The 2007 National Football League draft is only two weeks away, and 18 Horned Frogs have declared that they will enter the draft. Horned Frog players Jeff Ballard, Herb Taylor, Marvin White, Michael DePriest, Eric Buchanan, Quentily Harmon and Jared Retkofsky went to Texas Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, last Friday to participate in local workouts, said Mark Cohen, director of athletics media relations.
The workout was the last opportunity for these players to showcase their skills and knowledge of the game to the NFL scouts before draft day on April 28.
Ballard, a quarterback from Friendswood, is TCU’s career leader in winning percentage by a starting quarterback (.900, 18-2). Although he is not predicted to get drafted, according to draft experts, he is expected to make a team in the Canadian Football League.
“He is probably not going to make it to the NFL,” said Charean Williams, a reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “It looks like the Calgary franchise from the CFL is Ballard’s best bet.”
Ballard ended his career with the fourth-longest streak in the nation for passes without an interception (125), according to nfldraftscout.com.
DePriest, a wide receiver from Keller, whose stock is currently on the rise, according to nfldraftscout.com, said he is remaining positive and focused for the draft.
“It is very professional at the NFL level,” DePriest said. “The coaches tell the right way once and they expect you to get it after that.”
DePriest will be competing with his teammate Quentily Harmon to be drafted as a wide receiver.
“We are both rooting for each other,” DePriest said. “But at the end of the day, we are both trying to fight for the same spot on a team.”
DePriest said that in addition to being drafted as a receiver he could be drafted as a special teams player.
Harmon, a wide receiver from Jacksonville, led the Horned Frogs in catches last year with 52 and receiving yards with 791.
“It helps to go into the draft coming off of a good year,” Harmon said. “It gives teams a chance to look back and see that I was a go-to guy for our team.”
Taylor brought the most veteran experience to the Horned Frogs, and he started in all 48 games in his career at TCU.
“He is a big body, which is something NFL teams need,” Williams said. “He moves off of the block well. He also performed well at the East-West Shrine Game, where he caught the attention of a lot of NFL scouts.”
Strong Safety Marvin White led the Horned Frogs last season with 86 tackles (58 solo) and had a team leading four interceptions. White is expected to be a fourth round pick, according to nfldraftscout.com.
“He has a good shot of going late in the draft,” Williams said. “His speed could prove to be his ticket into the NFL.”
Although draft analysts are currently not projecting safety Eric Buchanan to be drafted, he did, however, participate in Friday’s workouts.
“It went well, I feel that I did pretty good,” Buchanan said. “You just hope everything works out for the best, take advantage of your opportunities and do the best that you can.”
The final member to go into the draft is Jared Retkofsky, a senior long-snapper from Justin. He is rated the second best long-snapper available by nfldrafscout.com, and he is projected to go in the seventh round.
“He has a good shot of getting picked up,” Williams said. “He was invited by NFL scouts to the combine, which is always a positive sign for players.”
Since head coach Gary Patterson took over coaching in December 2000, 14 Horned Frog players have been drafted into the NFL, and 26 have gone on to NFL camps.