St. Rita Alum Matt Conrath '07 NFL Draft Prospect

Matt Conrath, Virginia, East, Grade: Round 5 Julian Miller, West Virginia, East, Grade:Round 6-7

Tyrone Crawford, Boise State, West, Grade: Round 6-7

Kentrell Lockett, Mississippi, West, Grade: Round 7 or Undrafted

Justin Francis, Rutgers, West, Grade:Undrafted

Jabaree Tuani, Navy, East, Grade:Undrafted

Arnaud Nadon, Laval, West, Grade:Undrafted

Of the defensive ends in the Shrine Game, the player to watch is Virginia’s Matt Conrath. Conrath played defensive tackle at Virginia and did a terrific job as a gap penetrator. At 6’7’’ and 280 pounds, Conrath does not have the frame to play inside at the next level. However, he has a tremendous frame and is a very good athlete, which should enable him to make the transition to defensive end.

Conrath is an impact player on the defensive line. He led the Cavaliers with 12 tackles for loss this season and was the team’s best player in their defensive front seven. He should be a solid Day Three selection.

Two other playmaking defensive ends playing in this game who should hear their names called in April are West Virginia’s Julian Miller and Boise State’s Tyrone Crawford. Both players were overshadowed in college by the tremendous pass rushers who lined up across from them: West Virginia’s Bruce Irvin and Boise State’s Shea McClellin should both be selected in Round 3 or 4.

While overshadowed, both were very productive for their teams. Miller is not the spectacular pass rusher that Irvin is, but he is a more complete defensive end, a potential rotational lineman worth a selection in the late rounds.

Crawford actually led Boise State with 13.5 tackles for loss this season and had a great senior season. However, it was his first year as a starter, and part of his success must be attributed to the attention drawn by McClellin and defensive tackles Billy Winn and Chase Baker consistently. That does not take away from Crawford as a player, but he is best suited to be a late-round selection as a rotational player.  Read Full Story