CSU in the NFL draft

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Apr 252004
 
Authors: Vince Blaser

Bradlee Van Pelt is a Denver Bronco, Dexter Wynn will continue

to wear green and Andre Sommersell is Mr. Irrelevant.

The first five rounds of the NFL Draft this weekend were

uneventful for former CSU football players hoping to make an NFL

team.

However, the pace picked up late in the sixth round when the

Philadelphia Eagles selected Wynn, a star cornerback and return man

for the Rams, with the 192nd pick of the draft.

Van Pelt, the former Rams quarterback who won the Mountain West

Conference offensive player of the year honor twice, found out he

is staying in Colorado when the Denver Broncos drafted him in the

seventh round.

Then, with the 255th and final pick of the draft, the Oakland

Raiders selected Sommersell, who played defensive end for the Rams

and will compete at outside linebacker for the Raiders.

“We don’t quite get the respect players in Boulder do,” Wynn

said. “(But) when Colorado State players get the opportunity to

play at the next level, we make the most of it.”

Wynn thought he could go as early as the fourth round. He said

he is a little disappointed he was not selected earlier because of

the money difference, but he is relieved the draft is over and that

he is going to a great team like the Eagles.

“My brother is really excited because (Eagles wide receiver

Terrell Owens) is his favorite player in the NFL,” Wynn said. “Now,

he said, I’m his second favorite.”

The Eagles have been to the NFC Championship game three years in

a row and should contend for the Super Bowl again with the

acquisition of pro-bowlers Owens and defensive end Jevon Kearse.

Wynn joked that Owens is going to have to “show me some

things.”

Wynn said he expects to compete for playing time on special

teams and defense. The Eagles two starting cornerbacks from last

season, Troy Vincent and Bobby Taylor, both went to other teams.

The Eagles also drafted UCLA cornerback Matt Ware in the third

round.

Van Pelt, who was also projected as high as the fourth round,

will be in a battle with many other quarterbacks to fill the two

slots behind Broncos’ starter Jake Plummer.

The Broncos also drafted former Louisiana State quarterback Matt

Mauck in the seventh round, and have veterans Danny Kannell,

Jarious Jackson and Mike Quinn on the roster. Even though some

analysts thought the team that drafted Van Pelt might try to

convert him to another position, Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan

said he has no intention of doing so.

“He’s a quarterback in my mind,” Shanahan said in a Broncos

press release. “But, he’s also a guy that during the season, if he

was your third quarterback or second quarterback, he can help you

on the scout team playing linebacker or safety.”

Van Pelt said he realizes he is going to have to change the

run-oriented style he used at CSU and be more of a pocket

passer.

“In the NFL I’ve got to change a lot and I have to work on a lot

of things,” Van Pelt said in the Broncos release. “I am going to

probably be more of a traditional quarterback. I am going to slide,

I am going to run out of bounds; I am not going to fight for those

few extra yards. In college that’s what got me my name and

victories on the board, and really that is the kind of player I

am.”

Sommersell holds the title of Mr. Irrelevant for being the last

pick of 2004 draft. The honor wins him a week of festivities in his

honor in Newport Beach, Calif.

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