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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Next-level Rams you can expect to see on NFL draft night

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Collegian | Luke Bourland

Trey McBride (85) celebrates after scoring a touchdown Nov. 16, 2019.

CTV Sports: Cameron Evig

Jack Taylor, Sports Reporter

With the Los Angeles Rams crowned as the 2021-22 NFL champions after one of the most entertaining Super Bowls of recent memory, the league now transitions into the offseason. Fans from every team now eagerly wait for the most exciting and anticipating night of football other than Super Bowl Sunday: the NFL draft.

Despite the abysmal 2021-22 season for the Colorado State Rams football team, finishing 3-9 and losing all but one game at home, there is still room for a happy ending for the green and gold. Trey McBride, Ryan Stonehouse, Ross Reiter and Scott Patchan all have a real shot at signing a rookie contract with a professional football team this NFL offseason.

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Using my astute and uncanny ability to predict NFL draft picks, I will be sharing with you insider information regarding which CSU Rams football players should be drafted come April 2022.

Let’s pause our frustrations for a minute as Rams football fans and reflect on the high note of CSU football: McBride. Over his four years playing for CSU, McBride has made the All-Mountain West first team three times, was the first CSU Ram to be selected as a unanimous All-American and was named the best tight end in college football, winning the John Mackey Award.

Besides the Heisman Trophy, McBride received nearly every accolade an offensive player could hope to win. After nearly averaging 100 receiving yards per game this past season, McBride is the best tight end in the draft this year and draws comparisons to Hunter Henry of the New England Patriots.

There is no doubt that McBride is a first-round talent, but popular draft boards from the bleacher report and NFL.com have McBride falling to the early second round.

There are two teams in the NFL that need help at the tight end spot: the Cincinnati Bengals and the Tennessee Titans. You read that correctly — two Super Bowl-contending teams both need a tight end. Joe Burrow needs another passing target, and the rushing powerhouse in Tennessee would vastly improve with a formidable, 6-foot-4-inch receiving target at the tight end position. Both teams are an excellent fit for McBride.

Unfortunately, both the Bengals and the Titans have late-round picks, which are 31 and 26, respectively. I see McBride going in the mid-first round, but as any NFL fan knows, nothing is for certain until the picks are in. We could see either of these teams trade up for Trey “The Train” McBride. I anxiously anticipate seeing where McBride lands and following his NFL career.

Stonehouse, the punting demigod, averaged an astonishing 50.9 yards per punt last season. Stonehouse boasts an accolade list that includes being named to the All-Mountain West first team three times and second team once and being named to the Ray Guy Award watchlist five times — an award given to the best punter in college football.

Most NFL teams don’t consider drafting special teams players in the draft. Often, teams take kickers, long snappers and punters like Stonehouse in the later rounds of the draft or pick these players up in the free agency. I believe we can expect to see Stonehouse and his bazooka of a leg drafted in the seventh round.

Reiter declared his intention to start training for the NFL draft on Twitter this past December. Since then, Reiter attended the East-West Shrine Bowl, the longest running college all-star football game. Accompanied by the aforementioned punter Stonehouse, Reiter put on a show to cap off his senior year at CSU.

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Reiter is a talented long snapper, completing all of his snaps without a muff the past two years, earning himself a spot on the 2020 Phil Steele All-Mountain West second team. Similar to Stonehouse, Reiter is also a special teams player, which means his draft stock value is not high, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t valuable to an NFL team. With special teams becoming a more integral part of the NFL, it is reasonable to see Reiter drafted in the late seventh round or picked up in the free agency.

Defensive end Patchan rounds out my evaluation of potential CSU Rams in the upcoming NFL draft. Patchan ended his collegiate football career at CSU being selected for the All-Mountain West first team the past two years and considered for the Chuck Bednarik Award and Bronko Nagurski Trophy. Both awards are given to the best defensive college football player.

Patchan stands at 6 feet, 6 inches and 270 pounds, making him a dangerous interior defensive player capable of plugging running holes. He also has incredible agility and speed for a player of his size; Patchan is an adept pass rusher whom all NFL teams should want in the trenches.

With 68 tackles and 10.5 sacks this year, Patchan is outrageously underrated and has the skills to improve any NFL team’s defensive line. Most major draft boards have yet to list Patchan in their predictions, but I would not be surprised to hear Patchan’s name called in the sixth round.

With the excitement of NFL draft week coming in April, all Ram fans should watch with pride as CSU boasts its most talented graduating class of the past decade.

Reach Jack Taylor at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @J_taylr.

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    David MazziniFeb 26, 2022 at 10:03 am

    Great Article.

    Reply