Virginia Tech didn’t have a very good showing in the 2009 NFL draft but of course, they really only had a handful of players that had a shot of getting drafted.
Macho Harris was the only Hokie to get his name called on that weekend as he was selected in the fifth round and went to the Philadelphia Eagles. Sean Glennon, Orion Martin, and Ryan Shuman have all worked out for NFL teams and are looking to get a free agent contract sometime soon.
Nick Marshman has also recently worked out for a team in hopes that he can earn a free agent contract.
However, in 2010 Tech should be well represented on draft day as they have few players that could be drafted in the first round.
The Hokies won’t be as well represented as they were in 2008 when they had eight players drafted along with five players signing a free agent contract but this year could come fairly close with up to seven players that could get their names called next April.
Sergio Render and Kam Chancellor will be names thrown around next year as Render is predicted to be one of the top offensive guards to go off the board and Chancellor will be one of the top three safeties to be taken as well.
The Hokies then have a host of other players that could see their names pop up on Sunday.
Defensive tackle Cordarrow Thompson, offensive tackle Ed Wang, defensive end Nekos Brown, cornerback Stephen Virgil, linebacker Cam Martin, and punter Brent Bowden all have the opportunity to make it to the next level depending on how this season unfolds and how they all do at the NFL combine next year.
So now, let’s dive in and look at each one of these players individually and see where they actually project to go in next years NFL Draft.
Currently, Mel Kiper Jr. has Sergio Render as his No. 1 offensive guard heading into next years NFL draft. However, offensive guards never seem to go that early on draft day.
So even though Render will be one of the first three guards to go off the board in next years draft, it could be anywhere from the middle of the first round to late second round before his name is taken off the board.
Render will need a good senior year to improve his draft stock. The good news is that Render will be playing the left guard position this fall and if he plays well, that will give scouts film on him at both guard positions.
This versatility could help him come next April.
Projection: Late first round
Kam Chancellor is a player that proves that Coach Beamer is possibly the best recruiter in the nation.
Coming out of high school, Chancellor had an offer from just James Madison University and was debating on what to do since his high school football days were done.
However, in early December, the three-star quarterback picked up a Virginia Tech offer and the rest is history.
Chancellor struggled last season as he switched from Rover to Free Safety, which is the quarterback of Bud Fosters defense.
Kam did improve as the season went along but he will need an impressive 2009 campaign to throw his name back into the first round of the NFL draft.
Projection: Mid to Late Second Round
Greg Boone is going to be a tough player to slot for the upcoming draft because his combine numbers will really decide on which round he is chosen in.
The Hokies are not a pass happy team so unless Boone really has a breakout season this fall, his film won’t help him all that much.
The good news for Boone is that he is still a very raw player and scouts will pick up on that. Also, Boone’s ability to read blocks and run the ball could help him some since it would allow the team that drafts him to line him up at fullback as well as tight end.
Projection: Early Fourth Round
A few years ago I probably would have sworn that Ed Wang wouldn’t have been drafted but after being a starter at both left and right tackle: he has a chance to make it to the NFL in 2010.
Wang has a few glaring weaknesses as he’s not quite as big as some NFL offensive tackles but he makes up for that with his agility. Wang was a tight end in high school that moved over to tackle after his red-shirt season.
Ed will need to have a good NFL combine because if he doesn’t he could end up going undrafted.
Projection: Late Fifth Round
Virginia Tech will once again put another cornerback in the NFL in 2010 in Stephen Virgil. Virgil had a coming out party in the early going of 2008, which helped him finish the season with six interceptions and 43 total tackles.
The knock on Virgil will be his size and his overall speed. Stephen should impress some of the scouts on film although he will need to add some more highlights in 2009 if he wishes to get drafted.
Virgil is another player that hard to slot because the combine will be very important to where he goes in next years draft.
If he runs a high 40 time he could go as high as the third round but if he runs a slow 40 time he could go undrafted.
Projection: Sixth round
“Taco” slimmed down some last season and really improved his game in his first year of starting at defensive tackle. This season will be key if Thompson wants to improve his draft stock.
Thompson isn’t going to be a guy that overly impresses at next years NFL combine so he will need to make some plays this fall that NFL scouts will remember.
Taco, also, has a pretty large range of where he can go next April. If he has a good senior year he could sneak up into the late fourth or early fifth rounds.
However, if he has another solid or decent year he will probably slide to the sixth or seventh rounds.
Projection: Sixth round
Nekos Brown will be the starter opposite of Jason Worilds this fall at the weak side defensive end spot in Bud Foster’s defense. However, Brown’s only hope to play in the NFL will come at a linebacker position.
Nekos simply doesn’t have the size to stick at defensive end, which will severely affect his draft status. The good news is that Brown is a coachable kid that has a future at linebacker as long as he gets on with a team that can develop him over the course of a couple of seasons.
If Brown has a good senior season I could see him going as high as the fifth round but for right now, I'm going safe and saying that he goes a little bit later on Sunday.
Projection: Late Sixth round
After a solid sophomore season, I could have bet that Martin would have probably developed into a good linebacker at Virginia Tech and would have went on to be an early third or fourth round pick in this upcoming NFL draft.
However, Cam has shown that he cannot stay healthy as he missed most of his junior year with multiple injuries. Martin also spent the majority of his freshman year in head trainer Mike Goforth’s office.
The fact is that Martin is a talented linebacker that could play at the NFL level. That is if he can stay healthy. Martin has his chance this fall to make an impact and increase his draft stock heading into next April.
Projection: Undrafted FA
The Hokies are known for having some of the best special teams, however Tech only has one kicker that is on a current NFL roster in Shayne Graham.
Brent Bowden may be able to change that as he has a good shot at being a late round draft pick or more than likely an undrafted free agent.
Bowden had a good season last year but he seemed to be a bit more inconsistent then in his previous sophomore season.
This shakiness could have come from the lack of blocking that the punting team provided as it seemed like there were always a couple of players around him after he punted the ball.
Bowden should be able to latch on to an NFL team but since only a few kickers are drafted each year, I wouldn’t put money on Bowden getting his name called on Sunday.
Projection: Undrafted FA