With the 2008 NFL draft just a few weeks in the books, early rankings and projections for '09 have already begun, and several Bulls are being included on watch lists and being mentioned among the best next-level prospects for next year.
Coming off a season where the Bulls climbed the rankings to as high as No. 2. Then the NFL draft where the Bulls had both starting corners drafted, with Mike Jenkins going in the first round, Trae in the fifth, and Ben Moffitt immediately signing a free agent contract afterwards. Several Bulls are already finding themselves on position ranking lists and early possible projections of where they might go.
Defensive End George Selvie, USF's first consensus All-American as a junior is garnering the most draft attention. After a breakout year where he totaled 31 1/2 tackles for loss and a USF single-season school-record 14 1/2 sacks. The Bulls star defensive end, is the active career leader in tackles for loss with 46.5 and second with 20 sacks, has been added to watch lists for next season including the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch, the Lott Trophy and Rotary Lombardi Award recognizing the top defensive players in college. Selvie, who will end up on many All-American teams, was recently named to the 52nd annual Playboy magazine pre-season All-American team. Selvie is one of three Big East players on the team, joining
Selvie is already being mentioned by numerous media outlets as a top pick for '09. Tony Pauline of SI.com listed Selvie as a possible first round selection among A dozen names likely to be drafted in the first round in ‘09. Pete Fiutak of CollegeFootballNews.com has Selvie with the top 32 prospects for next year and among the top DE's if he comes out, but has him in the third round in a way to early projection in 2009's Top 250 Prospects . Jordan Lee of Bleacher report also has Selvie included in 2009 NFL Draft: Top 10 Prospects To Watch, and Walterfootball.com has Selvie as a first round pick and even lists him in the top ten of their 2009 mock draft.
Junior Safety Nate Allen quickly established himself as a play maker in his first year as a starter, and a player to watch. Heading into 2009 Athlon sports placed Nate on the pre-season All-Big East first-team, and NFL Draft Analyst Chris Stueber of NFLExperts.com has Allen as one of the top players in the country who have lined themselves up for major play in the 2009 NFL Draft. Allen led the USF secondary with 78 tackles, a team leading 3 forced fumbles, also tied for 2nd with 4 picks, and added 1 FF, with 3 pass break-ups. In week two against
Linebacker Tyrone McKenzie, a second team All-Big East selection in 2007 just recently was added to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch list, and Athlon sports placed McKenzie on the pre-season All-Big East as first-team. McKenzie has been listed by Pete Fiutak of CFN.com as the seventeenth best linebacker prospect for '09. McKenzie is also listed as the twelfth best OLB by Walterfootball.com a mock draft site. This seems a little low considering that McKenzie set a USF single-season record with 121 tackles in 2007 and has more tackles than any active player over the last two seasons with 250, after registering 129 tackles at
Offensive lineman Ryan Schmidt, a second team All-Big East selection in 2007 has been added to the Outland Trophy watch list for the best interior lineman in college, and is one to keep an eye on. Schmidt has proven to be a very versatile lineman for the Bulls. He came in as a center, but has proven very capable at guard, where he won a starting role. Has 19 career starts with all but 1 game at left guard, but can also play tackle, and was graded at 66% with 64 Knockdowns. Athlon sports placed Schmidt on the pre-season All-Big East second-team, and Pete Fiutak of CFN.com lists Schmidt as the 24th best Guard prospect for the '09 draft.
Offensive lineman Jacob Griffin has been named to the Rimington Trophy watch list, an award given to the top center in college football.
Remember this is only May and it's still way early, and the accolades may continue to grow,but everyone loves lists, projections, and it's always fun to speculate, especially this time of the year.
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