Mike Loyko of NEPatriotsDraft.com chatted with us to preview how a few former BC Eagles might do in the upcoming NFL Draft. You can also follow Mike on Twitter at @NEPD_Loyko
Hoffses: Justin Simmons obviously had a really strong Pro Day. How much do you think he bolstered his draft stock? Is he a Day 2 pick now?
Loyo: There’s no doubt his test numbers at the combine will help his draft status. Simmons’ posted Top 10 times in the 3-Cone, short shuttle, and the 60-yard shuttle over the last decade. What his workout showed is that he has an elite blend of size and quickness for the Safety position. Simmons scheme and to some extent positional versatility is what makes him so attractive to NFL scouts. In a year where the Safety class is considered "average at best" Simmons’ size, special teams capability, and versatility were already highly attractive traits to the NFL. His testing numbers and confirmed athleticism will further separate him from other Day 2 and Day 3 defensive backs in this draft class.
Hoffses: You mentioned on Twitter that there are some flaws in Simmons’ game. What specifically does he need to work on? What aspects of his game are already strong?
Loyko: Simmons is still very thin. He needs to continue to add muscle and bulk to his frame and ideally weigh-in somewhere a little closer to 210 in my opinion. While his agility results can be considered elite, his straight-line speed is very much average. That type of thing will show up in recovery and closing angles in the NFL. Due to his height Simmons struggles some to flip his hips to transition his coverage and is a step slow at times when turning to run vertically. He also has issues staying low in his back-peddle, which hurt his technique and is one of the reasons he probably can’t play cornerback at the next level. Despite his elite testing scores, Simmons struggled to mirror quicker WR routes and had issues maintaining tight man coverage in college.
Hoffses: Steven Daniels had a pretty poor performance on the bench at the combine. Considering that he is a "Thumper" how much does this hurt his draft stock?
Loyko: Honestly, Daniels’ performance probably met expectations in the minds of NFL personnel men. The bench press number is a bit surprising, but I was concerned he might run even slower than he did. The fact he ran in the 4.80s probably won’t hurt him too much considering he’s strictly a 2-down, "downhill" run thumper, who will come off the field on passing downs. Daniels’ 40-time looks even better when compared to other "in the box" middle LB like Kentrell Brothers and Tyler Matakevich with whom Daniels is competing this year.
Hoffses: Can you talk about how NFL scouts thought that Mehdi Abdesmad and Connor Wujciak performed at the combine?
Loyko: Connor Wujciak had the best overall combine of the Boston College prospects. In fact, it can be argued that he had the best combine performance of any defensive line prospect in Indianapolis (and this is a very, very good class). Wujciak tested extremely well in every combine drill he participated in. After all the data was collected and analyzed it was determined Wujciak was SPARQ athlete among the defensive linemen.
Wujciak definitely generated some buzz around himself and he was able to distinguish himself in a very talented group. Wujciak left Indianapolis with an improved draft stock.
On the other hand Abdesmad had a very average workout and did nothing to help or hurt himself.
Hoffses: Which round you see the four guys above going in the draft?
Loyko: Simmons: Could break into the top 100 picks. The 3rd or 4th round appears most likely as of now, but things can change quickly.
Wujciak: Should definitely get drafted now and I’ve put a 5th round grade on him. Wujciak’s draft range is likely anywhere between the 5th – 7th rounds.
Daniels: Late Day 3 selection – UDFA (his measureables and lack of agility will make it a little tougher for an NFL team to pick him)
Abdesmad: He seems to have some fans around the league, so he could go in the 7th Round and if he doesn’t get drafted he’ll have a lot of options as a UDFA.
Hoffses: You specialize in Patriots draft evaluation. Do any of the four players above stand out as a "Patriots-type" of player.
Loyko: Connor Wujciak seems like the best fit out of this group. Daniels’ size/speed numbers don’t fit New England’s draft profile at the position. From a special teams perspective Justin Simmons does have many Patriots qualities and his versatility will probably pique their interest.
Hoffses: Which of the four players has the most to prove at BC Pro Day in March and why?
Loyko: I don’t think any of this group has much more to prove. Abdesmad and Daniels can improve their agility testing, but overall that won’t change too much. Justin Simmons could run the 40 again and try to break the 4.59 mark, which would further help his draft stock.
Hoffses: Are there any graduating BC players who weren’t invited to the combine that you see as having legitimate chances to be drafted or even being a training camp invitee and catching on a practice squad?
Loyko: It’s possible one of the Senior OL get a shot in camp, but it’s a long shot they stick in the NFL. After these four players it’s a poor group.
Eric Hoffses is a contributor for BCI. Follow him on Twitter at @EAHoffses
Eric can also be reached at EricHoffses@Gmail.com