Apr 172002

Draft Day. Hundreds of college prospects have been anticipating it since their last game of their last season. They’ve actually probably been anticipating it since their first game of their first season.

Making it to the NFL is a dream for nearly every single boy who signs up for little league football as an 8-year-old.

Some make it through little league, some make it through high school, some make it through college and then some, actually very few, become NFL prospects.

For many prospects, guys from the big schools like Tennessee, Florida State and Texas, draft day isn’t that stressful. It’s not a matter of if you’ll get drafted, but when.

But for guys from the lower profile schools, schools like our very own Colorado State, the day, make that the weekend, can be a lot more stressful.

There are no players from Colorado State being mentioned among those who will be drafted on the first day. All the prospects CSU has are guys called “iffy at best. Possible late rounders.” They are the guys that are “long on heart but short on talent. Tough guys, but marginal NFL tools.”

These guys will be lucky to get drafted. They will more than likely have to scrape their way on to an NFL team or developmental squad as free agent signees brought in as training camp fodder, but with determination, heart and a display of talent that no one thought they had, they can manage to stick.

Guys like Pete Rebstock. A dangerous return man and one of the most productive receivers the Rams have ever had, Rebstock has been nearly impossible to cover since his sophomore year.

Yeah, he’s short, something the NFL frowns upon in wide receivers, but he ran a respectable 4.5 in the 40 at the scouting combine and performed well in the senior all-star games. Should he get drafted? Yes. Will he? Maybe, but no sooner than the fifth round.

Guys like Justin and Jason Gallimore – twin defensive backs who did nothing but make plays their entire careers at CSU, despite having to walk-on after not being offered a single Division I scholarship. Yes, they are short, something the NFL frowns on in defensive backs, but they are smart, physical, defensive-minded players, who also happen to be able to run a little bit. They are widely considered to be slow players, but actually ran two of the fastest times on the team at the pro timing day in March. Should they be drafted? Probably. They have all the tools of a John Howell, former CSU standout and Tampa Bay’s fourth round pick last year. Will they get drafted? Probably not.

The Rams have some other NFL prospects, Aaron Sprague and Broderick Lancaster to name a few. But those guys, just like Rebstock and the Gallimores, will be lucky to be considered even though they have produced consistently at the Division I level.

Yeah, these guys might not be drafted, but that’s the funny thing about the draft; it is basically a crapshoot. Among NFL superstars drafted late or not at all are former league MVPs Terrell Davis (sixth round) and Kurt Warner (undrafted), former rookie of the year Mike Anderson (fourth round) and pro bowl QB Jeff Garcia (undrafted).

So after all the anticipation, nervousness and despair over not being drafted, these Rams have just as good a chance as anyone to make it as an NFL player.

So here’s a message to all of CSU’s NFL prospects: If draft day comes and goes and no Rams are among those selected, just remember, it’s still too early to panic. n

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