming in. Has to count for something
WR - Ohio
6th Round - 36th pick
206th pick overall
And the string of Temple players is over. Brazill joins the "new-look" Colts, and Andrew Luck as part of the "Lets Dump Everyone and Draft Our New Offense This Year" strategy by the Colts. As a Colts fan, I'm personally a little edgy about the lack of D players taken by the Colts, but Brazill brings the ability to be a decent WR to the Colts offense.
As for competition, Brazill should benefit from the purge. Austin Collie and Reggie Wayne are the only main receivers left from the Peyton Manning era. With incoming TEs Coby Fleener (Luck's Stanford teammate) and Dwayne Allen, it appears Brazill will have to compete with T.Y. Hilton and Donnie Avery for the 3rd WR position. Nevertheless, Brazill should see the field in a decent amount of time as a slot man.
WR - Western Michigan
7th Round - 37th pick
244th pick overall
New York Jets
And finally he was taken. So the first player taken from the MAC West was the nation's leading receiver, albeit with 2 previous knee injuries. That's probably what kept him from almost not hearing his name called. But it happened, and he's going to arguably the most crazy NFL team out there.
The Jets are going through some crazy QB problems if you haven't heard. White has a decent chance to be the slot receiver as draftee Steven Hill should be on the opposite side of the field as Santonio Holmes. Beyond those two, there is no name that really stands out on the Jets WR list. Add to that the lack of TE's outside of Dustin Keller, and White will have a chance to catch passes from Mark Sanch....I mean Tim Tebo.......I mean........uhhhhh........next.
K - Western Michigan
7th Round - 44th pick
251st pick overall
Surprised? Yeah, I am too honestly. Potter was a decent kicker, but never really had the range you'd expect from an NFL kicker. Last year alone he was 6-11 on kicks from 40+ yards. His career long is 45 yards. However, what he does bring is athleticism on kickoffs. The man had 36 tackles in his career, and drilled his PATs the last two years, making all 107 of them. I guess that is good enough for the Bills.
Potter's competition is really easy to size up. His counterpart is Rian Lindell, who was injured last November trying to trip up NYJ player Joe McKnight on a kick-off. Lindell is 35, and just signed a 4 year contract. If I were to guess, I'd say Potter will be on kick-off duty and will work on his distance and accuracy until Lindell either retires or is traded.
QB - Northern Illinois
7th Round - 46th pick
253rd pick overall
Say hello to Mr. Irrelevant 2012. Also say hello to a "QB Controversy" down in Indy. While not as big as the situation out in Washington with Cousins and RG3, this still made some noise as Luck was supposed to be "The Man".
Honestly, I think it's still Luck's position, and Harnish will make a nice back-up over Drew Stanton. T
here is still the chance the Colts bring in either Kellen Moore or Case Keenum to also play for the back-up, but that is the most any either of them appear to be, Luck's reserves.
Well that's it for the drafted players. Some notable players not listed include Eric Page (WR, Toledo), Adonis Thomas (RB, Toledo), Derek Dennis (G, Temple), Trevor Olson (OT, NIU), and Scott Wedige (C, NIU). However, there is hope for these players, as well as other MAC graduates.
Undrafted free-agents usually come in quickly to try to earn a spot on the roster, and have the luxury to pick the team they want sometimes. Here is the list that will be updated as UDFAs roll in of MAC players that signed with a team after the draft.
Derrick Dennis (OL, Temple) - Miami Dolphins
Anthony Parker (OT, WMU) - New York Jets
Ben Bojicic (OL, BGSU) - Cincinnati Bengals
Chris Anzevino (C, Kent State) - Baltimore Ravens
Ishmaa'ily Kitchen (DT, Kent State) - Baltimore Ravens
Adrian Robinson (DE, Temple) - Pittsburgh Steelers
Desmond Marrow (FS, Toledo) - Houston Texans
Drew Nowak (DT, WMU) - Jacksonville Jaguars
Wayne Tribue (OL, Temple) - Denver Broncos
Eric Page (WR, Toledo) - Denver Broncos
Adonis Thomas (RB, Toledo) - Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Bucs (as a tryout for both)
Rod Streater (WR, Temple) - Oakland Raiders
Jake Anderson (OT, Akron) - Chicago Bears
Marcus Rivers (WR, Buffalo) - Green Bay Packers
Kamar Jorden (WR, BGSU) - Minnesota Vikings
Danny Noble (TE, Toledo) - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mike VanDerMeulen (OL, Toledo) - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Morkeith Brown (DE, Temple) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sean Baker (S, Ball State) - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Patrick Schiller (LB, NIU) - Atlanta Falcons
Phillipkeith Manley (OL, Toledo) - Atlanta Falcons
Stephen Johnson (LB, Temple) - New Orleans Saints
Chris Givins (WR, Miami) - New Orleans Saints
Scott Wedige (OL, NIU) - Arizona Cardinals
Nathan Palmer (WR, NIU) - San Francisco 49ers
Noah Keller (LB, Ohio) - St. Louis Rams
Phil Bates (WR, Ohio) - Seattle Seahawks
Rocky Weaver (OL, CMU) - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sam Kirkland (WR, Kent State) - Washington Redskins
Jacquise Terry (RB, Kent State) - Detroit Lions
Paul Hershey (P, Ohio) - Kansas City Chiefs
Cameron Bell (FB, NIU) - San Francisco 49ers
Pat Boyle (OL, Temple) - Detroit Lions