Quest for the Pros: UTEP Football Players Aim to Make NFL Rosters
The 2022 NFL Draft begins Thursday night and a total of 262 former college players will hear their names called out over a three day period at Caesar's in Las Vegas, Nevada.
For the UTEP football program, six former Miners are eligible for the NFL Draft. However, all of them appear to be signed to pro contracts barring any unforeseen late round selection on Saturday. Dane Brugler published his annual NFL Draft Guide that he named "The Beast" on The Athletic's website. All six Miners are listed in his 288-page guide, however none of them are considered to be possible selections on the last draft's day. Here are Brugler's ranking's for each UTEP NFL prospect.
Quadraiz Wadley - 78th ranked running back (out of 131 eligible RBs)
Justin Garrett - 203rd ranked receiver (out of 261 eligible WRs)
Darta Lee - 47th ranked offensive tackle (out of 86 eligible OTs)
Bobby DeHaro - 71st ranked offensive guard (out of 96 eligible OGs)
Walter Neil Jr. - 71st ranked cornerback (out of 206 eligible CBs)
Dy'vonne Inyang - 72nd ranked safety (out of 183 eligible S)
Based on Brugler's ratings, it is possible that players like Lee or Neil could wind up as a late round draft pick. However, the free agent route is more likely for them and their four UTEP teammates. Nik Needham is a great example of a former Miner finding success in the NFL as an undrafted free agent. Needham has flourished with the Dolphins despite not being selected in the 2019 NFL Draft. He was able to choose his landing spot and Needham has made the most of his opportunity in the Dolphins secondary.
600 ESPN El Paso will be live from Caesar's on Thursday and Friday to deliver two days of SportsTalk from the NFL Draft. The shows are presented by The Window Depot and also brought to you by Longhorn Distributing, Cisco Movers, Clean Water of El Paso, 915 Tours, Palo Verde Homes, Taco Avocat, Expert HVAC and Refrigeration, Roto Rooter, and C&M Bodyworks.