Northwestern will have presence in 2010 NFL Draft

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Tonight and tomorrow figure to be to the most intriguing portions of the NFL Draft for Northwestern fans. DE Corey Wootton has been projected as an early-mid second rounder in most NFL mock drafts, and  QB Mike Kafka projects as a 3rd-5th rounder.

EVANSTON, Ill. — Several Northwestern University football student-athletes hope to receive that long-awaited phone call from a National Football League team over the next three days as the 75th NFL Draft gets underway Thursday night in New York, N.Y.sherrick mcmannis northwestern

With a new format in place for this year’s Draft, the first round will be held Thursday (6:30 p.m. CT on ESPN), the second and third rounds on Friday (5 p.m. CT on ESPN) and the fourth through seventh rounds on Saturday (9 a.m. CT on ESPN).

Defensive end Corey Wootton, quarterback Mike Kafka and cornerback Sherrick McManis are the Wildcats’ top professional prospects, but other NU players who have been working out for the NFL scouts the past few months include: wide receivers Andrew Brewer and Zeke Markshausen, safety Brendan Smith, tight end Brendan Mitchell and defensive tackle Marshall Thomas.

Each of the above players were significant contributors to Northwestern squads that won a combined 17 games in 2008 and 2009 as the Wildcats made back-to-back bowl game appearances.

“The only thing I’ve told them is that it doesn’t matter where you get drafted, it’s about what you do with the opportunity you get,” said Northwestern defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz of his potential draftees. “You hope it’s as high as possible but you just have to say, ‘If I get the chance, then that’s all I want.'”

This is the 17th year that the NFL has conducted seven rounds for its annual Draft. Since the Draft was reduced to seven rounds, Northwestern has had three players drafted in five different years — 1997, 1999, 2002, 2005 and 2006.

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