Rang Breaks Down UW Draft Prospects

The NFL Draft isn't for another six months, but we wanted to get an idea of where some of the top Washington targets might land come early May. The top UW players are the underclassmen, headlined by Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Bishop Sankey, and Danny Shelton.

We spoke with Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com, to get his thoughts on Washington's top available pro prospects. Rang has been evaluating prospect for years and being a local knows the area talent as well as any in the business. Here are his thoughts on the eligible Huskies for the 2014 NFL Draft, to be held May 8-10 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins - "I think that it is still up in the air. He is a talented player. The numbers aren't quite up to what he and we, as talent evaluators, probably expected. But I don't know if it's necessarily a huge reflection on Austin playing well or playing poorly as much as it was just a change in the offense. But there is no denying that he is a more reliable blocker, a more physical blocker. You still see the incredible body control for a man of his size. I do think it's up in the air as to whether he decides to declare early or not, but I would suspect that he would be turning his paperwork into the NFL Advisory Committee. (UPDATE: He has filed paperwork with the league)

"I don't know if he's a slam-dunk first-round prospect. I think he's on the edge. There's also a couple of tight ends in this class - also underclassmen - North Carolina's Eric Ebron has already announced that he will be leaving early to go into the NFL Draft. I believe he has even better pure athletic ability than Seferian-Jenkins, so he could jump ahead of Austin. And then Jace Amaro from Texas Tech - again, another dynamic athlete but he isn't the blocker…neither one of those two is - Ebron or Jace Amaro from Texas Tech are the blockers that Austin is. I think they both have the possibility of jumping ahead of Austin in the draft and being first-round picks - and frankly I think they are going to run better than Austin. But at the same time in terms of just being a well-rounded tight end capable of doing just about anything, Austin Seferian-Jenkins is the best tight end in the country in terms of being well-rounded. If he runs well I think he can be a slam-dunk first round pick. If he doesn't run well I still can't imagine him getting outside the second round."

Bishop Sankey - "We talked about it before the season began - I really thought Bishop Sankey was one of the more underrated players in the entire country just based on the production he had a year ago. While it was certainly a surprise we all expected the Huskies to have a little bit of a drop off when Chris Polk left, Sankey was incredible. And he followed it up with another spectacular redshirt sophomore season here. So I think Bishop Sankey is right there with Arizona's KaDeem Carey as the two most well-rounded running backs in the entire country. They are not only good exterior runners and interior runners but are excellent on third down - not only as pass receivers, but also as pass blockers as well. Obviously Sankey doesn't have the big, bulky, 230-pound kind of frame that you're looking for, but he certainly is a physical back.

"I don't know if he's a first round pick just because it's so rare anymore that running backs are going to warrant a first-round selection. But I think he's right there in the mix in the second round. If he elects to come out I think he would be right there in the running - if not the first running back selected, than certainly among the first running backs selected in the 2014 NFL Draft.

"I think one of the most amazing things about him - and again, if you look at him and he has a little bit of an undersized frame but the durability that he's shown has been spectacular. There's no denying that the Huskies absolutely tried to run him into the ground at times, it seemed like - giving him the ball carry after carry against some of the more physical defenses in the Pac-12 Conference. Bishop Sankey was among the best players on the field.

"If I was playing agent I would absolutely advise Bishop Sankey to turn in his paperwork to the NFL Advisory Committee. I'm confident he would get a pretty strong grade - probably a 'Day Two' grade, which means second or third round - from the committee. If he were to jump into the draft I believe he'd get drafted as such. Again, probably in day two."

Danny Shelton - "The comparison to Star (Loutulelei) is a tough one. Star not only is incredibly powerful, like Danny, but at the same time Star is a little quicker off the snap in my opinion - and is a better pass rusher. Danny Shelton has progressed in that realm this year and I think that he still has a ways to go in terms of being a pass rusher. But where he does best - just like Star - is as a two-gap run-defending space eater in the middle.

"So I think Danny Shelton is among the better two-gap defensive tackles or nose guard prospects in the entire country. I don't know if that necessarily equates to a first, or even a second round grade - more likely you're looking at a third or a fourth round. And depending on he and his family's financial situation that might be something they decide to consider. They might feel that's best for him at this point.

"I do think that he's a relatively safe prospect in that he has shown some durability, he has shown toughness. With the frame he has it's easy to project him into either a 3-4 or 4-3 schemes in the NFL, but not as that traditional 3-technique defensive tackle where he'll be asked to be a penetrator and supply consistent pass rush ability. That's not really his game. His game is being that run-stuffing presence in the middle."

Seniors Keith Price, Sean Parker, Will Shamburger - "I think all three of those players have a chance to sign with clubs as undrafted free agents if they aren't drafted. Keith Price has certainly flashed the accuracy and mobility that you're looking for at the quarterback position, a lot of the intangibles that you're looking for as well. Unfortunately whenever you have a relatively undersized quarterback, durability is going to be a concern - and Keith Price has struggled with that at times. That's going to be an area of concern. It's going to be interesting to see how many underclass quarterbacks jump out. Obviously that could have an impact on any senior quarterback's draft grade. So he, to me, is a very-late draft prospect or free agent prospect, but I'm confident that someone is going to give him a shot just because of the toughness that he's shown, his production, and especially because he's coming out of a pro-style offense.

"Sean Parker had a terrific year, in my opinion. I was hopeful that he would make a few more big plays this year - he did that. At the same time I think it's going to be tough to pass the eyeball test because he's just not a very big man, even at the safety position.

"Off the three - I think Parker's improvement over his career is the most interesting. I think he's got a chance to make a club - if not as a traditional safety, but perhaps as a special teams fiend."

Kevin Smith, Greg Ducre, Princeton Fuimaono - "I have a little bit more of a reservation about those three guys. I think once you get past Price, Shamburger and Sean Parker, you're looking at more of the undrafted free agent types. I really think they will be given an opportunity - again, because of the pro-style offenses and defenses that the Huskies have run over the last couple years, but at the same time are probably on the outside looking in at this point."
To find out more on the 2014 NFL Draft and Rang's thoughts, check out NFLDraftScout.com. Rob Rang can also be found on Twitter @RobRang

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