Former Cougars hoping to hear names called in NFL Draft

Former Cougars hoping to hear names called in NFL Draft
Former WSU offensive lineman Andre Dillard is expected to be a first round pick in the NFL Draft.

One former Washington State University football player is almost certain to hear name called in the first round of Thursday’s NFL Draft. And before the draft is completed on Saturday, a couple of other Cougars could be drafted as well.

Andre Dillard has seen his draft stock soar since the end of WSU’s season. The left tackle wowed scouts at the NFL Combine and many consider him the best pass protector available in the draft. Pro Football Focus believes Dillard will continue to be an elite pass blocker in the NFL.

Dillard accepted the NFL’s invitation to attend the draft in Nashville, Tenn. He’s expected to be the highest Cougar drafted since Marcus Trufant was taken with the 11th overall pick by the Seattle Seahawks in 2003.

And after being lightly recruited out of Woodinville High School, Dillard is thrilled to be in this position.

“In high school, I didn’t think I’d make it to college ball. And, you know, here I am now,” said Dillard during WSU’s Pro Day on April 3. “So I’m proud of of myself and I’m happy to be around everybody that’s helped me along this journey.”

Quarterback Gardner Minshew became a legend in his only season at WSU, throwing for nearly 4,800 yards and 38 touchdowns, while winning Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year honors. Most draft projections have Minshew ranked among the top 15 quarterbacks in the draft, which means he could be drafted in the later rounds.

Running back James Williams racked up 16 touchdowns in his junior season with the Cougars and led the nation in receptions for a running back. He recently received high praise from former NFL star Eric Dickerson, who called him a future NFL Pro Bowler on Twitter.

Williams is expected to be drafted in the later rounds or sign with a team as an undrafted free agent.

“I don’t care where I get drafted,” said Williams. “Even if I don’t get drafted, I just still need an opportunity. That’s all I need.”

And an opportunity is all these Cougars, and other former WSU stars like Peyton Pelluer, Logan Tago and Hunter Dale, are asking for, as they continue to chase their NFL dreams.

You can watch the NFL Draft on KXLY 4 News. Coverage begins at 5:00pm Thursday, 4:00pm Friday and 11:00am Saturday.

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