Louisville football: NFL Draft notebook

The NFL Draft begins a three-day run on Thursday night with plenty of former University of Louisville football players hoping to get their name called. Here's a notebook of items related to the Draft and the U of L program.

A RECORD NUMBER?

The record for University of Louisville players selected in one NFL Draft came in 2005 when six former Cardinals heard their name called.

But that record should fall this weekend.

With the NFL Draft starting on Thursday night there are as many as 10 former U of L players that could get picked in one of the seven rounds.

"It's exciting for us," U of L coach Bobby Petrino said during spring practice about the potential of double-digit draft picks. "It's great for the program."

DeVante Parker is projected in the first round, while Lorenzo Mauldin and John Miller have been projected anywhere from second to fourth. Charles Gaines, Gerod Holliman and James Sample will be picked somewhere.

Dominique Brown, Jamon Brown, Gerald Christian, Dominique Brown and B.J. Dubose are other guys thinking they could get a call during the draft.

The '05 group included second-round pick Eric Shelton, fourth-rounders Stefan LeFors and Kerry Rhodes, fifth-round pick Robert McCune and seventh-rounders Lionel Gates and J.R. Russell.

HOLLIMAN NOT WORRIED ABOUT DOUBTERS

Despite his NCAA record-tying 14 interceptions as a sophomore, safety Gerod Holliman has had his share of doubters in the time leading up to the draft.

But Holliman, who opted to enter the draft just a few days after the Belk Bowl, said he's not even paying attention to any of those folks questioning his ability.

"It happens," he said with a smile. "I tried to stay off social sites and watching what everybody else has been saying about it. I just wanted to focus on working out and focus on myself and trying to do what I can do.

"It's been a long journey for me to get here."

Holliman said he's been given a lot of "very good advice" by some of his former teammates and some others who have been in his shoes.

"A lot of times they say it's the team that you don't expect that drafts you," Holliman said. "I'm just ready to show them the real Gerod Holliman."

Holliman, who worked out in South Florida with former U of L standout Sam Madison, said he would watch the draft in Miami.

LOZO NOT WORRIED ABOUT THE TEAM

Linebacker Lorenzo Mualdin has had his name bounced around from the late second to early fourth round in mock drafts leading up to the draft.

But Mauldin said he's not fretting what team or where he will go.

"You get into all of the meetings and stuff and hear things," Mauldin said. "But I really don't get into it. I just listen to my agent and I told him from the first day, 'Don't tell me what round you think I am in, tell me what round you can get me in'.

"I really think my film speaks for itself."

CHRISTIAN HOPING FOR BEST AFTER INJURY

Former Louisville tight end Gerald Christian has been behind many of the other collegiate prospects trying to impress the NFL scouts.

Christian suffered a knee injury in the first half of U of L’s game against Georgia in the Belk Bowl and has been slowed since because of the mishap.

But now Christian is almost fully recovered and he’s hoping he turned some heads.

”I wasn’t like most of these guys, I didn’t get to be in front of (the scouts) at an All-Star game of all of the combine,” he said at pro day. “So I had to come out and show that the film can transfer over and that I can run the routes and look fluid.

”I just had to get in front of some of them.”

The 6-foot-3, 245-pound Christian has the ideal size and athletic ability most NFL teams look for in a tight end. Christian said he’s been told by the NFL folks they like his versatility to be able to also play H-back and fullback.

In two years at U of L, Christian had 60 catches for 800 yards and nine touchdowns.

Christian, who grew up in Jupiter, Fla., played for two years at the University of Florida before transferring to Louisville. He sat out a season and played his final two years with the Cardinals as a starter at tight end.

Several NFL Draft experts have compared him to Owen Daniel, a 10-year NFL veteran who has played with the Texans and the Ravens.

”I have been hearing a lot of good things about my film,” Christian said. "It is a dream that most of us have had all our lives."


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