Pleasant surprise

Former Badger tight end Jason Pociask heading to New York as a fifth-round pick of the Jets

MADISON — Jason Pociask admitted he was surprised to be taken in the NFL Draft Sunday. Pociask had a solid showing at the Scouting Combine in February, but did not have strong receiving numbers at the University of Wisconsin. He caught just seven passes for 79 yards as a senior — his most productive season receiving-wise — while serving mostly as a blocking tight end.

"I mean, obviously, it's going to hurt you a little bit, and maybe a lot," Pociask said Sunday during a conference call, regarding his lack of receiving statistics. "If you're looking for a tight end, they want a guy who can do everything and they want to get everything they possibly can so obviously that's going to hurt me."

But his lack of catches did not hinder him too much — he was drafted by the New York Jets in the fifth round on Sunday, the 150th pick overall. Pociask, the seventh tight end to be drafted, was selected just a few hours after fellow former UW tight end Owen Daniels, who went to Houston as the first pick in the fourth round.

"I felt like at the workouts, I did a decent job catching the ball. I think I definitely did a better job than what teams expected me to do," Pociask said. "A lot of people told me they were hearing from teams that they thought I was the best blocking tight end in the draft so I knew that was going to help me."

He also credited his playing time at fullback in the Capital One Bowl and his experience at H-back and on special teams with boosting his résumé. The Jets, Pociask said, are looking at him to play tight end and/or fullback.

Pociask also gives some credit to Paul Chryst, who was hired in 2005 to be the Badgers' co-offensive coordinator and tight ends coach, with his success in getting drafted.

"Having Coach Chryst come my senior year, I knew that was going to help me out a lot," Pociask said. "I know he had experience in the NFL and I know, just talking to him when he first got here, I knew he had confidence in me and he was going to try to give me and Owen the best possible chance to make it to the next level."

So when draft day rolled around, Pociask knew he had the ability to play tight end in the NFL. But had you told him last August that he would have a job in the NFL with the Jets?

"If I had to put money on myself at the beginning of the season being drafted, no, I didn't think so," Pociask said. "I knew I'd get a shot, whether it be free agency or whatever, I knew I would get a shot somehow. But I didn't think I'd be getting drafted. So I am very, very excited . . . and I just can't wait to take this on completely and put 100 percent into this."

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