Boise State players wait to hear their name called in NFL Draft

ccripe@idahostatesman.comMay 9, 2014 

Saturday is the NFL Draft's longest day - and it could be a grind for six of the seven former Broncos who are expecting phone calls from teams this week.

Defensive end Demarcus Lawrence is expected to go Friday during the second round.

Offensive tackle Charles Leno Jr. and center Matt Paradis could land in the late rounds Saturday.

Defensive tackle Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe, quarterback Joe Southwick and wide receivers Geraldo Boldewijn and Aaron Burks likely will have to wait until after the draft to learn their destinations.


Projection: Fourth through seventh rounds

Notable: The three-year starter was an All-Mountain West second-teamer in 2012 and first-teamer in 2013. His predecessors at left tackle - Daryn Colledge (2002-05), Ryan Clady (2006-07) and Nate Potter (2008-11) - were drafted and remained in the NFL last season.

Quotable: "That first team that picks me up, I'll be happy with. I don't care where it's at." - Leno


Projection: Sixth/seventh round

Notable: Former walk-on defensive tackle from Council started at center as a junior and senior. He was an All-MW first-teamer in 2012 and second-teamer in 2013.

Quotable: "There are some expectations, but in all reality, I don't care. I'm looking forward to getting with a team. I don't care if it's drafted or what. I'm expecting to be drafted, but if not, that's fine. I just want to get on a team and prove my worth." - Paradis


Projection: Seventh round or free-agent signee

Notable: Boldewijn finished with 39 catches for 528 yards and two TDs last season. The Amsterdam product still needs to refine his game but he has the 6-foot-4 frame, speed (4.49 seconds in the 40) and athleticism (34-inch vertical jump, outstanding agility) that NFL teams seek.

Quotable: "I have no idea (what will happen). It's still so new to me. All I want is a shot. … Every team is looking for a big receiver. I can also play special teams." - Boldewijn


Projection: Seventh round or free-agent signee

Notable: Burks might draw a late pick because of his fantastic workout at pro day - including 4.46 seconds in the 40 and 40 inches in the vertical. But he lacks the college production scouts would expect from someone with that talent. He made 18 catches for 309 yards and three touchdowns as a senior.

Quotable: "The good thing about going from college to the NFL is everybody starts with a clean slate." - Burks


Projection: Free-agent contract or tryout

Notable: Southwick completed 72.6 percent of his passes before an ankle injury and bowl suspension blew up his senior season. No Boise State quarterback has been drafted since Jim McMillan in 1975 (14th round) but every full-time starter since Bart Hendricks (entered NFL in 2001) has received a free-agent opportunity. Others include Ryan Dinwiddie (2004), Jared Zabransky (2007), Taylor Tharp (2008) and Kellen Moore (2012). Backup Mike Coughlin (2011) also got a chance. Southwick, who has prepared for the NFL at home in the Bay Area, attended local tryouts for the 49ers and Raiders.

Quotable: "I feel really comfortable with my game right now. I feel like I'm throwing the ball better than I ever have. My mindset is just getting that opportunity and then putting my best foot forward and showing whatever team it may be that I'm probably worth keeping around." - Southwick


Projection: Free-agent contract or tryout

Notable: Tjong-A-Tjoe's raw power and upside (he's also from Amsterdam) should land him a free-agent deal. He finished seventh on the team with 52 tackles in 2013. He added four tackles for loss and four pass breakups.

Quotable: "Some teams like me. Some teams see me more as a project. Most of the teams just say I'm pretty raw because I haven't played much football." - Tjong-A-Tjoe.

Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat

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