Brad Brown for The Easterner
With the 2017 NFL Draft set to happen next week, teams are visiting with prospects everyday as they prepare for the seven-round, three-day affair. This year’s draft just may see history be made for the EWU football program, as two former Eagles are both projected to be drafted. In the history of the current NFL draft format, EWU has never had two players selected in the same draft.
Those two players are wide receiver Cooper Kupp and defensive lineman Samson Ebukam. Kupp’s name has been floating around the scouting community since his exceptional performance at the Senior Bowl back in January. The media attention on Kupp blew up, which was the enabling factor into the rise of Kupp’s draft stock. At one point, he was talked about as a top-three wide receiver in this year’s draft class.
The buzz was somewhat cooled after a subpar showing at the NFL Scouting Combine, where Kupp ran a disappointing 40-yard dash and tested poorly in drills. After a strong outing at EWU’s Pro Day, the final consensus that is being drawn is that it is not a question of ‘if’ for Kupp being drafted but a ‘when’ he will be drafted.
One writer, Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead, noted that after his most recent mock draft he released, in which he had projected Kupp being drafted in Round 3, No. 70 overall, that a NFC team texted him and said there was “no way” Kupp is still there in the third round — indicating he thought Kupp would be drafted before that.
At his pro day, Cooper Kupp (6-2, 204 pounds) ran a 6.53 3-cone. We can stop worrying too much about his 'athleticism'
— Mike Renner (@PFF_Mike) April 17, 2017
My #NFLDraft top 5 WRs:
1) Mike Williams
2) Zay Jones
3) Corey Davis
4) John Ross
5) Cooper Kupp
— Ron Clements (@Ron_Clements) April 15, 2017
Joining Kupp in the NFL draft conversation is Ebukam, who might be the hottest name in scouting circles right now. After a Pro Day that saw Ebukam unofficially run the fastest 40-yard dash time for any defensive lineman prospect and post measurables that are tantalizing (39-inch vertical, 10-foot-10-inch broad jump and a 3-cone time of 7.07.), the former EWU defensive end has shot up draft boards around the NFL. Those numbers have scouts zeroing in on Ebukam as a “sleeper” prospect, which is a sort of gem-in-the-rough player.
This focus has led to Ebukam being very active in terms of team visits. The latest update, provided by Rob Rang of NFL Draft Scout, shows the level of interest Ebukam has generated:
— Rob Rang (@RobRang) April 17, 2017
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What makes all this attention noteworthy is considering where Ebukam stood as a NFL prospect a mere few months ago. Back in February, HERO Sports had Ebukam with a round seven/undrafted grade, and many scouts did not even have Ebukam on their radar as a prospect. It was looking like he was not going to be drafted at all. Now, that is not the case. The ascent of Ebukam’s draft stock has been rapid.