NFL Draft Prospect Matt Szczur: NFL or MLB?

Eric Galko@OptimumScoutingFeatured ColumnistJanuary 5, 2011

Many athletes in college sports in the past and present have been dual sport athletes. Guys like Tony Gonzalez, Julius Peppers, Antonio Gates and most recently Jimmy Graham have been productive talents as both basketball and football players. And occasionally, dual sport baseball talents get their shot such as Pat White and Drew Henson.

Matt Szczur was a fifth round draft pick of the Chicago Cubs in the most recent MLB Draft, a pick that shows that he not only has had success over his Villanova baseball career, but at least one team feels he could play professional baseball. He was selected in the 38th round out of high school, but instead decided to play at Villanova. The third round is almost equivalent to the late first, early second round of the NFL Draft.

Szczur finished the season with a .443 batting average, four home runs, 38 RBIs, ten stolen bases and only one error in 39 games started this year. He can play center and right field in the major leagues (played center in college), and could be at the top level in two to three years based on some baseball scouts' perspectives. He started his career with the Cubs minor league system, hitting safely in his first 21 games as a pro. He finished his first season as a pro baseball player with a .347 batting average.

As for his NFL potential, Szczur has been arguably the most valuable player to his team compared to every other FCS team in the country. He's played quarterback, running back, all three receiver spots and has been a stud return man when he's been healthy.

He has great speed and cutting ability in the open field, and his moves have allowed for consistent big plays over his career. He also grabs the ball out of the air very well for his size. His routes aren't consistently NFL caliber, but he finds holes in the defense very well and puts himself in the best window for his quarterback to get him the ball.

Overall, he's a dynamic playmaker, and a guy who is deadly with the ball in his hands. He's a mixture of Marc Mariani of the Tennessee Titans and Davone Bess of the Miami Dolphins. If he comes out to NFL scouts and says that he is fully committed to the NFL, he could go as high as the second or third round. His versatility should make him highly coveted come draft day as a slot receiver, wildcat back and return man.