Monday, April 03, 2006

NFL Draft Board: Marshall Keeps Rising

When Richard Marshall first declared for the NFL draft back in January, it was a consensus thought that the junior cornerback would be a late first day or early second day pick. Many thought the junior should have stayed for his senior and improved his stock. With another year, Marshall would become a solid first day pick instead of a borderline pick, like former teammate James Sanders a year ago.

Pat Hill's relationship with New England Patriot head coach Bill Belichick, and experience as a former NFL assistant, has help build a "pipeline" from Fresno State to the NFL. Sanders and Logan Mankins benefited from this relationship and both landed in New England, as 4th and 1st round picks respectively, last year. The Patriots drafting Marshall seemed to be a lock, as early as the second round, after NE had conducted private workouts with the cornerback in February. But his rising stock didn't stop there; he impressed scouts with his physical run support and impressive forty time at the NFL Combine.

As the draft approaches, many NFL teams have Marshall listed as top five cornerback, and he may not last until the second round. As many as five other NFL teams have scheduled or completed private interviews and workouts with the former Bulldog. ESPN's Draft guru Mel Kiper mentioned the other night on SportsCenter that the Chicago Bears would select Marshall with the 26th overall pick. New England is still considering drafting the cornerback with the 21st overall pick, despite pressing needs at other positions

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