With the 2013 NFL Draft only a day away, it won’t be a good day for the University of Pittsburgh, a school that usually produces a few NFL players per year.
It will be a long wait for Roger Goodell to utter the words “From the University of Pittsburgh,” as only running back Ray Graham is expected to hear his name called during this draft.
When Graham’s name will be called is anyone’s guess though.
Last year was the first year since 1999 that no Pitt player was chosen in the draft and Graham is hoping that doesn’t reach two years. However even if he does get drafted, it could turn into a long wait for Graham, who likely won’t hear his name called until the draft’s third day.
Most draft pundits predict Graham to go anywhere from the fifth to seventh round.
ESPN lists Graham as the 29th running back available, and CBS has him as the 22nd. He falls somewhere in between on pretty much every other reputable rankings list. However the NFL’s official scouting rankings have Graham listed as the 12th best running back available.
Graham’s stock took a bit of a hit in February at the NFL combine when he ran a 4.8 40-yard dash, which was the fifth-worst time among all running backs. It’s not the end of the world as he improved to a 4.58 at Pitt’s pro day, but his speed, or lack of speed, is something teams are going to look at as the draft progresses.
Coming off of ACL surgery in his junior year, his 40 time is something that could knock him down even further.
But while his 40 time doesn’t look great, Graham can play the game and is a playmaker that some team should certainly take a shot on. In the late rounds he could turn into a great value pick for whichever team takes a shot on him.
When it is all said and done, Graham is likely to hear is name called and will begin his NFL journey.
It will just be a long wait as several backs are likely to go before him, but when it does happen, it will be worth the wait.