Wildcat Draft Prospects

As the Wildcats look to make further improvements on the football field they hope to make similar strides in developing players for the NFL. With the NFL combine coming soon, we take a look at how the pro chances of several former Wildcats are going.

Michael Johnson is likely to be the first Wildcat drafted. The strong safety may have missed some time due to injury, but is still being projected as a first day player. Right now he is rated as the fourth best strong safety by Scout.com and their 94th best prospect overall.

Syndric Steptoe has been tabbed as the 19th best wide receiver in this year's draft crop. He's projected as a 4th-5th round draft pick. His lack of height is a concern as is his propensity for small injuries, but teams like his hands, quickness and versatility. He'll need a strong Draft Combine to cement his status.

Nick Folk's versatility is the key. Well, that and his strong leg. Folk is tabbed as the third best place kicker in the draft but his ability to punt and kick off are also key. Right now he looks like a player who could get picked at the end of the draft, but all it takes is one team to tab Folk as the kicker they want and he could move up a few rounds.

Chris Henry is the wildcard. Right now Scout.com has him as the 28th best running back in the draft, but that is likely to change with a good performance in the combine. With his impressive physical skills, he should be tailor made for the event in Indianapolis. With his mix of speed, power and good hands he should be able to turn some heads. Henry is slated to be drafted at the tail end of the draft but he could move up quite a bit with a good combine performance and having the right team like his raw ability and potential.

Brad Wood was a non-factor his senior year. He never properly recovered from a knee injury suffered in the season finale of the 2005 season and saw limited time. Wood is projected as not being drafted, but looks like a player who should receive a free agent offer to be in someone's training camp. He was not invited to the combine and will have to impress teams in private workouts.

Wood's size and blocking ability are issues, as are his surgically repaired knees. What pro teams will love is his hands, quickness and route running ability.

Marcus Smith is another player who is tabbed as a player who should get a free agent offer. Smith also has some position versatility, which could aid his quest to play in the NFL. Smith played both DT and DE and could play either at the next level. He'd be a big end or a smaller DT, but many said before the season that he might be best suited to add some more size and play DT in the NFL.

One knock on Smith is his intensity. Some feel he lacks the mean streak needed. The fact that he is kind of a 'tweener' on the line is also an issue.

As of now none of the other Wildcat seniors are seen as potential pro players but they will get a chance to compete in the Wildcats' pro timing day. Of those, Marcus Hollingsworth and Adam Hawes seem to have the best shot at impressing pro scouts, but they seem like long shots.

Last year Wildcat OL Kili Lefotu was the only Arizona player drafted. He was not invited to the combine, but did enough in individual workouts to get selected by the Redskins late in the draft.

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