The NFL Draft is almost upon us and several former Cougars are hoping their names will be called at some point between Thursday and Saturday. Here's at look at some of the buzz surrounding BYU's hopeful's across the SB Nation Network. And If you haven't checked out our draft profiles on Kyle Van Noy, Cody Hoffman, Daniel Sorensen, and Eathyn Manumaleuna make sure to do so
Kyle Van Noy
While most mock draft's don't have Van Noy currently being selected in the first round. Van Noy is the only player from BYU in this year's class that has even a slight chance at having his named called on Thursday. Van Noy has earned some high praise from many of the NFL team writers across SB Nation. Bolts from the Blue's (San Diego Chargers) Kyle Posey recently had this to say about Van Noy in his piece on the 10 rookies that will have instant success in the NFL:
"There's nothing he can't do on the field. Because of this, he's going to be just as good in the NFL as he was in college. I wrote about Van Noy before, he's another guy that you just put on the football field and let him play. He's disruptive enough to play off the edge, athletic enough to play in space or in coverage, and smart enough to diagnose run plays or react to the run. I don't think there's a player in this draft with better instincts than Van Noy. I have a hard time imagining him not being successful early on, and throughout his career at the next level."
Van Noy was selected with the 40th overall pick to the Minnesota Vikings by in the SB Nation Writers Two-Round Mock Draft by the Daily Norseman's Christopher Gates.
After finishing off his senior season by re-writing BYU's record books in all the receiving categories, Cody Hoffman had a poor showing at the NFL combine that significantly dropped his draft stock. Despite now having the reputation of a mediocre athlete, there are plenty who would like to see Hoffman join their team in the mid to late rounds of the draft. Big Blue View's (New York Giants) Invictus XI wrote about how Hoffman could be a great fit as a red zone specialist:
"Enter Cody Hoffman, of the BYU Cougars, who stands 6-foot-4, 229 pounds. He's going to be a specialist in the NFL because he has some issues running routes and is a very mediocre athlete. His production fell in 2013 after coming off a 2012 campaign which saw him nab 100 receptions and 11 TDs. That all leads him towards being a mid- to late-fifth round pick in this wide receiver heavy draft. However, he's perfect for the Giants' needs in the red zone. He isn't just the next Ramses Barden, because he's got the requisite body control and physicality to win 1-on-1 battles. Can you just imagine him going out in four wide receiver routes on first-and-goal? Yeah, I can."
The upside of Hoffman's size also caught the attention of Behind the Steel Curtain (Pittsburgh Steelers), The Phinsider (Miami Dolphins), and Silver and Black Pride (Oakland Raiders).
Daniel Sorensen may not have received the attention that the first two players on this list, but he still has a good shot at being drafted and having a successful career in the NFL. Sorensen's performances in the NFL Combine and other off-season workouts improved his draft stock and seemed to caught the attention of some Washington Redskins fans. A convincing 81 percent of Redskins' fans voted that the Redskins should draft Sorensen in a poll on Hogs Haven. Hogs Haven's Sean R. Patterson had this to say about Sorensen:
"Sorensen looks like a good player with some upside. He is likely going to be drafted in the later rounds. His good showing at the combine could get him drafted as high as the 5thround."
Like the remaining players on the list, Manumaleuna hasn't had the buzz around him that the first three players in this group. That hasn't stopped some of the NFL bloggers to include Manumaleuna in the 7th round of their mock drafts. Joel Thorman of Arrowhead Pride (Kansas City Chiefs), who likes Manumaleuna as a 7th round option for the New England Patriots had this to say about the former BYU defensive lineman:
"[Manumaleuna] will be a 25 year old rookie so he falls this far. Think he could be a solid player."
It's nothing new to see a BYU prospect who spent two years away from football on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints get somewhat of a red-flag from scouts for their age and Manumaleuna has a medical hardship year on top of that. The talent is still there though and at the very least Manumaleuna should be able to sign a contract as an undrafted free agent (UDFA) and have a chance to make a roster.
Things have been pretty quiet on the Uani 'Unga front, likely due to the ACL injury he suffered in BYU's bowl loss to Washington. Cincy Jungle (Cincinnati Bengals) did report back in March that the Bengals had interest in 'Unga, likely as an UDFA.