With the NFL Draft nearly here, we evaluate where some Maryland players could land. While there may not be an day one picks, there’s still plenty of talent.
Stefon Diggs (6’0, 195 lb.)
- Scouting report: As it should as no surprise, Diggs will likely be the first Maryland player off the board in Chicago. Diggs has the big-play ability that NFL teams crave. The former Terrapin has the ability to line up anywhere on the field as we saw throughout his career in College Park. Diggs has the ability to score from just about anywhere on the field. One of the biggest tools is his elusiveness as there’s few players that are more dangerous in the open field than Diggs. The only knock on Diggs is his durability. In all three of his seasons at Maryland, the former Good Counsel star missed multiple games due to injury.
- How he got here: Diggs started the Stay Home Movement that has really caught fire over the past few seasons. The former Maryland wideout decided to play his college football locally rather than attend schools like Auburn, Florida, and Ohio State. On that faithful night at Bentley’s, Diggs proclaimed “what better place to do it than your city?” Diggs was one of the most beloved athletes that Maryland has had in recent years. He may have been a higher draft pick if he stayed for another year, but Diggs will likely still be an impact player from day one at the NFL level.
- Potential draft landing spot: Diggs has a third/fourth round grade, according to most NFL Draft analysts. The wide receiver class is very deep this year with five to seven players that could go in the first round. Amari Cooper (Alabama), Kevin White (West Virginia), DeVante Parker (Louisville), and Breshad Perriman (Central Florida) are all shoe-ins for Round 1. Most draft sites have Diggs ranked outside of the top 10 at the position, but it’s all going to be a matter of fit for each individual team looking for a wideout.
Deon Long (6’1, 192 lbs.)
- Scouting report: Long is a very crafty wideout that really gets off well at the line of scrimmage. Despite playing second fiddle to Diggs throughout his Maryland career, Long has a ton of talent. The former New Mexico wide receiver isn’t incredibly quick, so he projects as a slot receiver at the NFL level. One of the most impressive attributes that Long possesses is his ability to watch the football, especially in traffic. Long definitely has the potential to be an impact player in the NFL.
- How he got here: Long has bounced around the college ranks throughout his career. He started out his career with current offensive coordinator Mike Locksley at New Mexico before ending up at Iowa Western Community College. While there, Long caught 100 passes for 1,625 yards and a mind-blowing 25 touchdowns. Long didn’t quite live up to that billing, but part of that has to do with inconsistent quarterback play.
- Potential draft landing spot: Much like Diggs’ situation, he is hurt by the deep class at wide receiver. However, Long will still likely hear his name called. It’ll likely be in the sixth or seventh round when Long comes off the board.
With the First Pick
Darius Kilgo (6’3, 319 lbs.)
- Scouting report: Kilgo is a talented nose tackle that can really plug the hole. At times, he can really dominate the line of scrimmage and push offensive linemen around. He’ll likely go to a team that plays a 3-4 defense, so he can be a nose tackle. Kilgo isn’t much a pass rusher as he doesn’t find his way to the quarterback very often. It would also benefit Kilgo to get stronger because he may struggle at the NFL level if he doesn’t.
- How he got here: Kilgo redshirted the 2010 season, but saw the field a lot during his Maryland career. He appeared in five games as a redshirt freshman and started double-digit games in his next three seasons.
- Potential draft landing spot: It appears as though many teams may be sleeping on Kilgo, so he’ll likely be a seventh round pick or maybe an undrafted free agent. For a team that needs some depth on the defensive line, it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise if Kilgo came off the board late in day three.
Andre Monroe (5’11, 282 lb.)
- Scouting report: Monroe is one of the best pass rushers that Maryland has had in recent years. Despite not being the biggest defensive lineman in the world, the former St. John’s College standout gets a great amount of leverage, and can outmuscle big offensive tackle and get to the quarterback. Monroe is very versatile as he is able to line up at defensive end and tackle, which he did frequently at Maryland. The former Terp really sheds his blocker well as is evident if you watch the tape of the 2014 West Virginia game. Monroe is able to plug the running lanes and really use his speed to fluster opposing ball carriers. As was mentioned above, Monroe’s size is always going to put him at a disadvantage. He’s likely too small to be an NFL defensive end, but could find his way as a situational pass rusher.
- How he got here: Before the 2012 season even got started, Monroe suffered a knee injury that would force him to miss the entire season. As tough of a setback as that was, Monroe came back to register 20 sacks during the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Monroe was only a three-star recruit, and didn’t have any other big-time offers. The star defensive end will leave Maryland as the school’s all-time leader in sacks.
- Potential draft landing spot: Most sites have Monroe as going undrafted this weekend. However, with the expected run of pass rushers in the first round, Monroe could sneak into the seventh round if the right team has done their homework. Keep an eye on the New England Patriots, who currently have former Terp Joe Vellano on their roster and were at Maryland’s Pro Day.