The N.F.L. season has come and gone. With the conclusion of the Super Bowl yesterday, the focus shifts to the draft, and the Hokies should do better than the two picks from last year. The Hokie contingent is led by Kendall Fuller, who according to CBSSports.com is the 5th best CB available. Not bad for a guy who played minimal snaps last season after a knee injury. They project him going in the second round, which tells you two things: The pass heavy offenses of the N.F.L. have created a market for cover guys. The N.F.L. as a whole respects the secondary guys that come from Virginia Tech. The pros understand that we have consistently brought talent with defensive backs.
Fuller has the pedigree for sure. Individual workouts could bump him up even higher. Dadi Nicolas appears to be the next Hokie to have his name called. After a strong Senior Bowl, if Nicolas can pair that with a strong combine, look out. I'm hearing Denver is very interested in Nicolas, and playing with Von Miller would surely help. Most folks have Nicolas pegged somewhere in the fifth round range.
Love this time of year, when I start up my draft prep. Edge rushers this week. First stop, VT's Dadi Nicolas: pic.twitter.com/K2XixXeoFc— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) January 18, 2016
Staying with the defense, Luther Maddy is the next Hokie to most likely get selected. Maddy had an up and down season, and questions after the Shrine Game linger. Maddy will need some help from private workouts to get his stock where he hopes it will be. Maddy is a bit short at 6'0" and expect his name called somewhere beween rounds five and six.
The offensive side of the ball is only represented by TE Ryan Malleck. He has great size at 6'4 256, and has good hands. He might get called in the 7th round, but more likely will be signed as a free agent. If he has a good camp with whatever team takes him, he could possibly find a home. Practice squad is my opinion unless something changes for him by draft day.
Other players Tech has on the board include: Corey Marshall, Deon Clarke,J.C. Coleman, Michael Brewer, and Ronny Vandyke. It was a tough season for Hokies in general, but odds are we will have more players drafted this year than in 2015. The only two Hokies selected last year were Kyshoen Jarrett, and Laurence Gibson.