Nebraska Football: 10 Predictions for the Cornhuskers Taken in NFL Draft
Seven Cornhuskers were taken off of the board during the 2011 NFL Draft.
The New York Giants snagged a fantastic value in Prince Amukamara.
Philadelphia likely has a kicker that they’ll keep a death grip on in Alex Henery.
Mike Shanahan is apparently a big fan of Bo Pelini's having drafted three former Cornhuskers.
What does the future hold for this handful of Husker NFL hopefuls?
1: Prince Amukamara Will Start for the New York Giants
The first round of the NFL draft was as unpredictable as Midwestern weather and it was a shock to see Amukamara slip to the No. 19 spot.
The New York Giants aren’t complaining, though.
He should be able to make an immediate impact for last year’s No.9 pass defense giving the Giants one of the best secondaries in the league.
2: Roy Helu Helps Develop a Redskin One-Two Punch with Royster
Clinton Portis is gone, but not to worry.
The addition of Roy Helu, Jr. to the Redskins’ roster combined with the pickup of former Penn State do-it-all back Evan Royster will help lessen the blow considerably.
In fact, Mike Shanahan will build the franchise’s run game around these two utilizing Helu, Jr.'s excellent ability to run between the tackles.
3: Henery Supplants Akers in Philly
David Akers is 36 and has spent 12 years in the NFL as a quality kicker.
Alex Henery is 23, was drafted in the fourth round in the 2011 NFL Draft and is the NCAA’s most accurate kicker in history.
One of these things is not like the other…
4: Niles Paul Makes the Starting Lineup in Washington
Washington needs someone to help take pressure off of Santana Moss and Anthony Armstrong.
Chris Cooley does a great job, but Niles Paul can make all three players’ lives easier.
Paul has all of the phyical tools to excel in the NFL and with proper training from wide receivers coach Kennan McCardell, he'll only get better as a wide out.
He’ll make a solid No. 3 guy for the ‘Skins to begin his career.
5: DeJon Gomes Sees Playing Time for Redskins
While it’s unlikely that he’ll start, Gomes’ athleticism and physicality will earn him time playing on Sundays both in the secondary and on special teams.
He won’t be able to run with elite NFL wide receivers early in a game, but he should do well once they’ve been gassed somewhat especially in red zone situations.
6: Keith Williams Provides a Stable Backup for the Steelers
Williams has the size to compete in the NFL, but he’s got plenty of room for improvement.
That said, his work ethic isn’t to be doubted at all.
He’ll work hard with Pittsburgh’s staff to become a better technician in the trenches which should result in his ability to spell starters and keep drives alive.
7: Eric Hagg Locks Up a Job, but Not in Cleveland
It’s going to be an uphill battle in the NFL for Eric Hagg.
He did quite a bit of damage for Nebraska in the “Peso” slot designed by Cornhusker head coach Bo Pelini, but playing as a hybrid linebacker/safety won’t do Hagg any favors in the NFL.
Cleveland certainly had nothing to lose by picking him up, but he’s going to have to find a natural position and focus on learning.
Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to make enough of an impact to be on Cleveland's final 53-man roster.
Much like former Brown and current Tampa Bay Buccaneer Larry Asante, Hagg will probably leave Cleveland and find a good home elsewhere.
8: Roy Helu Rushes for 350-Plus Yards; Scores 4 TDs
The combination of Roy Helu, Jr. and Evan Royster is going to give Ryan Torain all that he can handle as they all scramble for the starting job.
Regardless of who gets the official nod, look for Helu, Jr. to get plenty of carries during an efficient rookie year.
9: Niles Paul Accumulates 300-Plus Yards Receiving; Catches 3-Plus TDs
While having 300-plus yards to his name wouldn’t be a bad start for Niles Paul in his rookie year, tripling his touchdown total from his senior season at Nebraska would be fantastic.
Look for him to accomplish just that as he makes strides in correcting his issues with dropped passes as he takes some pressure off of fellow former Cornhusker Roy Helu, Jr.
10: Henery Wins 1-2 More Games for Eagles; Will Be on Pro Bowl Ballot
You don’t become the all-time scoring leader at a school known for putting quality kickers into the NFL without some amazing skill.
Henery’s booming boots will become the talk of Philadelphia.
In a league where three points can be the difference between a win or a loss, the Eagles now have a deadly weapon in the former Cornhuskers’ leg.
He’ll also likely get credit for handling the team’s kickoff duties and potentially nailing a few punts inside the 20-yard line.
It's not a stretch to say that Henery might find himself in Honolulu along with former teammates come the postseason.
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