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NFL Draft 2017: Northwestern prospect rankings, updates

Where will Walker Jr. and Odenigbo go? Does anyone else have a shot?

Ifeadi Odenigbo is one of two likely draftees from Northwestern.
NFL.com

The NFL Draft is a week away. For several former Northwestern Wildcats, that means a lifelong dream is two weeks away from being fulfilled. Northwestern has failed to have a draft pick five times in the last ten years. That won’t happen this year. Here's a stock update on Northwestern's top prospects.

Anthony Walker Jr.

Walker Jr. will be the first Wildcat linebacker drafted since Napoleon Harris (1st round) and Kevin Bentley (4th round) were selected in 2002. He also became the first Wildcat in 20 years to declare early for the NFL draft.

The consensus on “The Franchise” seems to be that he’s likely to go in the middle rounds, perhaps rising to the second round but likely going in the third or fourth. Walker had a solid combine, posting a 4.65 40-time, and has been attending individual teams’ pro days. He’s lost weight and is reportedly at 238 pounds, down from 250 last season. The Miami native will certainly hear his name called on draft day — the question is when.

Rankings

CBS Sports: 111th overall, No. 4 ILB

ESPN: 113th overall, No. 9 ILB

Ifeadi Odenigbo

Edge rushers have become increasingly valuable in the NFL, and that bodes well for Odenigbo. After putting together a solid combine, Northwestern’s second all-time sacks leader (23.5, 10 his senior season) has a good chance to come off the board. NFL teams are taking long looks at Odenigbo, including the Chicago Bears. Odenigbo was primarily a situational pass-rusher at Northwestern and that is likely what he will translate to at the next level. Whether drafted or not, Odenigbo will get a shot in the NFL, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to make a career in the league.

Rankings

CBS Sports: 329th overall, No. 28 defensive end

ESPN: 211th overall, No. 20 defensive end

Joseph Jones

Leading up to the NFL Draft, Jones has had a few part-time jobs, including being a father to his six-month old daughter. His next job might very well be in the NFL. Jones crushed his pro day and earned a spot on Pro Football Weekly’s NFL Draft ‘late risers.’

Although he likely won’t hear his named called, Jones will absolutely get his chance in the NFL. His value comes not only as a strong outside linebacker, but as an effective special teams contributor.

Rankings

CBS Sports: 334th overall, No. 27 outside linebacker

ESPN: Unranked

Austin Carr

The Big Ten Receiver of the Year was ridculously snubbed from the NFL Combine, but that’s far from the first time the former walk-on has been overlooked. In its Draft Season podcast, Carr told Sports Illustrated that “Football is the only lifelong dream that I've ever had.”

Carr participated in the East-West Shrine game, and 30 out of 32 NFL teams saw the Biletnikoff Finalist perform at his pro day, where Carr put together a solid performance. It would be a surprise to hear Carr’s name called, but he has had individual pro days with the Bears, Raiders, and 49ers and will almost certainly be signed for the summer. He projects as a possession slot receiver at the next level.

Rankings

CBS Sports: 569th overall, No. 68 wide receiver

ESPN: Unranked

Chris Fitzpatrick

Long snappers are people too!

Rankings

CBS Sports: 736th overall, No. 6 long snapper

ESPN: Unranked

Others

DL CJ Robbins, WR Andrew Scanlan, 2016 WR Miles Shuler, K Jack Mitchell and LB (!) Tom Hruby are all unranked by both ESPN and CBS Sports, though all have been training with a view towards a pro career.