Christensen: The MW Dozen
By Todd Christensen, The Mtn. InsiderApril 30, 2012
The 12 Mountain West players selected in this year's NFL Draft indicates once again the quality of player that exists in this Conference. It is not just BCS games and bowl series titles but also outstanding individual players that make up a Conference that has grown in notoriety and exemplary play. And what is also impressive is that TCU, the Conference champion, actually had an off year when it comes to getting players drafted with only two players, Tank Carder and Greg McCoy, taken in the last three rounds.
San Diego State had some intriguing picks beginning with Ronnie Hillman, who was taken in the third round by the Denver Broncos. The pass catching skills that he exhibited this past season will serve him well in playing with Peyton Manning. It will also be pleasant to know that there will rarely be eight-in-the-box due to the prowess of the former Colt signal-caller. As a result, there will be a lot of running lanes for the former Aztec to take advantage of. Ryan Lindley was taken in the sixth round by Arizona. The Cardinals had spent quite a bit of money on Kevin Kolb but as yet have not had the return they are looking for. Lindley's operation in a pro style offense over the last four years will serve him well in a battle to make the team. Miles Burris at Oakland and Jerome Long at Kansas City will also be competitive for both, a roster spot and playing time.
Boise State for years had been the team that had done the most with seemingly less than others, but having half of the Conference's draft choices at your school, including two selected in the first round, indicates that the blue chip players are making their way to the Gem State. Shea McClellin, who was picked 19th overall by the Chicago Bears, and Doug Martin, selected 31st by the Tampa Bay Bucs, represent the first time in Bronco history that they have had two picks in the first round. Tyrone Crawford went to Dallas in the third round, George Iloka in the fifth to the Bengals, Billy Winn in the sixth to Cleveland and Nate Potter went in the seventh round to Arizona.
Congratulations to all of these fine players. Some advice from an old veteran: In training camp, you take no prisoners and keep your head on a swivel!
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