How Will BYU Get More Players Selected In NFL Draft? Place More Players Into NFL Combine
BYU needs to place more guys into the NFL Combine in order to see their Draft numbers go up.
The numbers don’t lie
The NFL Draft concluded over the weekend and once again for the ninth consecutive draft, BYU didn’t have multiple selections within the seven-round, 256-pick three-day marathon.
While the coverage of the Draft continues to grow, BYU’s numbers in the Draft continue to stay relatively low. The Cougars haven’t had multiple players selected in a draft since 2009 and they haven’t had two players selected in the top 100 in the same class since 2002.
This leads to many BYU fans asking, how can the Cougars get more players selected in the draft?
Honestly, the answer is still pretty easy.
Get more players to Indianapolis for the NFL Combine.
Of the 256 players selected in the 2018 Draft, 222 of them went to the NFL Combine in Indianapolis this past February. Fred Warner was one of the 222 who was in attendance, and like his draft status was the only participant in the Combine representing BYU.
The highest player selected in the Draft who didn’t participate in the Combine was defensive tackle P.J. Hall from Sam Houston State. Hall was selected in the second round to the Oakland Raiders. Hall graded out as the third-highest SPARQ score among all defensive line prospects in the draft.
The next highest player selected in the Draft who wasn’t in Indianapolis was Patriots fifth rounder Ja’Whaun Bentley from Purdue.
The other 32 draftees who didn’t participate in the Combine were sixth or seventh round fliers for teams.
Last time BYU had a player drafted who wasn’t at the Combine was defensive lineman Shaun Nua who was a seventh-round selection to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2005.
Even the players who went to the Combine from BYU that didn’t end up getting drafted have had higher odds of sticking in the league. Harvey Langi signed the most valuable undrafted free agent contract with the New England Patriots. Daniel Sorensen, who set records in the three-cone drill with a time of 6.47 has become a fixture on Kansas City’s defense in recent seasons and he signed a four-year contract extension last March worth $16 million.
For BYU’s NFL Draft and NFL numbers as a whole to increase, they need to get guys to the NFL Combine each February. That is going to be the biggest indicator of who can have a chance of sticking in the league.
It helps that BYU has made combine testing an important piece to their off-season testing. Every June, the program has their own Combine testing with 40’s, vertical jumps, broad jump’s, bench press, etc.
Here’s the breakdown by conference of players who weren’t at the Combine that ended up getting drafted in the 2018 NFL Draft.
AAC – 5
ACC – 2
Big Ten – 2
Big XII – 3
C-USA – 4
MAC – 2
MWC – 2
Pac-12 – 0
SEC – 6
Sun Belt – 1
Independents – 0
FCS/DII/DIII – 7