Washington Just Wants A Shot

Several former Colorado football players, including linebacker Thaddaeus Washington, are hoping their phones ring this weekend when the NFL Draft takes place Saturday and Sunday. Not all, though, will be tuning in to the coverage on television.

It's no secret kicker Mason Crosby is expected to be the first Buffalo taken this weekend. Most draft prognosticators have Crosby as the first placekicker to go in the draft, and a likely third-round pick. (The first three rounds are conducted on Saturday, the final four rounds on Saturday).

At least four other Buffs could be drafted, while several others will likely get a shot through free agency. Along with Crosby, defensive end/linebacker prospect Abraham Wright and center Mark Fenton were invited to the NFL Combine in Indianapolis in February. Guard Brian Daniels and linebacker Thaddaeus Washington could also find their way into the late rounds of the draft.

The 5-10 ½, 250-pound Washington was hampered by an undisclosed injury in mid-March when pro scouts gathered at CU for the program's annual Pro Timing Day. Washington was measured and performed the bench press that day, but didn't do any running or jumping.

He was healthy enough to go through an individual workout in Boulder for the San Francisco 49ers in early April, which Washington said "went pretty well." Washington said his agent, Brian Levy, has told him as many as six teams have shown interest in the hard-hitting inside linebacker who had 312 tackles over the past three seasons.

But, Washington said, "You won't find out until Draft Day what's really going to happen."

Washington's back at home in New Orleans. He said he doesn't plan to watch the draft on television.

"I'm just going to have a regular day – go and workout," he said. "I'm not going to sit in front of the TV just waiting for a call."

He said what he's most looking forward to is an opportunity to play for an NFL team, whether that's as a draft choice or a free agent.

"I'm looking forward to being able to go in and learn a defense and how a team wants things done. Just be able to start playing football again," he said.

If Wright is drafted, it's likely to be on Day 2 of the draft. But the player who led the Buffs with 11.5 sacks last season won't be watching the draft on TV either. Wright is back at his mother's home in Oklahoma City these days. He said his mother doesn't have cable television, and wanted to order it in time for the draft until Wright persuaded her not to. Besides, Wright plans to be doing a little preaching on Sunday, the day he could get drafted. Wright is scheduled to speak to a high school group at his church Sunday, and said he will spend much of Saturday preparing for the talk.

Not that he won't be thinking of the draft – he said he'll have his cell phone with him, programmed on "vibrate."

Wright played linebacker in high school, but primarily defensive end at Colorado. He weighed in at 234 pounds on Pro Timing Day at CU in March, several pounds lighter than he played last fall.

It's still up in the air whether Wright will get a look at linebacker or defensive end in the NFL. Wright said teams that run a 3-4 defense (where he'd likely play linebacker) and teams that run a 4-3 (where he'd get a look at either end or outside linebacker) have shown interest. He's communicated directly with two teams this week, he said, and both were interested in him at either position.

CU Players With Agents
J.J. Billingsley
Billingsley always displayed great instincts on the field as a Buffalo. He'll likely get an opportunity to showcase those as a free agent.

Walter Boye-Doe
For some reason, Boye-Doe did not participate in Pro Timing Day at CU, but he's still secured an agent.

Mason Crosby
The big-legged kicker should be the first Buffalo taken, and most draft projections have Crosby going on the first day, in Round 3.

Brian Daniels
Daniels didn't get an invite to Indy, but had a strong workout at Pro Timing Day, and the smart, hard-working grappler could be a second-day pick.

Mark Fenton
Fenton was bothered by minor hamstring/calf issues in Indy, and didn't participate fully. His calf flared up at Pro Timing Day in Boulder, as well, which didn't help his stock. However, Fenton's speed and hands are intriguing to NFL teams looking for a center to come in and compete. He could hear his name called on Sunday.

Mell Holliday
With only one season of Division I backup tailback duty under his belt, Holliday is a longshot to stick in the NFL, but he could get a free agent tryout.

Blake Mackey
Early career injuries slowed Mackey's development, then he failed to win the favor of the new coaches in Boulder last year. The injuries took a toll on Mackey's speed, but he still could get a look as a free agent.

Lorenzo Sims
A tad slow to play corner at the next level, Sims may get a free agent invite to compete at safety.

Terry Washington
Scouts were intrigued by Washington's speed at Pro Timing Day, and had the college cornerback run receiver routes along with Mackey. May get the opportunity to stick with an NFL team via free agency as a special teams guy.

Thaddaeus Washington
An undisclosed injury kept Washington from working out fully at Pro Timing Day back in March. However, his physical play on film the past two seasons should get him a shot in the NFL as either a free agent, or possibly even a late-round pick.

Abraham Wright
Wright's productive senior season did not go unnoticed by NFL teams, and it earned him a trip to the NFL Combine. A defensive end at CU, he'll get his shot to stick with a team at either outside linebacker or defensive end.