From Jamaica to Chicago to Durham to … the NFL? Absolutely. Duke’s Laken Tomlinson is one of the top guards in this year’s draft. The four-year starter was a consensus All-American as a redshirt senior in 2014. Whichever NFL team drafts Tomlinson isn’t just getting a big body (6-foot-3, 330 pounds), it’s also getting a big brain. He recently graduated with a degree in evolutionary anthropology and psychology.
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Clive Walford, TE, Miami
Often, the difference between a solid offense and a dynamic offense is a playmaking tight end. Miami’s Clive Walford can be just that for the NFL team which drafts him this spring. Through four seasons with the Hurricanes, Walford racked up 121 receptions, 1,753 yards and 14 touchdowns. He came back from minor knee surgery that kept him out of the Independence Bowl to impress scouts at the Senior Bowl.
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Anthony Harris, S, Virginia
In need of a smarter secondary? Virginia’s Anthony Harris is your man. As a junior, the Cavalier had the most interceptions in college football (8). Then, last season, with opposing passers wary of his ball skills, Harris showed off his run-defending skills by recording a career-high 109 tackles. This experienced defensive back will provide layers of value for the NFL team that drafts him in the spring.
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DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
A first-round pick is a major investment, one that can’t be fudged. Rest easy, though, if the pick is Louisville’s DeVante Parker. After missing the first seven games of his senior season with a broken foot, Parker averaged 142.5 yards per game in the final six. The former Cardinal has great size (6-foot-3, 209 pounds), a smooth skill set and reliable hands. What else can you ask for?
Andy Gallik, C, Boston College
The “C” stands for center, but it could also stand for consistent. Boston College’s Andy Gallik became a full-time starter as a sophomore. By his senior year, he was a team captain, an All-ACC first-teamer and a finalist for the Rimington Award, which goes to the nation’s top center. Gallik is your typical Eagle: a hardnosed blocker who should thoroughly enjoy a long NFL career in the trenches.