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Early Guesses for 2017 NFL Draft

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Can Purdue continue their NFL draft streak?

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Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

With Purdue extending their NFL draft streak to 19 what do we think the odds are of Purdue getting a player drafted in 2017 and making it a 20 year streak? Believe it or not I think there's a great chance that Purdue will continue on and have a 20 year streak. While Purdue will assuredly not have anyone drafted in the first round next year there is a very high probability that someone from one of the lines will be drafted next season. Let's take a look at some of the possibilities.

  • Jake Replogle seems to be the safest bet. He hasn't put up eye popping numbers but he's gotten better each and every year and is poised for a breakout year this season. In 2014 he finished with 10.5 TFL and then improved that to 14 in 2015. His total tackles jumped from 40 to 60. For Purdue football to improve vastly on defense next year he is going to be one of the main guys. If he makes yet another jump for his senior season he should be drafted in the later rounds.
  • Insert generic offensive lineman here. I'm looking at you Jordan Roos, Jason King, and Cameron Cermin. Each one of these guys has a shot at getting drafted in the late rounds next year IF Purdue shows improvement on offense. I think with a simplified system and no Shoopfense it will be good for everyone involved. These guys can power the offense to much greater heights than the 2015 season. If that happens one of these guys could get a shot. If nothing else I expect them to wind up as undrafted free agents.
  • Ra'Zahn Howard is sort of the wild card of this group. He's incredibly talented and has all of the tools at his disposal but just hasn't put it all together. He just seems like the guy who could break out during his senior year as we've seen in the past. I'm hoping for a season like Anthony Spencer had his senior year. As a big space eating defensive tackle Howard can make a large impact specifically in the run game.
  • I will lump Evan Panfil in the same boat as Howard. Let's hope he gets drafted because if he does it means the Purdue defense has stepped up and had a great year. He's another guy who has all the talent and all the tools but just needs to put it all together. He looked better last year than in previous seasons as he accumulated 4 sacks and 6.5 TFL.

If I had to put money on the streak continuing I would throw down a Tubman on it. I think one of the guys above will certainly be drafted more than likely in the later rounds. Regardless of the down years Purdue football has had a 19 year NFL draft streak is nothing to sneeze at. Let's hope this time next year we are talking about a 20 year streak and looking forward to 21.