Western Michigan's corner Donald Celiscar - initially recruited as a wide receiver - has developed into one of the best corners in the MAC. In fact, he was named to the the first-team 2014 All-MAC squad. Celiscar has been successful at stopping both the run and the pass throughout his career in Kalamazoo. So where will he land in the next stage of his career?
Let's take a look at these career stats. 179 tackles is pretty impressive for his position. Celiscar clearly will not shy away from making contact. That makes me wonder if a NFL team would take him on as some type of nickle-corner to blow-up wide receiver blocking schemes and blitz the outside edge. A niche position like that would seem to be be perfect for Donald. It's also possible that an NFL team would transition him into a strong-saftey/corner combination position, allowing him to patrol the flats and make quick some plays.
That isn't to say that he still wouldn't be very useful in more conventional pass defense. Celiscar defended 21 passes this past season - good enough for first in the country. And what really stands out to me is the ratio of pass breakups to passes defended over his career (45 to 51). Opposing quarterbacks have not had a lot of success against Donald and it wasn't for lack of trying.
Celiscar might be able to separate himself from the pack on a team with his returning ability too. In the 2012 and 2013 seasons, Donald returned kickoffs for the Broncos very consistently, and he might be able to do so for an NFL team as well.
In any case, whoever Celiscar does sign with will be able to use him on special teams until he can develop his defensive skills more fully for the pro game.
According to CBS's draft prospect rankings, Donald is the 42nd best corner available and the 393rd prospect overall. Keeping his draft stock down is probably a slight size disadvantage and a perceived lack of experience against more athletic players because of time spent in the MAC. While the MAC doesn't always have the same volume of athleticism seen in other conferences, there is going to be a learning curve entering the NFL regardless, and we've obviously seen other Western defensive backs with plenty of success in the pros. Just take a look at E.J. Biggers and Louis Delmas.
In all likelihood, Celiscar probably ends up signing as an undrafted free agent somewhere and he'll have a chance to prove himself throughout spring training. Then again, one who talks about the draft has any idea what they're talking about, and Donald might find himself as a late draft pick-up.
Western fans are really going to miss Celiscar donning the number 34 at Waldo. The dude has just been a complete stud and undoubtedly has helped the Broncos turn it around in the 2014 campaign that has been a great basis for future program success. I'll probably remember his time at Western most of all for twice in his career providing the defense that finished off victories against Central. In his sophomore year, he broke up a 4th-and-10 Ryan Radcliff pass that ended a 32-20 win and just this past season he picked off Cooper Rush that polished off Western's 32-20 win.