Feb 24, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Marqueis Gray throws a pass during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Gopher Football: NFL Draft Preview

MarQueis Gray (QB, WR, TE)

Former Gopher quarterback Marqueis Gray is the most prominent Gopher name on draft day.

The Indianapolis native could play three positions in the NFL which would make him a valuable late round pick.  MarQueis Gray’s strength is his best asset that he could bring  to an NFL team.  Gray could play as a Wildcat quarterback, a wide receiver or tight end.

Gray ran a 4.73 in the 40 yard dash at the NFL combine earlier this year, although his results at the combine could jeopardize his chances of being drafted.

CBS projected Gray’s draft range from 7th round to being an undrafted free agent signing.  The quarterback told the Pioneer Press in a recent interview that the Jacksonville Jaguars have shown the most interest out of 14 teams.  The New York Jets could also be one of those 14 teams.

Troy Stoudermire (CB and Special Teams)

The next Gopher player that has a chance of suiting up for the NFL could be cornerback Troy Stoudermire.

Stoudermire, a Dallas, Texas native, would bring a physical presence to any defensive backfield.  He could also be a good return man in the NFL as he showed in the Meineke Car Bowl.

Stoudermire ran a 4.52 in the 40 yard dash.  He is projected by some to go as high as the 6th round although it’s likely he won’t hear his name called on draft night.  Any team with kick-off or punt return needs would look into Stoudermire in the later rounds.

Keanon Cooper (OLB and Special Teams)

Keanon Cooper is another Gopher player that could get drafted, though it is very unlikely.  There is a good chance Cooper could find his way on an NFL team by signing as an undrafted free agent after the draft.  Look for a team with special teams needs to sign him.  But there is also the chance he could also find his way onto a practice squad.

Like Stoudermire, Cooper brings a physical presence with him.  Cooper ran a 4.50 40 yard dash.

Michael Carter (CB)

Carter isn’t projected to be drafted, but has a great chance of being signed as an undrafted free agent.

Carter ran a 4.63 in the 40 yard dash.  His best asset is his ability to break up  passes and his closing speed.  Most likely scenario for Carter is signing onto a practice squad after the draft.  However, he could sign as an end of the cornerback rotation type of player.

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