’Cats up for NFL Draft

SPORTS FBN-LIONS 2 DE

Detroit Lions wide receiver Tim Toone breaks away from cornerback Rochard Taylor after making a pass reception at the rookie orientation minicamp on May 1, 2010. Toone was the last Wildcat to be drafted to the NFL. (Source: Tribune News Service)

With the NFL season coming to a close, the league calendar is pushing forward to the next major event, the NFL Draft. Over the past six years, there has not been a single Weber State University player drafted into the NFL.

That is to say, none have had the chance to play in an NFL game since the 2009 season.

The last Wildcat to have been drafted was wide receiver Tim Toone at pick 255 in the 2010 NFL Draft. He was the last selection in the draft, joining an illustrious club of final picks. These last picks are individually referred to as Mr. Irrelevant. This year, both of those streaks should change, and it wont involve another Wildcat becoming “irrelevant.”

After yet another season where defense was the Wildcats’ calling card on the football field, they are graduating several defensive stars.

Of those seniors, two stars turned a few heads in their final season at WSU. The two ’Cats entering this year’s draft are safety Josh Burton and inside linebacker Tre’von Johnson.

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Senior linebacker Tre'von Johnson, #23, is entering this year's NFL draft. (Source: Weber State Athletics)

Anyone who’s watched Weber State football over the past four years knows that these two are absolute studs on the field. Each one has been a game changer for the Wildcats since they first walked on campus.

Of the two, Johnson is more likely to be selected in the draft than Burton as his play at middle linebacker makes him a desirable target for NFL teams. Out of almost 220 inside linebackers in the draft, Johnson is around number 25 on the rankings.

With that prediction, it would be a long shot for him to be drafted. But, that’s not how the draft goes in the real world. I believe the last day of the draft is one of the greatest events in sports.

It’s a unique moment for players and fans alike. Even casual football fans can say with confidence that Deshaun Watson is one of the best quarterbacks in the draft or that Myles Garrett will be the first player off the board come April.

These fans are completely right, but where’s the fun in levying a majority opinion on players who have been household names long before they could be considered for the NFL.

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Senior safety Josh Burton, #7, is entering this year's NFL draft. (Source: Weber State Athletics)

One of the greatest compliments any fan of an NFL team can offer to a college football player who’s a prospective professional is that they want them on their team.

The final day is full of teams taking chances on players who are either far down the depth chart at elite schools or made names for themselves at mid-major schools like Weber State.

Having seen what these two can do from up close, I believe that not only should at least one of them be selected, I personally hope that, as a fan of the New York Giants, they will be lucky enough to be picked up by the team.

Hopefully Johnson and Burton are the kind of player who can lift a school up to the national level. The eventual success that they should have playing on Sundays will have the power to bring in more an more top level recruits to this mid-level school located in the rockies.

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