NFL Draft Day: Wildcats with a chance to take their talents to the NFL
With the 2018 NFL Draft fast approaching, elite college athletes have a chance to take their talents to the highest-level of football.
While no players from the University of Arizona were drafted in 2017, this year looks to be promising for the ‘Cats. Round one of the 2018 NFL draft starts this Thursday, April 26 with the final round ending on the Saturday, April 28.
Dane Cruikshank (Safety)
The Arizona player with the best odds of being selected in the draft is redshirt senior Dane Cruikshank. The 6-foot-1, 209-pound safety is projected to go in the fourth round (104th overall pick) to the Denver Broncos by NFL.com. Other sites like walterfootball.com have Cruikshank going to the Tennessee Titans late in the fifth round (162nd overall pick).
Cruikshank started his collegiate career at Citrus College in 2013 and 2014, earning a top-100 ranking among JUCO prospects. After transferring to Arizona, Cruikshank decided was redshirted in the 2015 season. In 2016, Cruikshank started all 12 games as a “boundary corner” according to Arizona Athletics. He also managed 60 tackles and seven pass break ups.
2017 proved to be Cruikshank’s best year, as he became one of four team captains on the team. He shined following a position switch from corner to “spur” safety. Cruikshank started all 13 games for the ‘Cats in 2017 and was able to up his tackles to 75 on the season. The redshirt senior from Chino Hills, CA also recorded 1.5 sacks with three interceptions, five pass deflections and one fumble.
Cruikshank impressed at this year’s NFL combine with his raw athleticism, strength and size. He ran a 4.42 in the forty-yard dash, recorded a 38.5-inch vertical jump and put up an impressive 25 reps on the bench press.
Cruikshank’s 25 reps were the highest by a safety or corner at the combine, according to NFL.com.
A scout on NFL.com said this about Cruikshank’s draftability “height, weight, speed prospect who has a chance to be drafted off his measurables and Combine testing alone. Cruikshank does have talent and is a hungry hitter, but he may lack the consistency in coverage to hold up as a full-time safety or cornerback.”
If Cruikshank gets drafted this year he will be the first Wildcat to get drafted since Will Parks and Scooby Wright in 2016.
Jacob Alsadek (Guard)
Another Wildcat to keep an eye on will be guard Jacob Alsadek. The odds of Alsadek getting selected are slimmer than Cruikshank’s , but he will be an interesting player to keep on eye on during the last day of the draft.
The 6-foot-7, 317-pound guard has been a key component of Arizona’s offensive line that paved the way for one of the Pac-12’s best rushing attacks over the last several years. Alsadek was also voted one of the four team captains in his final year at Arizona.
Durability is one of the standout attributes about Alsadek as he missed just four games during his college career and started 46 of them.
As college players see their dreams of playing in the NFL come true this weekend, there’s a solid chance that at least one of them will be an Arizona Wildcat.
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