Going Pro

With the college football season behind us and the Super Bowl on the horizon, let us look ahead as Beaver Nation to the 2004 edition of the NFL Draft.

Oregon State has a very good chance to have five players taken in this year’s draft in April, and possibly a sixth. Everybody knows that running back Steven Jackson will be a first round selection, but how high he will be taken and where will he be starting his NFL career are anyone’s guess.

I scoured the Internet looking at various mock drafts and let me fill you in on what I found. (Keep in mind, some of these were done over a month ago, some of them have been done very recently.)

ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr., perhaps the most respected NFL Draft prognosticator, has the 6-foot-3, 230-pound tailback going to New England with the 21st selection in the draft. The Patriots acquired the pick from Baltimore last year when the Ravens traded up to nab Cal’s Kyle Boller.

Other mock drafts have Jackson going as high as number six overall to play with Joey Harrington and the Detroit Lions, while many others have Pittsburgh grabbing him with the 11th overall pick. At least two mock drafts have the Las Vegas native heading east to play with last year’s World Champions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Most think the next Beaver to be selected in the annual event will be defensive tackle Dwan Edwards. According to the several online mock drafts, the big defensive tackle is slated to go as high as number 22 overall, ending up in Dallas or as low as the fourth round to the same Cowboys team. Kiper feels that Edwards will go to Seattle with the 23rd pick in the draft.

The majority of mock drafts have the 6-foot-3, 305-pound Columbus, Montana native going in the late first, second or even third round. One possibility for Edwards is landing with the Colts in the 29 hole or the Chiefs in the 30 slot. Another site has the run stopping big man reuniting with Dennis Erickson in San Francisco as the number 47 pick in the draft.

Other scenarios have Edwards place him in Chicago or Denver in the second round or with the New York Giants in the third round.

Wide receiver James Newson, like Edwards, is likely to go in the second or third round. The highest I saw Big Game James was number 44 overall, going to play for Coach Herman Edwards and the New York Jets. Additional destinations for Newson include Baltimore (52nd pick), Denver (57th pick), New England (58th or 64th pick), Kansas City (61st pick) or Carolina (90th pick).

Linebacker Richard Seigler is a name that Beaver fans should hear if they watch late into the first day of the draft, but probably not until the second day. Although most mock drafts don’t go past the second round, I did find a few, and Seigler could go as high as number 40 to the Houston Texans or as low as 91 to the Colts according to the prognisticating sites.

Seigler, like Edwards, has a chance to reunite with Erickson as the 47th pick overall according to one source. In addition to San Francisco, OSU’s career points leader on the defensive side of the ball could wind up in New Orleans, Seattle or Dallas. He is thought of as the fourth best middle linebacker available in the draft according to one website.

Tight end Tim Euhus had a great career for Oregon State, and he capped it off the right way in the Las Vegas Bowl with seven catches for 121 yards. On the season the senior from Eugene had 49 catches for 645 yards and seven touchdowns, which tied him for the team lead with Mike Hass.

One site had Euhus rated as the number eight tight end in the draft. Most sites have the talented tight end going in fourth or fifth round, but that could improve over the next couple months if he performs well at the NFL Combine in Febraruy and during individual workouts.

The Beavers ever-reliable kicker, Kirk Yliniemi has an outside shot at gettting drafted. One publication had the 6-foot-1, 207-pound kicker going in the fifth round. If he does not get drafted Yliniemi will most likely sign a free agent contract.

On a side note, I talked to Carl Tobey last week and he said that with help from his father he is searching for a possible job in the NFL next year. He has already received a letter from the Green Bay Packers.

Jake Schubert can be reached at jake.schubert@beaverfootball.com.

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