While Thursday is a big day for the first- and second-round NFL draft choices, there are no bigger days for Temple football than Friday and Saturday. On those days, up to five Owls could be and likely will be drafted in rounds two through seven, making it easily the biggest day in terms of the school’s relationship with the NFL. While Temple boasts of the only player in league history to make All-Pro at three positions, Joe Klecko of the New York Jets, and numerous players with Super Bowl rings, the Owls have never had five players drafted in the same year. Here are the five likely picks and their likely landing spots.
5. ROBBY ANDERSON, GREEN BAY PACKERS
Playing against a consensus No. 1 NFL draft pick in Houston’s William Jackson, Anderson had 12 catches for 150 yards in the AAC championship game. Anderson helped himself by running a 4.37 40-yard dash at Temple’s Pro Day. The Packers are interested.
4. KYLE FRIEND, NEW YORK JETS
The Jets have had tremendous luck with Temple players in the past, from All-Pro defensive lineman Joe Klecko through Muhammad Wilkerson. Coach Todd Bowles is another Temple grad, who should be able to pick up Friend, a center, in the sixth round.
3. TAVON YOUNG, PITTSBURGH STEELERS
When the Steelers allowed corner Brandon Boykin to sign with the Carolina Panthers, that left a glaring need for a less expensive option. Young has a similar skillset and should be available as a fifth pick.
2. MATT IOANNIDIS, CLEVELAND BROWNS
The Browns have a need for a lockdown run-stopper and the 6-foot-3, 303-pound Ioannidis certainly is that. He is also a better-than-average pass rusher who the Browns would be wise to pick up by the fourth round.
1. TYLER MATAKEVICH, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
New England head coach Bill Belichick is a disciple of former Temple coach Wayne Hardin, both big believers in film over combine measurables. Matakevich, the national defensive player of the year, has film and should go no lower than the third round.