UW seeks net returns

UW seeks net returns

September 17, 2020 mmvxljhp 0

first_imgGREG DIXON/Herald photoAll that former Wisconsin free safety Roderick Rogers has been able to do since the Badgers’ victory in the Capital One Bowl is sit and wait.First, Rogers had to sit and wait because of the knee injury he suffered in the bowl game, as the MCL sprain set his training back about three weeks.Now, Rogers will have to sit and wait as he hopes to be picked up by an NFL team in this weekend’s draft.”I’m just waiting,” Rogers said in a phone interview. “Everything’s out of my hands right now. I’ve been getting my workouts in, staying in shape, but all I can do is just sit and wait.”Yet Rogers won’t exactly be sitting down for the draft. Not only will he be flying back home to the Atlanta area, he may be on the edge of his seat waiting to hear his name called.According to his agent, Josh Wright, Rogers is projected as high as a third-round selection and as low as an un-drafted free agent.”Of all the players I’ve dealt with, Roderick has the highest disparity I’ve ever seen,” said Wright, who represents 18 active NFL players. “Some teams really love him and some teams just don’t.”It’s even harder to gauge Rogers’ stock given the nature of how teams give draft projections at this time of the year.”Every team is playing possum right now,” Wright said. “They’re all trying to get the best guy possible and as late as possible. Some teams will publicly place guys lower than they actually have them ranked, so it’s really hard to tell where Rod will go.”Nevertheless, Rogers and his agent have heard from every NFL team regarding potential interest. The Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts have had interviews with Rogers, and the Detroit Lions and Pittsburgh Steelers brought him in for visits.The visit with the Steelers stuck out for Rogers and his agent.”It went really well,” Rogers said. “It was a chance for me to meet the coaches and see the facilities. I liked the team, and it seemed like they (were) very interested.”Wright said the trip to Pittsburgh was encouraging for Rogers because the Steelers have a strong history of draft picks making their roster.While there may be some doubt as to where Rogers will go this weekend, there’s no doubt he will be with an NFL team before the start of the 2007 season.”You never say never,” Wright said, “but I just can’t fathom Rogers not being in the NFL next year.”Projection: Sixth-round to undrafted-Michael PoppyMark ZalewskiAbout the only thing certain in this weekend’s upcoming NFL draft for former Wisconsin linebacker Mark Zalewski is that anything can happen.He could be selected as high as the third or fourth round or not drafted at all, and he’s been hearing this discrepancy from scouts and coaches alike for months.”It’s hard to tell,” said Zalewski in a phone interview of where he might end up at the conclusion of this weekend’s draft. “It’s like every team has their own feeling in what kind of player they want and what kind of player they’re looking for.”So I’ve heard a lot of good things, but some bad things as well,” Zalewski added. “It’s just so hard to tell when you’ve got 32 different opinions on everything.”According to Rivals.com, Zalewski’s positive qualities include both physical and mental toughness, good instincts and quickness to close on the defender.However, marginal mobility, change-of-direction speed and average size, coupled with limited growth potential, may prevent Zalewski from being drafted. This is something that he and his agent, Tim Valentyn of Murphy Desmond, S.C., both believe would be disconcerting.”I definitely think I should [get drafted],” Zalewski said. “Just watching film and just comparing myself to everyone else that I saw from this year, I thought I played comparable to almost everybody.”Valentyn added, “Mark competes on every play, and that is a quality that cannot be taught.”Should Zalewski remain undrafted at the conclusion of this weekend’s selection process, there’s still an opportunity for him to sign on with a team as a free agent.But what it will come down to this weekend isn’t where the Internet sites rate Zalewski, or even what he and his agent believe. Instead, it’s where teams’ needs are in the later rounds, and what player it thinks is the best fit.If Zalewski’s the player a team wants, then so be it. If not, he says, there’s nothing he can do about it.Nevertheless, the entire process remains nerve-wracking.”It’s just been a stressful time,” Zalewski said. “It’s hard to not know where you’re going to live or where you’re going — you’re just trying to make a team, and it’s pretty stressful. I really just can’t wait until after this weekend to really kind of solidify where I’m going to be at and the chance I have in front of me.”In the meantime, Zalewski will continue to work out on his own, maybe do a little fishing and ultimately just sit back, hoping for the best.Projection: Undrafted-Kevin HagstromJohn StoccoJohn Stocco is a winner. You want his résumé for the NFL? Don’t look at the 40-yard dash time, or how far he can launch a pigskin — look no further than his record.29-7 overall. 18-6 in Big Ten games. 2-1 in bowl games. Had it not been for a late-season shoulder injury, John Stocco very well might have left Wisconsin as the winningest quarterback in the school’s history. “Hey, the kid’s won, and that’s important,” Jesse Kaye, a scout for the New York Jets, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “(Brooks) Bollinger was more of an athlete who’s developed as a passer. (Jim) Sorgi was maybe a little more advanced as a passer. And this guy is a combination of the two.”Along with Thomas, Stocco was the only other Badger invited to the NFL Combine, and had mixed results, checking in as one of the shortest (6-foot-1 1/2) and slowest (5.11 40-yard dash) quarterbacks tested. However, Stocco made up for some of his negative stats with an impressive passing display, completing 15 of 22 passes to wide receivers at the final day of the Combine, drawing the attention of talent evaluators. “Some of the early throws when he was just doing the drops, I thought he was really mechanical,” offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell of the Minnesota Vikings told the Journal Sentinel. “He was better in just the throwing to receivers. He threw accurately. He had a nice career. Tough kid. He’s a winner.”While many scouts at the Combine predicted Stocco to be a mid-to-late round selection, in the weeks since, the quarterback pool has deepened, and the UW stalwart’s prospects for being picked have slimmed a bit. ESPN draft expert Todd McShay left Stocco out of his full seven-round draft projection, and many draft gurus haven’t mentioned Stocco as a hot prospect. However, even if Stocco does slide through the draft unselected, it is without question that he will get his shot in the NFL as a post-draft free agent signee. At that point Stocco will once again be able to show what he is: a winner.Projection: Undrafted-Dave McGrathlast_img

 

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