This coming Thursday, the Huskers will have their "NFL Workout Day" for those recently departed Seniors who wish to be selected in the upcoming NFL Draft that starts on May 8th.
For insight on what Husker fans can expect of Nebraska's chances of having players drafted, we turned to our in-house draft expert. Dan Kadar, who runs Mocking the Draft on SBNation, was kind enough to answer some questions for us.
We asked about Spencer Long's injury concern, whether Stanley Jean-Baptiste will be helped by a great NFL Combine appearance, the odds of Taylor Martinez getting drafted, and whether Randy Gregory or Ameer Abdullah made the right or wrong call by staying in school.
What is the effect of Spencer Long's knee injury now, versus if he had the injury in December?
If Long was to get injured no matter what, the earlier the better. If he were injured in December instead of October, you may be talking about a player who would be a candidate to sit out his rookie season. We saw it last year with Marcus Lattimore and Tank Carradine. Those guys went a round later than expected because they had to sit out a season. Injuries obviously are terrible, but if they're going to happen to an NFL prospect, the earlier the better.
What kind of chance will Quincy Enunwa get without going through the gauntlet?
Enunwa is a player who you know what you're getting with him. He'll have the same chance now that he did before the combine. Everyone knows he's a physical receiver who may not have the best speed.
Stanley Jean-Baptiste; where could he go that would be an ideal fit, and where would he struggle at?
It's been interesting to follow Jean-Baptiste through the offseason process, first down at the Senior Bowl and then in Indianapolis. At the Senior Bowl, he was up and down and at the combine he didn't do a ton to help himself. But he's fortunate in that some teams are going to be on the look out for bigger corners to try and match what the Seattle Seahawks do. Wherever Jean-Baptiste goes, they have to know he's a man cover cornerback who can probably only stick on the outside. I don't think he has quite the quickness and flexibility to play inside. He's a play who I think should get drafted late on the second day at the earliest and sit and learn for a year.
Is there any interest in Taylor Martinez at all? Or is he more a Free Agent type of trial somewhere?
I don't see a lot of interest in Taylor Martinez other than as a free agent. We'll see if he gets moved around at all. He's not an NFL quarterback.
Ameer Abdullah and Randy Gregory, did they do the right thing by staying in school?
The caveat for staying or going is that I'll never really fault a guy either way. Some guys just dig school and want to get their education. Other guys need to go pro to help their family. If you take that off the table and just look at them as players, I thought Gregory made the right choice and Abdullah should have gone pro. For a running back, they only get so many carries, unfortunately, before they start breaking down. In a class where there isn't a stand out running back, some team would have liked Abdullah on the third day of the draft and he could have started his NFL clock. He's not really a player I see improving his stock a lot next season, so he should have entered the draft. Conversely, Gregory looks like he's just touching on his potential. If he came out this year, he might be only a second-round pick. If he continues getting better (and stronger), he's a first-round pick in 2015.
What are his strengths and weaknesses, and does Ciante Evans have a good shot at getting drafted?
Evans has a decent shot at getting drafted because so many cornerbacks get picked every year. He's probably not one of the first 30 cornerbacks drafted, though. He's good as a nickel or dime cornerback, but probably not much more. It's a knock if a guy can only play the slot. Evans also isn't overly physical as a corner. But he has solid ball skills and seems to know his role. If he's willing to work on special teams, he could get a shot.