The Philadelphia region did itself well on the NFL’s conference championship weekend, with Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan representing the area. With only one game left in the 2012 NFL season before the attention shifts to the buildup for the 2013 NFL draft, let’s take a look at the Philadelphia natives who could see their names called in April:
THE TOP LOCAL PROSPECTS
Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse - Nassib, a Malvern Prep graduate, wasn’t considered by many to be a first-round pick until recently. With the inverse relation of teams needing quarterbacks and top-level quarterback prospects in this draft, Nassib might very well be picked early in the first round. Really early. Like Andy-Reid-using-his-final-timeout early.
The 6-2, 223-pound Nassib has a very good arm, but there are understandably a lot of questions about his decision-making. That arm and his mobility will get him drafted, however, and that combination is something no NFL team can resist, not to mention a quarterback-starved one. He could join his college coach Doug Marrone in Buffalo. Or Chip Kelly with the Eagles, whether they draft him or not. (He has season tickets.)
Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida - The No. 1 defensive tackle recruit coming out of high school, Philadelphia native Floyd graduated from George Washington High School in 2010. Needless to say, he was heavily recruited, choosing Florida over Ohio State, South Carolina, Miami, USC and Penn State.
Floyd enters the NFL Draft after three seasons with the Gators. At 6-3, 303 lbs., Floyd has the size and quickness to play in either a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme. Amidst a deep draft class, he will likely be a mid-to-late first-round pick but could drop into the early second round.
OTHER LOCAL PROSPECTS
Nick Moody, LB, Florida State - A graduate of Roman Catholic, Moody made the transition from strong safety to linebacker in his redshirt senior season. At 6-1, 233 lbs., he’ll have to put on weight to make it in the NFL.
Earl Watford, G, James Madison - The Philadelphia native and Simon Gratz graduate enters the NFL draft after his redshirt senior season. At 6-4, 295 lbs., he will likely be a late-round selection.
FROM THE LOCAL SCHOOLS
Montel Harris, RB - After transferring from Boston College, Harris rushed for 1,054 yards and 12 touchdowns in his senior season, including 351 yards and seven touchdowns against Army. At 5-10 and 207 lbs., he likely isn’t anything more than a late-round pick.
John Youboty, DE - Having started all 11 of Temple’s games, the senior Youboty was second-team All-Big East and led the Owls with five sacks. He could be a late-round pick but probably will go undrafted.
Brandon McManus, K/P - Temple’s all-time leading scorer with 338 points will most likely be in someone’s camp as a kicker next summer whether he is drafted or not. In addition to setting the scoring record at Temple, McManus also holds the school’s records for punting average, field goals made and field goals attempted.
Jordan Hill, DT - At 6-2, 294 lbs., Hill was an All-Big Ten first-team selection in his senior season. The Steelton, Pa., native finished second on Penn State with 4.5 sacks and fourth with 64 tackles. He will likely be a mid-round pick.
Mike Mauti, OLB - A knee injury in the next-to-last game of Mauti’s senior season has his draft status in a bit of flux. With a torn ACL in each knee already before the latest injury, he was thought to be a mid-to-late-round pick before the injury after earning first-team All-Big Ten honors. Durability concerns will keep him from being picked before the fifth round at the very least.
Gerald Hodges, OLB - Hodges was oddly not picked for the Senior Bowl, but will likely be a mid-round pick in April’s draft. The 6-1, 239-pound Paulsboro, N.J., native led the Nittany Lions with 109 tackles. Expect him to be drafted around the same time as his teammate Hill.
Matt Stankiewitch, C - Another first-team All-Big Ten selection and one of six finalists for the Rimmington Trophy as the top center in college football, Stankiewitch could be a late-round pick as an interior lineman. If he goes undrafted, he will get a chance from an NFL team.