By Brent Stecker
The Washington Huskies’ two big draft prospects aren’t expected to last long in this week’s NFL Draft.
Running back Bishop Sankey and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who both entered the draft after their junior season, are projected to go in the second round by Ourlads.com’s Dan Shonka.
Sankey, who broke Washington’s records for rushing yards in a season and career rushing touchdowns in 2013, is projected to be taken 42nd overall by the Tennessee Titans. Seferian-Jenkins is slated to go 52nd overall to the Arizona Cardinals.
Shonka told 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Bob and Groz” on Monday that the 5-foot-9, 209-pound Sankey’s stock has been steady throughout the lead up to the draft.
“Sankey’s always kinda been right there at the top of the second round. Explosive guy, great in the open field, tough guy, can’t say enough good things about him,” Shonka said.
He added that Sankey’s fate will come down to teams’ personal preferences, as bigger backs like LSU’s Jeremy Hill, Ohio State’s Carlos Hyde and Stanford’s Tyler Gaffney could all be taken around the same time.
“It’s just a matter of who wants to pull the trigger,” Shonka said. “(Do teams want) a guy that’s a little bit bigger, or do you wanna go with an explosive three-down back like Sankey?”
As for Seferian-Jenkins, the 6-foot-5, 262-pound John Mackey Award winner has seen his stock rise in recent weeks.
“Austin Seferian-Jenkins has probably moved a little bit up. His talent is not a question,” Shonka said. “He’s a big-time, pro-style tight end. Doesn’t have great run after catch, but he’s a super red zone target. Great radius — he can snatch that ball with those long arms.”
Seferian-Jenkins set career records at UW for most receptions, receiving yards and touchdown receptions by a tight end, but he’s had to rely on strong workouts to lift his projection after his production dipped in his junior year.
“His junior year wasn’t as strong as his sophomore year. He looked like a beast as a sophomore and had some of that edge taken off him this year for whatever reason,” Shonka said. “He’s got in better shape and he’s worked out great recently so I think his stock has gone up.”
The NFL Draft begins with the first round at 5 p.m. Thursday. Rounds 2-3 start at 4 p.m. Friday, and the final three rounds begin at 9 a.m. Saturday.