It is well documented that BYU has been underwhelming in the last decade or so when it comes to getting players into the NFL. With only nine players currently listed on NFL rosters the Cougars must take advantage of every opportunity to showcase its current student-athletes. Tight end Devin Mahina had the opportunity to play in the Reese’s Senior Bowl last month, and both Mahina and full back Paul Lasike played in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl one week prior to that. Neither saw much playing time but they did have the opportunity to work out for NFL scouts which hopefully improved their draft stock.
Alani Fua was the lone representative of BYU this weekend at the 2015 NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. He put up respectable numbers—especially in the agility drills—likely improving his draft stock somewhat. Fua’s 6.83 second 3 cone drill ranked third for all linebackers and tenth overall while his 11.54 finish in the 60 yard shuffle and 4.15 finish in the 20 yard shuffle both ranked 4th among all linebackers and 17th and 27th respectively among all 300+ participants. He was already known for his “impressive burst off the snap” and these times reinforced that message.
Fua’s overall draft grade of 5.27 places him squarely on the draft “bubble”, a rating that—according to NFL.com—means he has “NFL backup or special teams potential.” If he can bulk up a bit to fill out that 6’5” frame, while keeping his agility there may be a place for him in the NFL.
Cougars at the Combine since 1999
The table below shows results from all BYU athletes invited to the past 16 NFL combines. Since 1999 there have been 51 players invited, an average of 3.2 athletes per year. The high water mark was 2000 and 2002 when six Cougars were invited and the low point was 2011 when none received an invitation. Eight linebackers have been invited while seven tight ends and four quarterbacks have also received invitations. The following performances rank first among BYU invitees:
- 40 meter dash: Todd Watkins, 4.40 (WR, 2006)
- Bench Press: Scott Young, 43 (OG, 2005)
- Vertical leap: Doug Jolley, 38 inches (TE, 2002)
- Broad jump: Austin Collie, 120 inches (WR, 2009)
- 3 Cone drill: Daniel Sorensen, 6.47 seconds (S, 2014)
- 20 yard shuffle: Daniel Sorensen, 3.95 seconds (S, 2014)
- 60 yard shuffle: Daniel Sorensen, 10.80 (S, 2014). Note: only three cougars have ever participated in this drill
While 2015 was a down year for number of Cougars invited to the combine, expect a rebound next year with upperclassmen Taysom Hill (QB), Jamal Wiliams (RB), Adam Hine (RB), Mitch Mathew (WR), Manoa Pikula (ILB), Ryker Mathews (OT), and Defensive ends Bronson Kaufusi, Remington Peck, and Graham Rowly all getting some early love as draft prospects (see http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/prospectrankings/2016/).
Table: BYU players invited to the NFL Scouting Combine (1999-2015)
|Name||YR||POS||40m||Bench||Vert||Broad||3 Cone||20 YD|
|Kyle Van Noy||2014||OLB||4.71||21||32.5||112.0||7.22||4.20|
*Not official time
Data comes from http://nflcombineresults.com/about/. If any players are missing or if you have information regarding BYU players invited to the combine prior to 1999 please notify us using the comment section below.