Keegan Wetzel – NFL Draft Pick?

For fans of the military academies most NFL Draft weekends go by uneventfully. Sure, if you follow a pro team you want to see which college athletes they pick up, but your collegiate guys are generally considered too small, too slow, or too gimmicky to play on Sundays. That isn't even addressing the service aspect which will be the life of the service member for the next few years.

For fans of the military academies most NFL Draft weekends go by uneventfully. Sure, if you follow a pro team you want to see which college athletes they pick up, but your collegiate guys are generally considered too small, too slow, or too gimmicky to play on Sundays. That isn't even addressing the service aspect which will be the life of the service member for the next few years(assuming that an early release exemption is granted).

Every now and then though a Navy player pops up who does enough to turn the heads of the pro scouts. That is exactly what has happened this year with Keegan Wetzel.

Wetzel was named first team All-Independent after leading Navy with 15 tackles for loss and seven sacks while ranking fourth with 79 total tackles in his senior season. Wetzel's tackles for loss and sack totals are tied for sixth and fourth, respectively, on the school's single-season list. More than that though, Wetzel has the high intelligence and high motor play that NFL teams are putting more stock into by the year.

His football numbers may not jump off of the charts, though it needs to be noted that his official forty time of 4.97 occurred when he was nursing a leg injury. At 6-foot-3, 226 pounds he plays far faster than that time and could easily develop into a situational edge rusher with the right coaching. Carrying a 3.93 GPA, Wetzel is thought to be the first academy athlete to post a perfect 1600 in the SAT making it a real shame he wasn't invited to the combine to destroy the other prospects with his Wonderlic abilities.

His performances in the biggest games of the Mids season, namely Penn State and Notre Dame, have shown glimpses of what Wetzel can do against the more elite competition. As the draft process has gone on NFL teams have started to take notice and a number have been in touch with the OLB. The strongest interest so far has been shown by the Bears who brought Wetzel in for a visit. The Palos Heights, Ill., native, would be making a return home if he is drafted by the Bears.

As a late round flyer there is a lot to like about Wetzel. He will work hard and probably find his niche on special teams before growing into a rotational end role. In a league where pass rushing is so vital it would be a shock at this point if Wetzel isn't at least given a look as a priority free agent. Saturday is the earliest he is likely to hear his name called and you can be the Radio City Music Hall crowd will give him their loudest hand of the day if that should happen.

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