Since 2001, Northern Illinois has had seven players selected in the NFL Draft, with San Diego Chargers defensive end and ex-Huskies Larry English going in Round 1 back in 2009.
The school has produced NFL quality players for years and the last time it had a linebacker drafted, the Rams were still in Los Angeles. Those same Rams drafted Doug Bartlet in the fourth round (91 overall) in 1987.
Now linebacker Pat Schiller looks to follow in the same path and hear his named called on draft day or find himself in training camp this summer.
"Being from a MAC school, you have that chip on your shoulder; you feel like you always have something to prove and that's how I feel. I'm going to work hard and do anything I can to make a team," said Schiller.
That hard work was evident with his Pro Day numbers with a 4.20 shuttle, 3-cone 6.96, 35-inch vertical jump, 9'7" broad jump and bench pressing 225 pounds 22 times. Ahh, and the most coveted number of them all the 40, in which Schiller ran a 4.68 outside.
Ironic that such an important number is run in different environments. It's almost like comparing baseball ballparks being pitcher- or hitter-friendly...but that is a topic for another day.
Schiller's numbers would have placed him in the same company as Boston College's Luke Kuechly, who was one of the standout linebackers at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Overall, when comparing the ex-Huskies Schiller to the chosen of the NFL Scouting Combine, he would have finished in the top five in four drills.
Of the eight NFL teams on hand, Seattle, Indianapolis, and Green Bay gave him the most attention after the workout with one scout saying, “Pat is a bigger linebacker, and is quick…those type of guys are hard to find.”
Well said. Players like Schiller are hard to find and hopefully he won't go unnoticed when late April closes in and teams are ready to build their defenses through the draft.
"I’m a really good student of the game," said Schiller, adding, "I think what sets me apart is my speed. My sideline to sideline speed, my closing speed I feel like it’s next to none."
One scout shared the same opinion as Schiller himself, stating he “moved very well today in his positional drills…probably what stood out the most."
Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand.
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