A Look at UW's 2014 Draft Possibilities

Today is a national holiday for football fans. The NFL Draft brings together NFL and college football fans and when things commence tonight from Radio City Music Hall in New York at 5 p.m. (PST) Husky fans will be waiting with anticipation to see where CB Desmond Trufant winds up going. With that in mind, we thought we'd take a look at UW's top prospects for next year and their draft potential...

Over the past few seasons, the Huskies have really built up their talent level and they project to have several who may hear their names called in the first round next year, depending on who decides to leave early and who stays to finish out their playing eligibility. Here's a look at the top prospects from next season and where they could go with great performances in the 2013 football season...

DT Danny Shelton - A collective gasp will go up from Husky nation if Shelton decides to leave early, but we have to be honest and at least look at his draft prospects even though we have no inside knowledge on which way he will lean after the season. Shelton is a big, athletic prospect with outstanding strength. When he flips the switch on his motor, he's one of the best nose tackle prospects in the country, but that's the issue -- motor. He needs to turn it on every play, something NFL coaches and scouts look for when they study film and right now it's Shelton's biggest weakness. Facing double and triple teams on almost every play can wear on you and he would benefit from someone else stepping up along the Husky defensive line. He won't provide much of a pass-rush, but that isn't what teams look for out of their nose tackles. If he leaves early, Shelton has first round potential, but I expect he will be a player that falls into the second or third round due to his motor. Projection: Second or Third Round


TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins - Yes, Seferian-Jenkins has made public statements saying he wants to return for his senior season in 2014, but fans should take such proclimations with a grain of salt until we get closer to the decision date (January of 2014). He is a world-class talent, with a huge frame, soft hands and enough speed and athleticism to be a matchup nightmare for NFL defensive backs and linebackers. Seferian-Jenkins has also proven to be one of the hardest workers on the team, always up for extra work after practices and in the offseason and he has improved immensely as a blocker. He still needs to work on things -- getting stronger, running more precise routes -- but there is no question he has the talent and abilities to be a top 10 draft selection in 2014. Projection: First Round (Top 10)


S Sean Parker - The biggest negative with Parker is his lack of ideal size, but with the implementation of more and more spread offenses in the NFL and the need for quicker safeties that can cover slot receivers, Parker's size isn't as much of a factor as it would have been five years ago. Parker is a natural leader and he's a hard-hitter. He's smart and he's got decent speed (4.55) and he's a sure-tackler. His versatility will play a big part in where he winds up being drafted. The expectation, at least this early in the process, is that he will be a third or fourth round draft choice and he should enjoy a solid NFL career. Projection: Third or Fourth Round


QB Keith Price - Price put up huge numbers as a third-year sophomore, setting records for yards passing and touchdowns, but in 2012 he definitely took a step back. Anyone who watched the team would say some of his dropoff came from a patchwork offensive line that struggled to protect him and the loss of his top two receivers -- Jermaine Kearse and Devin Aguilar -- as well as his position coach (Doug Nussmeier left for Alabama) didn't help matters either. All that being said, Price still made some horrible decisions, we don't need to go into them, and missed wide-open receivers and that needs to change this fall as things appear like they are in place for him to have a bounceback season. The three biggest concerns with Price have to be his size (barely 6'1 and weighing just 205 pounds), his lack of mobility and his pedestrian arm. In college you can get away with all of that, but in the NFL that just isn't the case. What will help Price's chances of getting drafted are how he does "in the room" with coaches, diagraming plays, going through progressions and reading defenses, a good senior season and his pre-draft workouts, whether that is at the NFL Combine or in personal workouts. If he can wow the coaches and scouts, he has a shot at getting drafted late, probably in the sixth or seventh round, but it might be better for him to go undrafted and then choose a place to sit and learn for a couple of years. Projection: Undrafted Free Agent


CB Greg Ducre - Ducre is the fastest Husky, posting 4.35 forties during team timings, but, like Trufant, he doesn't seem to play that fast. This is Ducre's chance to shine in the secondary as he's shown flashes but lacked the consistency to be a big-time player for the Huskies. He's got good size and, as noted, very good speed, but until he shows the ability to break on passes and cover the top receivers in the Pac 12 every week, he'll need to make an NFL squad as a free agent. Projection: Undrafted Free Agent


WR James Johnson - Johnson definitely has the size and athleticism to be a productive slot receiver in the NFL, but he hasn't been able to stay healthy, so even with a great senior season, he likely will have to make a roster as a free agent. Projection: Undrafted Free Agent


S Will Shamburger - Even with a big senior season, Shamburger isn't going to get a serious look in the NFL Draft. He too will need to be a free agent and even that is a stretch, at least at this point. Projection: Undrafted


K/P Travis Coons - Right now, it doesn't appear as if he will be a player that makes an NFL roster, but with a good season, either as a punter or kicker or both, he could get a sniff as an undrafted free agent. He's got a big leg, but, as everyone knows, he missed two big kicks for the Dawgs in the final two games and that, sadly, is his legacy on Montlake right now. Projection: Undrafted Free Agent


S Taz Stevenson - He definitely looks the part, but Stevenson hasn't been able to stay healthy and doesn't look like a player who has a realistic shot at a NFL roster right now. Projection: Undrafted


LB Princeton Fuimaono - The biggest drawback for Fuimaono is he doesn't have a lot of size. He's quick, but he struggles to take on blockers and he's only average in coverage. If he's allowed to run free, he has the quickness and instincts to make plays in the open field, but that rarely happens in the NFL. He's probably done with football after this season. Projection: Undrafted


LB Thomas Tutogi - Tutogi has the size you love in a linebacker, but his problem is he isn't great in space. He's a between-the-tackles type who will struggle to find a home in the NFL. He may get some teams interested in what he can do with a good season, but it's a stretch to say he'll get a free agent contract. Projection: Undrafted Free Agent


DT Sione Potoae - Potoae is a lot like Stevenson. He has the abilities to be a player, but he's struggled to stay healthy with knee and hand issues and he just doesn't seem to have enough of a motor to get a serious look from an NFL club. Projection: Undrafted


DT Josh Banks - The problem with Banks is he hasn't been able to keep weight on. He showed up at Washington weighing about 270 pounds and he hasn't been able to add much in the way of bulk. That's a problem because he's not quick enough to play outside in the NFL and he's probably too small to play inside as well. With a productive senior season, Banks could get some invites to camps, but it would be a long, uphill battle for him to make an NFL squad. Projection: Undrafted


WR Antavius Sims - Outstanding athlete, but has struggled to find a position. Looked good this spring, but will likely be passed over by younger players and will struggled to find his way on the field. Projection: Undrafted


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