In a little more than 48 hours the 2014 NFL Draft will commence from Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
At the same time, four players tied to the great state of Minnesota will be waiting to hear their names called during the Draft. Former Gophers defensive lineman Ra'Shede Hageman and defensive back Brock Vereen, Concordia-St. Paul defensive end Zach Moore and former Cretin-Derham Hall star offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson all have a chance to play in the NFL.
Hageman is considered a potential first-round pick. ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. told Marcus Fuller of the Pioneer Press that Hageman needs to improve his endurance to play four quarters but he loves his athletic ability. At 6-foot-6, 315 pounds, Hageman can still do a 360-degree dunk.
According to the Pioneer Press, ESPN's Todd McShay referred to Vereen as one of the "most underrated" players in the draft. Meanwhile, NFL Network's Charles Davis thinks Vereen will be off the board by the fourth round.
“He’s played a lot of safety,” Davis said. “He’s one of those quicker safeties that you can plug in and play free and strong, although he seems to be a lot more closer to the line of scrimmage. He’s more of a playmaker in that way. I’ve had some teams that thought with his speed and quickness he might be corner.”
The Star Tribune calls Concordia's Moore a long-shot to get drafted. Not one Golden Bear has been drafted in the 45-year history of the football program.
“People fail to realize that there’s competition at every level,” Moore said. “Just because it’s not publicized or broadcast on TV like some of these D-I schools, to me really it’s not that big of an adjustment.”
Moore holds the Concordia-St. Paul record with 33 career sacks. According to CBS Minnesota, one of Moore's coaches called him the "whole package."
And then there is the curious case of Henderson, who on Monday was the center of attention thanks to a report that he tested positive for marijuana at the NFL Combine. Henderson also quit his pro-day workout early, leaving the field without an explanation, only to later say he was dehydrated.
Henderson was suspended three times while playing for the Miami Hurricanes, so the latest red flags only add to the questions about which teams will be willing to take a flyer on him.