*Let it be known that these are all players that are presumed to be entering the 2017 NFL Draft. I have no insider knowledge and this is all based off of my own opinions. Quite literally none of these guys could go to the NFL for all I know.
Well would you look at that, Mississippi State picked up the third win of the 2016 season and the winning streak is now extended to one game! What a time to be a Dawg. This is the second edition of Drafting the Dawgs where we will explore the progress for a couple Bulldog players that I think could be headed for the draft in April as well as what I think they’ll have to do the rest of the season to build the best resumes possible. You can check out last weeks edition here. This week, we’ll be examining Richie Brown and Brandon Holloway.
For the better part of the last three seasons, Richie Brown has been at the core of Mississippi State’s defense, finishing at the top of the team in total tackles each year. He was around for the 2014 dream season and everything in between. If you want a player with loads of game experience, Brown is one you shouldn’t overlook. In his almost four full years of eligibility, Brown has never missed a game. In 2015, he amassed 108 total tackles, with 51 of them being unassisted, and tallied six solo sacks. So far this season, he’s at 35 solo tackles, 68 total, and only one sack. With four games to go against a tough SEC West slate, Brown can do a lot for himself with a big finish to the season.
Before the season Brown was listed as a Butkus Award Candidate, but with the overall lackluster performance of the defense, I would expect him to be looked over for the most part by the award committee. But, what this does mean is that people outside of the program and SEC are noticing his ability and skill level which bodes well for his transition to the pros. Brown plays well against the tough offenses of Alabama, A&M, Arkansas and Ole Miss, he may be looking at even a combine invite after the season ends.
This is more a speculative look at Holloway than a realistic draft appraisal because I’m just not sure he has enough to offer to justify a draft selection. I do think though that with a bit off pre-draft work and a strong finish to the season, Holloway can sneak his way into being a late-round value pick that takes some people by surprise.
I certainly don’t see Holloway as any type of back in the NFL, he just plain doesn’t have the size to be able to run against today’s defenses. His best shot at finding a career in the NFL, in my opinion, is either as slot receiver or a kick returner/punt returner/special teamer. He has incredible speed and vision and that is a huge asset for him moving forward. Think about Dallas WR Cole Beasley for a moment. Beasley is 5’ 8”, 180 lbs, only 15 pounds lighter than Holloway’s current listed weight, and has shown to be one of Dak Prescott’s favorite security blankets in the Cowboys offense. This is the type of player that I think Holloway can be if he adds about 10-15 pounds and is willing to learn the receiver skill set. His best chance to make a career for himself is making sure that he stays open to new opportunities in switching to a different position.
Have a suggestion for who I should put on the chopping block next week? Leave a comment below!