The Minnesota Golden Gophers had two players selected in the 2014 NFL draft. They are trying to build on that success, but it doesn’t look like the Gophers are going to have a lot of scouts flocking to Minneapolis in 2014.
Last season, every NFL team was looking at defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman. Defensive back Brock Vereen also left an impression on scouts. They were selected in the second and fourth rounds, respectively, in the draft.
Here are the five best NFL potential prospects on the Gophers roster.
No. 1 Damien Wilson
The 6-foot-2-inch, 254-pound senior linebacker was an instant hit on the Gophers defense. He finished second on the team in tackles, but with a full year of Big Ten experience under his belt, he should be among the conference’s leaders. He has the prototypical size, strength and athleticism to make an impact in the NFL.
No. 2 Drew Goodger
The 6-foot-5-inch, 265-pound senior tight end has above average receiving skills, but really stands out as a blocker. He is not an elite athlete, like most tight ends in the NFL, but has enough to make some plays. He has good hands and short-yardage receiving skills. He could be a quality third tight end in goal line packages.
No. 3 David Cobb
The 5-foot-11-inch, 225-pound senior running back emerged in middle of last season as a multi-purpose back. He got the opportunity to start and ran with it. He can be effective as both a runner and a receiver. He has the power to run inside and the athleticism to turn the corner on the edge. He is better between-the-tackles with a physical running style.
No. 4 Derrick Wells
The 6-foot, 206-pound senior defensive back has been on the radar since intercepting two passes in the 2012 season opener. That game garnered him conference and national weekly awards. He has battled injuries ever since. He has the size and speed to play either cornerback or safety, but has not excelled at either position. He needs to have a strong season to get the attention of scouts again.
No. 5 Tommy Olson
The 6-foot-4-inch, 301-pound senior offensive lineman has been named to the Rimington Award watch list for this season as one of the nation’s best centers. He started playing center prior to last season and took over as the starter with four games remaining in the season. It took an injury, but Olson has gotten back on track toward the NFL.