The Dye-Gest: NFL Draft Questions

College Football Hall of Fame coach Pat Dye writes about Greg Robinson, Dee Ford, Shon Coleman and this year's National Football League Draft.

You don't have to look very hard to find talk about football pretty much year-around and one of the reasons for that is all of the discussion of the NFL Draft. This year's event, which starts on Thursday, has created plenty of interest around the country and it certainly has the attention of Auburn fans.

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I am excited to see where Greg Robinson is taken. I don't think he will be the first player selected in the first round, but I don't think we will have to wait long on Thursday night to hear his name called.

Another Auburn player, Dee Ford, also has a chance to be taken in the first round or early in the second round. I doubt that there are any players out there who play football with more intensity and passion than Dee does. The only question about him is staying healthy. When is healthy he is a force on the field.

The other Auburn Tiger who is sure to be drafted is Tre Mason. I am curious to see where he is picked on the list of running backs selected even more so than what round. Carlos Hyde, the big running back from Ohio State, and maybe another big back will be taken before Tre, but I guarantee Tre will be an impact player wherever he goes in the NFL.

Tre Mason

There is a lot of speculation about who is going No. 1 and there is a lot of speculation about where two SEC stars are going to be taken--quarterback Johnny Manziel from Texas A&M and defensive end JaDaveon Clowney from South Carolina. Both are great talents, but each has a little bit of a cloud hanging over them in regard to being selected by NFL?teams, which has added to the intrigue.

It is interesting how much scrutiny these high draft choices are under leading up to the draft. I think back to when I was coaching and Bo Jackson was the No. 1 pick and Aundray Bruce was the No. 1 pick. In both cases neither the owners of the teams that drafted them, nor the general managers nor the head coach picked up the phone to call me to check on those players. They just saw what type of football players they were and decided to draft them from that.

Today the process is very different with a lot more research going into making their picks. That certainly makes sense, but one thing I know is that when all the smoke clears there will be a bunch of third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh round draft picks who become successful NFL players and there will be guys drafted ahead of them that don't work out.

There will also be players who sign as free agents who go on to long and successful NFL careers because pro teams make mistakes on who should be drafted and shouldn't be drafted, especially since it can be tough to know for sure how much desire a particular guy has deep inside to want to be a success at the next level.

One part of the draft that I am looking forward to seeing is when Shon Coleman is called on to announce one of the first round draft picks as the NFL recognizes the work being done by St. Jude Children's Hospital in Memphis where the Auburn offensive lineman was successfully treated for cancer.

Shon's recovery is a wonderful story. The important thing is that he is healthy again and it is great that he has already earned his Auburn degree. Anything he does on the field is a bonus and I have a feeling he is going to be a very good player for the Tigers this year.

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