All three are expected to be second day selections, somewhere in rounds 4-7, but each hopes to prove their doubters wrong and go far earlier than most projections list them. Charles Gordon hopes his versatility as a defensive back, return man and receiver will overshadow his lack of size (5-10) and speed (4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash). Charlton Keith has already tried to bulk up for the NFL by adding 15 pounds, but is probably still most likely to play linebacker at the next level as opposed to defensive end. Nick Reid is just hoping to get a chance to prove himself amongst other NFL hopefuls. After not being invited to the combine, Reid is anxious to get his chance as a late round pick or possible priority free agent after the draft and then promptly show the NFL why the Big 12 coaches considered him the conference’s best defensive player in 2005.
So, what’s being said about these three ‘Hawks heading into draft day? Phog.net caught up with their respective agents to see what the men representing these former KU standouts are saying about their clients.
Charles Gordon’s agent, Kenny Zuckerman
On Gordon’s best attributes:
"The thing that teams really like about Charles Gordon is his versatility, (and) his big play making ability. He's a smart player who has got great feet, hips, athleticism and great hands.”
On Gordon’s versatility:
“He can be a multi-dimensional player. First as a cornerback – either as a starter, nickle or a dime. Then he has the ability to be a #4 type of receiver and a return guy. Charles is in sort of a unique class. He's not just a guy that's a track guy trying to play football. He's a football player playing football, but because he's not 6-feet (tall) and runs a 4.3 (40-yard dash) that'll bring him down in the draft a little bit. But teams do love the versatility and I think that's what will make him a middle round pick."
On which teams are showing the most interest:
"I would say teams like the Patriots, Ravens and Dolphins – teams like that have shown a lot of interest and seem to be looking for someone with his versatility."
Charlton Keith’s agent, Steve Kauffman
On Keith’s best attributes:
“He has unique pass rushing skills and has the athletic ability of a linebacker. He fits all the measurables of a linebacker very well. One key thing about Charlton – which, thank God, the scouts recognize – is his game speed is much faster than his timed speed. Some guys just have a motor. I represent Brian Urlacher and that's an example. As fast as that guy is timed – 4.54 or whatever – he’s faster than that in the field. He's caught Michael Vick from behind twice. I'm not saying (Charlton) is Brian Urlacher – but he's that kind of player. He's a big play player.”
On which NFL team is showing the most interest:
“There are about 6-8 teams that I think could draft him. His hometown team, the Cleveland Browns, have showed unbelievable interest from the very beginning, and that's where he's from, remember. They've still kept in touch, more so than any other team. There have been other teams like the Jets and the Falcons, etc. I tell guys a lot of times, 'You might get drafted by a team that you've never said hello to or goodbye'. No interviews. Nothing. It's just too unpredictable.”
Nick Reid’s agent, Joe Linta
On Reid’s draft stock heading into the weekend:
"There's a lot of mixed opinions on Nick. We have grades as high as 5th and 6th round on him and then other grades are sort of after-the-draft type of grades. You could actually have 32 teams have a 6th round grade on you and you still don't get drafted. That's kind of the way the Rubik’s Cube works of this draft. For me to sit here and say, 'I know he's going to get drafted' would be a mis-statement.
He's a draftable guy that potentially might not be drafted, but would be signed, I would suspect, within 30 minutes after the draft, worst case. We've both had a bunch of phone calls this week of people calling in to see where he's going to be on Sunday and what not.”
On which teams have shown significant interest:
"The Dolphins, the Chiefs, the Bears, the Browns have some interest. Those are teams that have called in or have talked to me."
While there’s always a chance Gordon, Keith and/or Reid could slip into the first day of the draft, the safe bet is to expect to hear their names called on Sunday. KU’s all-time receptions leader, Mark Simmons, is also hoping to be drafted and shouldn’t be counted out either. Regardless of where they go or how highly they’re drafted, these former Jayhawks should give Kansas good representation on draft weekend and will certainly be missed in Lawrence next fall.