With the NFL Draft just 1 Week away we here at Sports Haven hope to bring you the most and best NFL Draft coverage leading up to my personal favorite date on the NFL Calendar. To kick things off I would like to talk about one of the top things on my mind in the years draft…. Where will this years Hokie draft class end up?? Overall there are 9 different players leaving Blacksburg for a shot in the pros. The class is led by RB Ryan Williams, CB Rashad Carmichael and QB Tyrod Taylor. All three of these players are projected to be selected by the end of the 2nd day (Rounds 1-3). Today I will breakdown and give a little Bio on these 3 Hokie stars and name some of the other players who are NFL bound. We will start from the top..
RB Ryan Williams (5’9 212 lbs): Going back to his days in Manassas,VA Ryan Williams has always been a playmaker. Whether its carrying the ball or going out for a pass there is no shortage in talent, strength , power and speed. Ryan impressed many at the combine with 19 reps of 225 lbs on the bench press and a 4.6 second 40-Yard Dash time. But where Williams has made his biggest impression is on the field. As a Redshirt Freshman in 2009 he rushed for over 1,600 yards and scored 22 TD’s earning ACC Rookie of the year honors. However 2010 would be a much different year for the speedster Williams. In the 3rd game of the season against the East Carolina Pirates Williams destroyed his Hamstring and missed the next 3 games that followed. In the end Williams rushed for only 477 yards and scored 10 times overall. But even though his 2010 was cut short Williams looked fine after the injury, partially because he was only on the field once every 3 carries (splitting time with Evans and Wilson)
In the end I see Williams going in the early part of the 2nd round to a team like the Giants or Redskins who both are in need for a young, speedy and powerful back to build their teams around.
2. QB Tyrod Taylor (6’0 198 lbs): Since 2007 Tyrod Taylor has been a fan favorite at Va. Tech. From his electrifying “3rd and 31” conversion against FSU to his game winning toss-up to beat the Nebraska Cornhuskers in 2009 Taylor has always been cool, calm and collective when put in pressure situations. Over his Hokie career Taylor finished with a 38 – 9 record as a starter, a career milestone for a Hokies QB. What makes Taylor so great is his ability to extend plays that could be losses into big chunks of yardage. This can be seen in his numbers all time: 7,017 yards passing with 44 TD ‘s and 2,187 yards rushing with 23 rushing TD ‘s over his 4 year career at Tech. The big problem or “complaint ” with Tyrod is his height compared to the other QB’s in this years class. Standing at a small 6’0 feet tall only two other QB’s have had major success in the NFL. One of those two obviously is Mike Vick, another Hokie grad. The other is Saints QB Drew Brees but I wanna focus on Vick. It is because of Vick that Taylor may get a shot to play behind center in the NFL.
My prediction for “T-Mobile” is that he will get his shot to play as a QB in the pros. Despite criticism form scouts and all the suggestions to move to a slot back or wide-out, Tyrod is a proven winner and has always played the QB position and will go along with it for as long as he possibly can. He will go in the late 3rd to early 4th rounds to a team looking for an exciting explosion of talent and speed at either QB , WR or even HB.
3. CB Rashad”Roc” Carmichael (5’11 186 lbs): Probably the most underrated player coming into the draft out of Virginia Tech, Rashad “Roc” Carmichael quietly put together a solid 4 year career as a Hokie. Racking up 114 tackles and picking off 10 passes over 4 seasons. Where Roc’s presence was felt most was in the locker room. Like Tyrod Taylor, Carmichael was a very vocal leader from day 1 with the Hokies and was a playmaker on some pretty emotional plays that changed the course of some key games for the Hokies. The most recent was in the Thursday Night ESPN broadcast against Georgia Tech in Blacksburg. After David Wilson returned a kick off for a TD the Yellow Jackets were driving down field and had one final chance to win rowdy Blacksburg. This opportunity was crushed when Roc picked off a fade route with under a minute remaining, locking up the win for Va. Tech. As for his draft prospects Roc at 5’11 will likely move to safety in the pros and become a hard hitter and playmaker on special teams.
My prediction for Roc is that he will be selected in the middle of the 3rd round by a team that will be looking to add depth to its defensive backfield. If given the chance Carmichael will prove to his team and coaches that he can and will compete for the job and for a spot in the top two spots on the depth chart. But I think the picking of Roc Carmichael will be more for his intangibles and leadership on the field than his production on the field.
RB Darren Evans(6’0 227 lbs) : 4-5 rounds
DE Steven Friday(6’4 250 lbs) : 4-5 rounds
DT John Graves (6’3 286 lbs) : 5-6 rounds
WR/TE Andre Smith(6’5 269 lbs): 5-6 rounds
S/CB Davon Morgan (6’0 195 lbs): 6-7 rounds