Many Bulldog fans, including myself, were doubting Junior cornerback Richard Marshall for leaving school early to enter the NFL draft. But Marshall may be having the last laugh. He is steadily moving up the draft boards, and there is speculation that the New England Patriots may select Marshall in the first round. Patriots.com just released it latest mock draft and have NE picking Marshall No. 21 overall.
Marshall was thought to be a late first day pick or early second day pick, 3rd-4th rounder, when he declared for the draft back in January. That made many make comparisons to former Bulldog James Sanders, who left for the NFL after his junior year, too. Sanders was selected in the 4th round by NE, but would have been a sure first day pick if he had stayed for his senior year. Marshall's decision to leave early has paid off, Scout.com has Marshall rated as the 49th best prospect in the draft. That would equal a mid-second pick.
He had a very impressive performance at the NFL Combine. He stated to the media that he would become a sure first rounder after he ran the forty, and he didn't disappoint, running a 4.42. NE is in dire need of a cover corner and Marshall fits the bill, but NE may trade down or draft a linebacker, like Ohio State's Bobby Carpenter. However, it doesn't mean another NFL will not draft Marshall in the first round.
Bulldogs at the NFL Combine
Paul Pinegar ht. 6047 wt. n/a 40-5.21
Wendell Mathis ht. 5113 wt. 210 40-4.51
Adam Jennings ht. 5091 wt. 181 40-4.42
Richard Marshall ht. 5111 wt. 189 40-4.42
Mathis, Jennings, and Marshall all ran impressive 40 times, and only helped their draft status with their performance at the Combine.