By Chadd Cripe
© 2011 Idaho Statesman
Ryan Winterswyk and Korey Hall have two things in common now.
Winterswyk, who in December became the first three-time All-WAC selection at Boise State since Hall, won’t know if he’ll play offense or defense in the NFL until he’s drafted Saturday.
Hall played middle linebacker at Boise State but was drafted as a fullback by the Green Bay Packers in 2007.
Winterswyk was a defensive end at Boise State but some teams want him as a tight end and others have talked to him about playing primarily on defense with spot duty at tight end.
“It’s the NFL,” Winterswyk said. “Whatever I’ve got to do to make the team.”
Winterswyk said he has talked to about 28 NFL teams. Only a few envision him strictly as a tight end.
The Miami Dolphins put him through a tight end workout before pro day in Boise. He has continued to work on his route-running since then. In fact, his brother Aaron played tight end at Arizona State behind Todd Heap.
Winterswyk has been staying with his brother in Dana Point, Calif., recently. He surfs when he’s not preparing for the NFL.
“(Aaron) knows all kinds of (tight end) tricks,” Winterswyk said. “We have a good time playing football in the park.”
He plans to go surfing Saturday morning and then tune into the draft at his brother’s house. He’s confident his phone will ring.
“From everything I’ve heard, I should get drafted,” Winterswyk said. “Teams seem really, really positive when I talk to them. … I’d love to go around the fifth round but I might go a little later than that. Last I heard, my draft status has risen a little bit.”
The NFL entered his mind after his sophomore year, his first All-WAC season. He might have been a higher-rated prospect if not for a knee injury that slowed him the first half of his senior season.
“It’s always been a dream to play a professional sport,” the former walk-on said. “I always thought I’d play professional baseball. Once I got to Boise and my career started taking off a little bit, after my sophomore year, I started looking at D-ends in the NFL and realized they were kind of similar (in size). It wasn’t something I was really counting on or anything, but I’d love to go play (in the NFL). It definitely would be a really cool experience.”
Winterswyk would be the first Boise State walk-on taken in the NFL Draft since running back Brock Forsey in 2003.
ESPN experts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay both predict former Boise State wide receiver Titus Young will land with the Cleveland Browns tonight.
There's one key difference in their predictions, though — and it could mean a lot of money to Young.
Kiper projects the Browns will take Young with the 37th overall pick — the fifth pick of round two, which begins at 4 p.m.
McShay projects the Browns will wait until the 59th overall pick — the 27th pick of round two.
You can find their mock drafts here.
Charley Casserly of the NFL Network has Young going to Washington at No. 41.