NFL Draft

I live in Fresno and that makes me a Fresno State football fan. Fresno State football is the biggest game in town. Last year we watched all season long as Ryan Mathews ran the ball and lead the nation in rushing against limited opposition. Ryan a junior running back from Bakersfield was our star player.

After Ryan started the season strong with big games against the better teams on the Fresno State schedule I warned everyone that Ryan may leave early for the NFL draft. Because all of the previous stars at Fresno State with the exception of Trent Dilfer had stayed and played their senior year nobody wanted to consider that Ryan might leave.

Late in the season Ryan was hurt in a game against University of Nevada and had to miss a couple games. Toby Gerhart of Stanford was able to run for more total yards than Ryan. After the injury, speculation was strong that Ryan would be returning to Fresno State.

The draft experts and prognosticators were predicting Ryan would go in the third round or possibly late in the second round. The real question seemed to be would it be worth it if Ryan knew he would be picked toward the end of the second round to come back to Fresno and try to improve his draft position.

Ryan worked hard and came back from the injury and went to the scouting combine and put up good numbers. I saw some people had Ryan ranked as low as the number 13 running back available in the draft. There was one scouting service that had Ryan as the number two back in the draft. Most had Ryan somewhere around number five.

In the days leading up to the draft the local paper published a mock draft showing Ryan going at number 28 to San Diego. I thought to myself that might be wishful thinking. As San Diego continued to show interest in Ryan, I told my wife that Fresno State players usually draft pretty well and I think he may go to San Diego at 28 or they will pick him in the second round.

The running backs looked pretty stocked with players like Jahvid Best, C.J. Spiller, Joe McKnight, Toby Gerhart, LeGarrette Blount, Jonathan Dwyer and even Anthony Dixon all being ranked ahead of Ryan. On Yahoo Sports Ryan was ranked number ten of available running backs. Mel Kiper and Todd McShay did not have Ryan going in the first round of their mock drafts. I was looking at everything and thinking it would probably be a second round selection for Ryan.

I had a meeting and was not able to watch the draft on television. I received a text during my meeting and glanced down and read, “Ryan drafted number 12”. I thought to myself wow. Who had the number twelve pick? That was a surprise. When I finally got home last night I found out that San Diego had traded up to number 12 to take Ryan. The player Yahoo Sports had ranked the 153rd best available was selected number 12.


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