Which Rutgers players are most likely to be selected in this years’ NFL Draft?
Blessuan Austin and Saquon Hampton have received the highest grades entering the 2019 NFL Draft.
Bill Tranavitch became the first Rutgers player to ever be selected in the NFL Draft when he was chosen by the Detroit Lions in 1940. Since then 60 other former Scarlet Knights have been selected by NFL teams. This year, a handful are hopeful of hearing their name called, but who are the most likely?
Rutgers has seen three former stars drafted in the first round. Kenny Britt was the first (2009), followed by Anthony Davis and Devin McCourty (2010). The first round of the 2019 NFL Draft takes place Thursday, but don’t expect any Scarlet Knights to have their name called.
In fact, Day 3 is the most likely scenario for any of the former Rutgers players eligible for this years’ draft.
A couple years ago, cornerback Blessuan Austin was projected as a potential early-round pick after a strong sophomore season. However, injuries the past two seasons dropped his stock significantly. Austin has reportedly rehabbed well and saw a smooth recovery. His 4.56 time in the 40-yard dash at Rutgers Pro Day likely grabbed the attention of the many NFL scouts in attendance. Expect Austin to have his phone ring and name called anywhere from rounds four through seven.
Safety Saquon Hampton is also likely to have his name called on Saturday, sometime in the later rounds. Hampton, Rutgers team captain last season, recorded 65 tackles and a conference leading 16 passes defended in 2018. Mock Drafts and rankings have Hampton being selected as high as the fourth round, but more likely somewhere in the fifth to seventh.
Austin and Hampton both competed at the NFL Combine.
With Austin and Hampton the most likely to be drafted, who else has a chance? There are a few.
Running back Jonathan Hilliman would likely be the next Scarlet Knight to have his name called. Cornerback Isaiah Wharton and defensive tackle Kevin Wilkins could also have a shot late. If any of the three are not drafted, they surely will have options as undrafted free agents.
OL Tariq Cole could have some interest in the late rounds. As could TE Jerome Washington and LB Deonte Roberts.
DB Kiy Hester, LB Trevor Morris, QB Gio Rescigno, and LB Muhammed Wainwright are expected to go undrafted and will hope for a undrafted free agent opportunity or mini camp invite.