Thursday, April 26, 2007

Shotwell hoping for a better shot

When Kyle Shotwell won the Buck Buchanan Award in December and went on to lead the East-West Shrine Game in tackles, it looked like the Cal Poly linebacker would be following the paths of former Mustangs Chris Gocong and Jordan Beck in the upcoming NFL Draft.
After all, the previous four Buchanan winners — named top defensive player in Division I-AA football — were all drafted in the first four rounds of the NFL Draft. Gocong and Beck each went in the third round.
But it appears Shotwell won’t be so fortunate. Despite another record-breaking season, a solid pro day workout, a strong showing in the East-West Shrine Game and a four-sack performance against I-A San Diego State's burly offensive line at Qualcomm Stadium, Shotwell has been projected as a seventh-round pick at best by most experts and mock drafts. Part of the problem goes back to Shotwell being snubbed from the NFL Combine, which meant much less exposure for the I-AA standout.
"I would've thought if you watched me play on the field and saw my athletic ability, you'd say I was a third or fourth rounder," Shotwell said this week. "I don't really get it when I go to the East-West Shrine Game and outplayed all of those other guys. ... There's obviously some politics involved there and some other things, but I just have to overcome all of that stuff."
It’s a little puzzling when you think about what he did in his career and where he’s being projected along with the other small-school linebackers in the draft. It’s easy to see why 6-foot-5, 250-pound Zak DeOssie of Brown is supposed to be a fourth-rounder, but Justin Durant (one of five Hampton players invited to the combine) and some others have raised eyebrows.
Here are the top I-AA linebackers and how their numbers stack up going into this weekend’s draft (projections by

  • Kyle Shotwell, Cal Poly
    6-1, 230 pounds, 4.52-second 40-yd dash

    7th round, free agent
  • Justin Durant, Hampton
    6-1, 230 pounds, 4.51 40yd

    2nd round
  • Zak DeOssie, Brown
    6-5, 250 pounds, 4.5 40yd

    4th round
  • Chad Nkang, Elon (LB/SS)
    6-0, 220 pounds, 4.52 40yd

    6th round
  • Adam Hayward, Portland State
    6-0, 235 pounds, 4.5 40yd

    7th round, free agent
  • Cameron Siskowic, Illinois State
    6-2, 230 pounds, 4.63 40yd

    7th round, free agent

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