After the 2010 NFL Draft, there were a few key players headed to NFL teams that were productive on one of the Mountain West’s few strong football programs. The majority of those players came from two schools, Utah and TCU, due to their dominance and overwhelming strength in the conference. Here is a list of the schools, a couple of the players from each of those schools that had someone drafted, and what they bring to the team that drafted them.
Unfortunately, Air Force did not have any players drafted in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Dennis Pitta, Tight End, Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens continue to bolster their passing attack this off-season with the addition of an exceptional pass catching tight end. Pitta has great body control and runs crisp routes, which should be a welcome sight for quarterback Joe Flacco.
Shelley Smith, Offensive Guard, Houston Texans
Despite his deceptive athleticism, Smith is still very raw and will take lots of time and coaching before he can make an impact for the Texans. Has the potential to be a decent backup and rotational player.
Eric Cook, Center, Washington Redskins
Has good size and uses good technique to ward off defenders. However is a little tall for the center position, yet too slow and doesn’t move his feet quick enough to work as an edge blocker. Could develop into a consistent starter in time.
San Diego State
Unfortunately, San Diego State did not have any players drafted in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Jerry Hughes, Defensive End, Indianapolis Colts
Despite being behind both Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis, Hughes should be able to see consistent playing time as a rotational player, and if his outstanding quickness and instincts continue to develop, could become a Pro-Bowl caliber player in a year or two.
Daryl Washington, Outside Linebacker, Arizona Cardinals
Has outstanding speed for a linebacker and athleticism that allows him to make plays all over the field. With the loss of Karlos Dansby, Washington should be able to come in and start right away. Using his great awareness and wreckless playing style, he should be a force to reckon with in the near future.
Joe Hawley, Offensive Guard, Atlanta Falcons
Uses smarts and sound technique to win over battles in the interior, and could come in and see some backup playing time during his rookie season. Will need to work on strength and leverage in order to not become a liability for the Falcons.
Koa Misi, Defensive End, Miami Dolphins
A natural edge rusher, Misi does an excellent job of using leverage and moves in order to get to the quarterback. The Dolphins were looking for a replacement for Jason Taylor, and Misi may just be the answer for them.
Zane Beadles, Offensive Tackle, Denver Broncos
Beadles was an excellent tackle at Utah, but will most likely move down to the guard spot for the Broncos. With a great combination of technique, strength and footwork, he could make a noticeable impact on the Denver rushing attack.
Unfortunately, Wyoming did not have any players drafted in the 2010 NFL Draft.
So there are some of the most noteworthy players heading to the NFL from the Mountain West football conference. Many hope to achieve their dreams of playing in the NFL after leaving a conference that isn’t known for producing too much NFL talent. Only time will tell if they can handle the challenge.