Local connections to the NFL Draft

Unlike in past years, there are not many, if any, big names from San Diego in the upcoming NFL draft. Kenny Stills (6th round/La Costa Canyon HS/Saints) had the best rookie season among those drafted last year. Jamar Taylor (3rd round/Helix HS/Dolphins) and Tony Jefferson (Undrafted FA/Eastlake HS/Cardinals) combined for 19 tackles as rookies. David Quessenberry (6th round/La Costa Canyon HS/Texans) spent the season on injured-reserve).

I expect defensive end Trevor Reilly (Valley Center HS/Utah) to be the first local player off the board this year, going somewhere between rounds 3 and 5. Running back Tyler Gaffney (Cathedral Catholic HS/Stanford) is the only other player that I am expecting to get drafted this year. Somewhere in rounds 6-7 is when I assume that we’ll hear Gaffney’s name called.

There are other players that have an outside shot at getting drafted, but if not they will definitely find their way into NFL mini-camps as priority undrafted free agents. Among them are running back Dillon Baxter (Mission Bay HS/USC/SDSU/Baker University). Baxter most notably was the top running back prospect in the country coming out of high school in 2010, but was never able to put everything together. He finished up the last two years of his college career at NAIA Baker University in Kansas but did not dominate the competition like some might have thought. He had a very good pro day at Kansas State and may have shown teams that he has been able to mature. Running backs Brennan Clay (Scripps Ranch HS/Oklahoma), Damien Williams (Mira Mesa HS/Oklahoma), and Joey DeMartino (Mt. Carmel HS/Utah State) all had great college careers, but aren’t among the highest rated running backs in the draft, especially in an era where running backs aren’t looked at like they used to be. All three RB’s should find their way into rookie mini-camps, and will have their shot at making the roster.