Arizona football NFL draft eligible players wait for their names to be called
Arizona running back Ka’Deem Carey rushes the ball down field during the first half of Arizona’s 42-19 win against Boston College in the AdvoCare V100 Bowl Game at Independence Stadium on Dec. 31. Carey is projected to be a mid-round pick in the NFL Draft this weekend.
The 2014 NFL Draft begins Thursday, and it’s almost time for football fans everywhere to see who their team will add. For the eligible former Arizona Wildcats, this is both an exciting and nerve-racking period of time.
The majority of Arizona fans have their eyes on where former Arizona star running back Ka’Deem Carey will be playing at the next level. However, there are a few other Wildcats who could hear their name called over the three days of the draft.
Those other Arizona athletes include quarterback B.J. Denker, linebacker Marquis Flowers and cornerback Shaq Richardson.
They might not have the same ceiling as Carey, but it’s fair game to analyze where each of the five aforementioned players could land in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Ka’Deem Carey, RB
There has been considerable variation over where Carey will be drafted. Projections from ESPN draft gurus like Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay had Carey starting near the bottom of the second round. However, that projection has since fallen significantly.
Kiper Jr. and McShay did a joint three-round mock draft on May 1 and did not include Carey.
Carey’s lack of a speedy 40-yard dash time has definitely hurt his stock and the general devaluation of the running back position in the NFL doesn’t help, either.
The way it’s looking, Carey should fall somewhere in the third/fourth round range and be a steal for whatever team scoops him up.
Shaq Richardson, CB
No other Arizona prospect has helped his draft stock more than Richardson. To go from likely undrafted free agent to being projected anywhere from the fourth to sixth round is very impressive.
At Arizona’s Pro Day on March 6, Richardson ran a 40-yard dash in the 4.4 range and weighed in just under 200 pounds.
If Carey continues to fall down draft boards and teams begin to reach for need in the later rounds, there is a real possibility that Richardson could be the first Arizona Wildcat selected.
Marquis Flowers, LB
Flowers was converted from safety a few years ago and was a perfect fit in the middle of Rich Rodriguez’s defense. Flowers used his speed to patrol sideline to sideline and finished second on the team last season with 93 stops and 11 tackles.
However, despite running a 4.4 40 yard dash, Flowers figures to be an undrafted free agent, the main reason being he’s just not physically big enough to play linebacker in the NFL. In truth, he profiles more as a safety than anything.
For Flowers, his plan should be to sign on as an undrafted free agent with a team like the Philadelphia Eagles who need linebacker and safety help and value speedy defenders.
B.J. Denker, QB
He might have been Arizona’s 2013 starting quarterback but Denker has almost no shot of being drafted or signing on as an undrafted free agent.
No one can question Denker’s heart, but his measurables and skills make him unattractive to NFL teams. Denker was listed as 6-foot-3 and 184 pounds on Arizona’s official roster last season and has a weak arm.
In reality, Denker is likely headed to the CFL.
—Follow Roberto Payne @HouseOfPayne555