Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Quick Post: '12 NFL Draft Preview

If ESPN's media juggernaut hasn't hammered it into your brain yet, let me remind you that the 1st round of the NFL draft is tonight.  Spaced over three days, the draft now dominates the late spring sports calendar, allowing the NFL to spread its money-printing tentacles well past the completed season's expiration date. 

It's fascinating to me how the draft has grown from a televised mass teleconference, to an entity unto itself.  Just think, there are people out there who care more about what goes on tonight (names being read over sparkly highlight packages) than the very entertaining NHL playoffs (Caps over Bruins!).  Champions are being ousted, and people will drop everything to watch a glorified press conference.  *sigh*


Unlike last year, I don't even have the prospect of multiple Buffs being selected to hold my attention.  In fact, there is a slight chance the draft will pass by without selecting a single Buffalo.  Of all the 28 seniors, the largest graduating class in program history, only big Ryan Miller is considered a solid draft possibility.  I guess if only one Buff is going to be drafted, it might as well be him.  Ryan Miller is a Buff's Buff.  Through some of the darkest days in program history, the big man gave his all for the Black and Gold. 
Some team (maybe the Broncos?) will get a solid guard with their late-round pick of Miller.
The Colorado native definitely has NFL size and talent, but his stock is held back by the position he plays.  Offensive guards are considered an interchangeable group, with very few early round picks typically spent on OG's.  The simple truth is that if Ryan was a LT, he'd probably be selected on the first two days.  As it is, Buff Nation will have to spend a fitful Saturday afternoon, hoping to see his name scroll across the screen.

Other high profile members of the '11 senior class, like Speedy Stewart and Tyler Hansen, will probably end up as un-drafted free agents.  Still with a shot at an NFL roster, but outside of the draft's spotlight. 

For his sake, Coach Embree believes upwards of seven or eight Buffs will end up in NFL training camps this fall.  I hope he's right, because I thought there was more talent on the team than the resulting 3-10 record would have you believe. Many of those kids deserve a solid look from pro scouts.

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