The first round of the NFL Draft will begin this Friday at 10am (AEST) when the LA Rams will be on the clock. Everyone expects one of the top two Quarterbacks, Jared Goff or Carson Wentz to be take first but there are many Australians who will be waiting and hoping to hear their name called before the 3 day draft process is over.
All of the Australians who have declared for the draft have great stories about how they have arrived where they are today, some played gridiron here in Australia and others arrived via kicking academies.
Seven Australians will be waiting to see if their name will be called in Chicago:
|Lachlan||Edwards||Sam Houston State||Punter|
|Adam||Gotsis||Georgia Tech||Defensive Line|
Adam Gotsis has the best chance to be drafted despite the fact he tore the ACL ligament in his left knee in October and has been restricted in what he can do during team visits and the NFL combine. All the talk is that the Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles appear to be the favourites to pick him after they invited him to their facilities, but this really means nothing as anyone could pick him up.
I would not expect Gotsis to go in the first two days of the daft because of the ACL injury but a team will take him on day 3 which will be in the rounds 3 through 7.
The other Australian who might get drafted will be the two time Ray Guy Award winner punter Tom Hackett out of Utah, in the past 5 drafts there has been 7 punters selected so if there is a punter drafted this year I would expect it to be Hackett. If Hackett is to hear his name called it will be on day 3 in the later rounds, the NFL just does not put enough value on the punting position to take him any higher.
The other 3 Australian punters, Lachlan Edwards, Jamie Keehn and Alex Kinal will probably get their shot at the NFL via being an undrafted free agent, which is the path that many Australian punters have taken before them.
Kickers unlike punters sometimes get drafted in the early rounds, like Mike Nugent 47th overall to the New York Jets and Sebastian Janikowski in the 1st round and 17th overall to the Oakland Raiders but I don’t see Brad Craddock going this high. According to most scouting websites Carddock is rated between the 5th and 8th as the best kicking prospect which will not see him drafted but he might get signed to provide competition in pre-season NFL camps.
Offensive Guard Blake Muir does not get the hype that many other Australians get but he started at Offensive Guard every game for Baylor last season as a senior and was also a member of the All-Big 12 first team, but these accolades will not see him get drafted. Muirs best chance will be to be picked up as an undrafted free agent and he can battle in camp to make a team.
So “How many Aussies will be picked up in the NFL Draft?” I think two will be the magic number and a record for Australians.
If you have Foxtel and ESPN you can watch the draft live starting on Friday.