The number of NFL prospects on a team isn't necessarily an indicator of success—Bronco fans know this well...but, we all want to see our boys realize their NFL dreams and a few on the current roster have a good shot of doing just that. A few days ago, I posed this question to the OBNUG brain trust: Who is currently the best NFL prospect on the Boise State roster? Turns out, we have all been watching the same games.
I'd have to go with Kamalei Correa as the best NFL prospect. The magic of #8 hasn't disappointed and could, unfortunately, end with another early departure after this year. (Speaking of #8 can we retire THAT number? Seems to give me a lot of grief and sadness.)
I'm not sure what type of hype, or monster year, he needs to have to warrant leaving early, but i do hope he gets there (minus the leaving thing).
As a second candidate, i would say Deayon also ends up on a roster after next year. Most likely UDFA.
I agree with Damien on Correa. He had a lot of chatter floating around about him at the end of the season. Two other people I think could jump on rosters early are Marcus Henry and Darian Thompson. While Thompson hasn't necessarily been a MW standout with a lot of talk going on about him, his name is always mentioned. He lead the MW in INTs last season and was consistently dominant. Henry is a top candidate as well. Early All-Conference honors are always worth noting, and aside from early career snapping bungles, Henry has been a stalwart at center. Skill positions are constantly in the limelight, but the lineman make those skill players look good. Odhiambo would be on this list were he more seasoned, but a team might jump on his natural talent. I can see Deayon getting a look, but I think his size will be what hurts him.
Well, then here's my 2 cents: Horse sweat and leather. Oh wait... cents, not scents!
In that case I'd have to go with Correa or Deayon also (band-wagoner much?). I was going to pick the man, the myth, the human wall Mario Yakoo, but I just read he's a redshirt junior and so we'll have him for another year (high five myself!) The NFL is always looking for big dudes (6'4", 327lbs.) to open holes, and Yakoo cuts a big hole. I expect him to bulldoze a path right over Utah State's entire defense this year and next, then he'd be ripe for the pickin'. But until then, there's a swing in the NFL toward defense, especially after Seattle's D shut down Denver's "#1 offense in the country" in the Superbowl 2 years ago. They want players who know how to break through lines and shut down receivers. We have those in Correa and Deayon. So... after this stream-of-consciousness rambling, I think Correa gets picked up first, then the year after, NFL teams need people to stop them. Yakoo time!
Good news, everyone!
You ALL passed the test. The correct answer was Kamalei Correa (and I'll give partial credit for Donte Deayon). Correa, in my opinion (and others, apparently), could be regarded as an "elite" prospect (that's top 3 rounds of the NFL Draft) with just one
more stellar season. Correa, at times, was unblockable a year ago and showed that he's already rounded into form this Spring. I hope beyond hope that Correa will stick around for 2 more seasons and not go the DeMarcus Lawrence route...but who am I kidding? Correa's every bit the NFL prospect that Lawrence was and I think might end up being even better. Deayon is a bit of a dark horse based on his size, but I think there's a lot to like about the kid's game—he's anorexic by NFL standards, but is a true ballhawk and could be valuable down the line if he starts downing some protein shakes. Two other guys I think will become attractive to scouts with another solid year would be Marcus Henry
and Tanner Vallejo
. Henry has a ton of versatility and smarts (not to mention brawn) and Vallejo is just a tackling machine. It's been a long while since Boise State had a linebacker make it to the league as anything other than a fullback and I'd like to see that change. Joe Martarano has the most NFL ready frame of the current LB crop, but Vallejo is the best player at this point, so I'm hoping he can get a shot when all is said and done.