April 26, 2012

Guy, Trevathan have best chance at being drafted

The 2012 NFL Draft begins on Thursday and concludes on Saturday. There are 253 picks, but linebacker Danny Trevathan and safety Winston Guy are likely the only former Wildcats with a chance of being drafted. A handful of others could have opportunities as undrafted free agents, though.

Position: Outside linebacker
Height: 6-0 Weight: 237
Projection: 5th-7th
Strengths: Leading the Southeastern Conference in tackles in back-to-back years is no easy feat. Trevathan has been one of the most productive players in the country, and he has the speed to track down plays all over the field. Creates turnovers; had five forced fumbles and four interceptions in 2011.
Weaknesses: Questions about Trevathan's size will continue to plague him throughout his career. He's not big enough to play outside linebacker in a 3-4, as he struggles to shed offensive linemen. For a player his size and speed, teams would like for him to be better in coverage.

Position: Safety
Height: 6-1 Weight: 218
Strengths: Guy has the athleticism and tackling ability to be a valuable special teams player for any team he lands with, and that's often enough to launch an NFL career. He played bits of corner, safety and linebacker at Kentucky, so he's versatile and willing to play where the team needs him.
Weaknesses: There's still criticism of his coverage skills, which were only exacerbated when he played close to the line of scrimmage as a senior. It's highly unlikely he'll play linebacker at the next level, so there could be a learning curve as he moves back to safety.

Position: Middle linebacker
Height: 6-foot-2 Weight: 238
Projection: Undrafted
Strengths: Has decent size and shows good technique in tackling. Unlikely to lose a ball carrier once he makes contact. High-character player who was a two-year starter in the SEC.
Weaknesses: Doesn't have the foot speed to make sideline-to-sideline plays at the next level, and doesn't have the explosion to rush the passer. He didn't have a sack in his senior year. Coverage skills aren't outstanding either, and he'll struggle if matched up with a tight end in man coverage.

Position: Punter
Height: 6-1 Weight: 190
Projection: Undrafted
Strengths: Has a strong leg, but won't outkick his coverage. Has worked with Green Bay Packers punter Tim Masthay in the offseason, developing a special punt designed to drop inside the 20.
Weaknesses: Tydlacka's position means his only chance at an NFL career will likely come much the same way Masthay's did. He'll have a chance to sign as a free agent for a team entering camp, then hope to make the roster. It may take him time to do so, as with Masthay.

Other UK players:
Safety Mychal Bailey
Offensive lineman Chandler Burden
Cornerback Randall Burden
Defensive tackle Mark Crawford
Tight end Nick Melillo
Cornerback Anthony Mosley
Offensive lineman Billy Joe Murphy
Wide receiver Matt Roark
Safety Taiedo Smith

NFL Draft schedule
April 26: 1st round, 8 p.m., ESPN and NFL Network
April 27: 2nd and 3rd rounds, 7 p.m., ESPN and NFL Network
April 28: Rounds 4-7, 12 p.m., ESPN and NFL Network

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