Ndamukong Suh. Prince Amukamura. Alex Henery. Lavonte David. Those are just a few Nebraska alumni that have made the transition to the NFL.
Nebraska is developing a reputation for developing NFL talent, which will help with recruiting if it continues.
So, let’s take a look at this year’s squad and see who is the most ready to take his talents to the NFL.
(All of the draft projections are from CBSSports.com’s 2013 draft prospect rankings)
Off all the players on Nebraska’s roster, Stafford looks the most ready to step on the field for an NFL squad. At 6'1" and 210 pounds, Stafford has the size he needs to compete at safety, and has demonstrated an aggressiveness and ball awareness to become a playmaker.
A solid senior season could have Stafford ending up higher than his projected fourth- to fifth-round pick.
Burkhead has all the intangibles NFL teams look for in a running back. His size might be an issue, as does his lack of breakaway speed, but his dependability and versatility should land him an NFL roster spot.
I think his third- to fourth-round projection is a little optimistic for Burkhead, however.
With Lavonte David’s graduation, Compton is the unquestioned leader of Nebraska’s linebacker corps. Compton began to really come on during last season, and he will have the opportunity to be a leading light for a resurgent Blackshirts squad.
I think he’s better than his projection as a seventh-round pick.
Cotton has the prototypical size NFL teams will look for, at 6'6" and 255 pounds. His pass-catching statistics aren’t eye-popping, but Cotton is enough of a receiving threat to give him some value at the next level.
He’s projected as a sixth- to seventh-round selection.
Nebraska should continue its reputation as Kicker U when Maher’s name gets called at the 2013 NFL draft. His ability to both punt and kick effectively makes him valuable for NFL teams with limited roster spots available.
More importantly, though, Maher is an accurate placekicker (19-of-23 career field goal attempts) as well as an effective punter (44.5 yard average). Maher is projected as a seventh-round selection.
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