On Thursday, the nation’s top college football players will hold their breath and won’t exhale until Saturday.
During the NFL Draft, hosted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 253 players will be selected to a professional football team.
With mock drafts rolling out throughout the week, here are a few players from the Santa Clarita Valley who could have stock in this year’s draft:
Thompson, a Valencia High grad, shows the most promise out of all SCV alums when it comes to this year’s draft.
He’s projected to be selected as high as the third round, according to his official NFL Draft profile.
By the end of his senior season with the University of Colorado, Thompson, a safety, was tied for fifth on the program’s all-time interceptions list with 13. He tied for sixth in terms of pass deflections with 34 and tallied 246 tackles – 172 of the solo variety. He was also named second-team All-America by CBSSports.com.
He capped his career as a Buff in the East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 21, where he notched seven tackles.
The 6-foot, 204-pound Thompson was the only athlete from the SCV to participate in the NFL Combine in early March. There, his 5.6 grade ranked 12th out of all safeties.
He ran a 40-yard dash time of 4.6 seconds and had a vertical jump of 32.5 inches, which caught the attention of scouts.
His NFL Draft profile notes his speed and ability to go for jump balls, but also mentions some of his intangibles, saying that his “instincts and athleticism lead him to the throw,” and that he is capable when it comes to reading the quarterback.
On the opposite end, Thompson’s profile says he’ll need to add some extra muscle and become a stronger hitter to be successful in the NFL and that his “desire as a playmaker can be used against him,” meaning he can be easily baited in trick plays.
Hart High alum Tim White transferred to Arizona State from College of the Canyons in 2015 and flourished.
He was praised by coaches and the media for being an excellent overall athlete and all-purpose player.
In two years with the Sun Devils, White had 113 career receptions as a wide receiver for
1,346 yards and 10 touchdowns and excelled on special teams, returning a kick for a 100-yard touchdown as a junior and a punt for a 70-yard touchdown as a senior.
On top of that, White made his mark as a jumper on ASU’s track and field team. He placed fourth at the 2016 NCAA Track & Field Championships in the triple jump and later went on to rank 18th in the nation in the same event at the U.S. Olympic Trials.
While he didn’t attend the combine, White did participate in ASU’s pro day on March 16 where he clocked 40-yard dash times of 4.5 and 4.49 seconds and had a vertical jump of 38.5 inches.
His performance earned him a private visit with the New York Giants. According to his NFL Draft prospect profile, White is quick and has explosive speed, but at 5-foot-11, 175 pounds, also lacks the size and strength needed to make catches against pro defensive players much bigger than what he’s seen in the Pac-12.
White is a projected Round 7/priority free agent.
The wideout finished his career at Minnesota with 130 catches (eighth in school history) for 1,749 yards (ninth in school history) and nine touchdowns, punctuating his stay in the Midwest with a senior year of 66 receptions for 860 yards and five TDs.
The Canyon High grad’s performance earned him the team’s Wide Receiver of the Year honor.
Wolitarsky took part in the Golden Gophers’ pro day on March 13, where 27 NFL teams were represented. He also had a private visit with the Minnesota Vikings.
The 6-3, 210-pounder is not likely to be drafted, but will rather be a free agent.
The first round is Thursday night, with the second and third rounds Friday, and the fourth through seventh rounds on Saturday.