(Be sure to follow Nick Mondek on Twitter at @Mondek62)
Part 3 of the 2012 NFL Draft Profiles brings me to the next former Boiler Gridiron player with draft hopes for this weekend: Nick Mondek.
Mondek, a solid starting Offensive Lineman for the Boilermakers over the past two seasons, may be another draftee like Dennis Kelly who was expected to be a late round pick but is quickly moving up draft boards. But it hasn't always been such an easy road for big Number 62. The guy has faced a lot of adversity during his time at Purdue, but he has managed to always persevere and come out of those situations stronger.
Nick actually began his college career as a Defensive Tackle for Purdue. In his Redshirt Freshman and Sophomore seasons of 2008 and 2009, Mondek served as a reserve on the D-Line, yet managed to still appear in all of Purdue's games where he racked up 15 tackles and 2 sacks between both campaigns.
Then, before the start of his Junior year in 2010, Purdue personnel made the decision to move Nick to the O-Line, where they felt his talents could be better utilized in the future. Taking the position change in stride, Number 62 certainly used the opportunity to shine. During that season, Mondek appeared and started in all 12 games at Right Tackle and played nearly every snap for the Boilermakers' offense. It seemed that the rewards for all of his hard work and subsequent success were just around the corner.
But then during the Spring of 2011, once again Nick was moved to a new position--this time to Guard on the O-Line. Just as in 2010, many were concerned with how Mondek would handle another position move during his Senior campaign. And again he managed to impress. Last season, Number 62 started in all 13 games at Guard--including Purdue's bowl win--while filling a new role and helping to solidify the O-Line.
It seemed that whatever this guy does on the football field, he can't be stopped from reaping success. However, not everyone seems to see it that way.
The Man Who Waited For His Black & Gold Opportunities
Following his Senior campaign with the Boilermakers, many NFL scouts and Draft analysts were very skeptical about many of Mondek's attributes. They said he might be too slow, too small and too weak.
Many people also looked down on his position changes. And who could blame them? In the past three seasons, Nick has played three different positions for Purdue. Unfortunately, NFL personnel chose not to see Mondek as a versatile athlete, but instead as a guy who didn't have significant time to learn any of the positions that he played.
But then came the 2012 Purdue Pro Day. Like Dennis Kelly, Nick excelled and managed to greatly improve his draft hopes. The measurables he posted on March 9th in Mollenkopf were simply staggering.
Mondek was officially sized at 6'5.5" and 305 pounds. He bench pressed the 225 pounds an impressive 30 times and ran the 20 yard shuttle and 3 cone drill at times of 4.55 and 7.30 respectively. All of those numbers--in case you weren't aware--compared incredibly with the NFL Rookie Combine numbers of David DeCastro, the Guard from Stanford who is expected to go First Round this weekend. But possibly the most impressive of all of Nick's recorded drills at the Pro Day was the 40 Yard Dash time he clocked--4.84. For a 300 pounds lineman, 4.84 is hauling it!
To get a glimpse at his Pro Day workout, see the YouTube video I have embedded below:
After putting on a lights out Pro Day session, Mondek helped his draft stock rise at an incredible rate. Whereas the big man was previously considered to be a late round pick to an undrafted free agent, many scouts and analysts now project him to go as high as the 5th Round and be a mid round sleeper along with Dennis Kelly.
Mondek has also attracted some attention from NFL teams following his excellent Pro Day. He has performed private workouts for Chicago, Houston, Kansas City and Miami. Should his name be called, Number 62 will be valued this weekend for his versatility and athleticism by teams who need depth at Guard and possibly want their draftee to garner playing time at Tackle as well. It will be very interesting to see where the big fella ends up. But, at least for now, it appears that the sky is the limit for Nick "Freight Train" Mondek.