In a season that saw the favorites falter a bit and newcomers take a starring role, San Diego State proved to have the most talent in the MWC. They have multiple draft prospects, from All-Americans on offense to interception machines on defense. They will have at least three players hear their names called at the draft.
As a whole, the MWC could see quite a few players head their names called, but many will have a chance to make teams as undrafted free agents. In many cases, it is better to go undrafted and pick your team than get drafted in the seventh round.
Damontae Kaze, CB, San Diego State: One of the best cornerbacks in college football last fall, Kazee is a magnet to the ball. He was able to play very aggressively in the Aztecs scheme and picked off eight passes. The only thing holding Kazee from being a higher pick is that he has a tendency to give up too many explosive plays looking to make a big play.
Nico Siragusa, OG, San Diego State: One of the biggest reasons Pumphrey ended his career as the all-time leading rusher, Siragusa is a physical run blocker. He loves to play in a phone booth with defenders and physically control the line of scrimmage. If he can work on his pass blocking and prove to be adequate, he could find a starting job.
Jeremy McNichols, RB, Boise State: A touchdown machine for Boise State, McNichols has proven his ability to rush the ball, catch passes, and perform in the return game. He is a hard to get player that at times reminds me a Reggie Bush with some of his moves. If he can prove an ability to break tackles once he is touched, he could end up as a backup that steals several carries from the starter.
Brian Hill, RB, Wyoming: Of the many candidates from the MWC to play at the next level, Hill looks the most like a NFL running back. Hill runs hard and confidently with an ability to break multiple 20+ yard runs. While he is a very talented runner, his ability to block in the passing game will be what first gets him on the field. He would be a steal in the fourth round.
Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State: The Aztec set the FBS ablaze with his record-setting career. NFL teams are terrified by his size, but fall in love with his talent. Figuring out where Pumphrey goes is like blindly throwing a dart at the wall. He could be a return man, a receiving back on third downs, earn 10 carries a game, or sit on the bench depend on which team drafts him. He will make a roster, but he needs the right situation to succeed.
Calvin Munson, LB, San Diego State: Munson was a great performer for the Aztecs, but will struggle to find a home on defense. He is a perfect fit to go undrafted and make a team as a special teams ace. Munson has the attitude and ability to play 10 seasons as a special teamer.
Chase Roullier, C, Wyoming: The biggest positive for Roullier heading into the draft is his versatility. He can play center or guard and hold his own. He doesn’t project to start at the next level, but could be a solid depth guy that occasionally starts when someone is injured. He needs to be in a power running scheme to play up to his ability.
Tanner Vallejo, LB, Boise State: Similar to many MWC prospects, Vallejo is an undersized player that can play at a high level when healthy. The problem is his lack of recent health, necessitating teams to project rather than scout his tape. He is likely to be undrafted, but will have many suitors after the draft as a UDFA.
Others that could hear their names called in the NFL Draft:
- Jacob Hollister, TE, Wyoming
- Hayden Hunt, P, Colorado State
- Jalen Robinette, WR, Air Force
- Weston Steelhammer, S, Air Force
- Tyquawn Glass, CB, Fresno State
- Daniel Brunskill, OT, San Diego State
- Kevin Davis, LB, Colorado State
- Christian Tago, LB, San Jose State
- Lucas Wacha, LB, Wyoming
- Dakota Cox, LB, New Mexico
- Thomas Sperbeck, WR, Boise State
- Rigoberto Sanchez, K, Hawaii
- Fred Zerblis, OG, Colorado State