The Boise State Broncos are having a bit of a down year, at least by their standards. But what isn't down is the talent on the team.
There are several players on the 2013 squad that may be playing on Sundays some day. However, for the most part, there are only a hand full of players that will be entering the 2014 NFL Draft.
That bodes well for the Broncos, as they have considerable talent coming back next season and beyond.
Let's look at the 2014 NFL Draft possibilities, and attempt to rank them according to where they might find themselves when the picks are made.
Senior wide receiver Geraldo Boldewijn makes this list, which may be a surprise to some. However, he is certainly going to get a look in late rounds, or he may find himself as a free agent somewhere.
Boldewijn has the size, speed and hands to be an NFL receiver.
At 6'4", 220 pounds, he has what many professional teams are looking for. He is also fairly fast, runs good patterns and can be physical.
He will need to improve on that physicality and get better at catching in traffic, but he seems to have gotten better each season at Boise State. That shows that he has yet to reach his full potential.
Senior defensive tackle Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe is another player who could go in the late rounds of the draft.
He is strong and physical, and at 6'3" and hovering around the 300-pound range, he should be size enough for someone to take a chance.
Tjong-A-Tjoe will no doubt make a valuable asset for some NFL team.
Junior defensive end Demarcus Lawrence is the only junior to make this list.
The reason why is that since Lawrence joined the Broncos as a JUCO transfer in 2012, the rumors have circulated on various Boise State boards and even around campus that Lawrence was looking to go pro after his junior season.
Now, whether or not any of that speculation is true remains to be seen. However, if he does declare for the 2014 draft, he will probably go mid to late rounds.
Lawrence has had an issue with suspensions at Boise State. He has been suspended three times since arriving in Boise for various undisclosed disciplinary reasons. But, NFL teams will usually overlook some of that stuff if a player is talented enough.
Lawrence is, but you have to wonder how much higher he would go if he stuck around another season and dominated on a Boise State team that looks to be very good in 2014.
Senior center Matt Paradis is a consistent force in the middle of the line for the Broncos.
Paradis started every game last season at center and was named first-team All-Mountain West Conference for his junior campaign.
Paradis will certainly find a spot on an NFL roster, the only unknown is what round he will be selected. It all depends on how he finishes 2013, and the needs of each team.
But, when the draft happens next year, expect to hear Matt Paradis called.
Senior left tackle Charles Leno Jr. is 6'4", 295 pounds. He is an excellent blocker and often times dominates his opponents with relative ease.
Leno started every game last season, and was named second-team All-Mountain West Conference. He has started 30-straight games for Boise State, and NFL scouts have to love that kind of consistency.
Look for Charles Leno Jr. to go at least in the mid-rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft.