Owls dominate the NFL draft again

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Penn State might be Linebacker U. and Miami (Ohio) The Cradle of Coaches but Temple is developing into NFL U.

At least in the G5 football world.

Hard to come to any other conclusion than this for current high school recruits based on the  2020 NFL draft. If those players have an eventual goal of making the NFL and are on the fence between picking a P5 or a G5 school, Temple is the place to go.

It’s not just the 2020 draft. It’s been that way for a while. The Owls have been the No. 1 Group of 5 team for nearly a decade in producing NFL draft choices.

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Over the three days of the 2020 draft, center Matt Hennessy was drafted in Round 2 by the Atlanta Falcons, defensive back Harrison Hand drafted in Round 5 by the Minnesota Vikings, and linebackers Shaun Bradley (Round 6, Philadelphia Eagles) and Chapelle Russell (Round 7, Tampa Bay) also were picked.

The reasons have been simple. Al Golden re-established a Temple TUFF culture that carried over into the next four coaches. Golden did it by making running, lifting and toughness a 365-day deal at the Edberg-Olson Complex. His practices were legendary for the level of hitting involved.  It is now up to Rod Carey to sustain that culture. Tyler Matakevich explained it perfectly once. “Our practices are harder than the games, so we’re really prepared to hit come game time,” he said.

Playing in an NFL stadium around an NFL culture also helps.

A couple of interesting things about this current draft: Had Quincy Roche come out instead of going to Miami, he would have been no lower than a No. 4 pick out of Temple. He was unquestionably the best player on a defense that included Bradley, Hand and Russell.

Hennessy will be joining former Temple center Alex Derenthal as a resident of Atlanta. Derenthal is the strength coach at Georgia State (which beat Tennessee last year).

Bradley is the first Temple player drafted by the Eagles in a long time and has a chance to stick if he can cut down on the targeting penalties. He plays hard through the whistle and sometimes beyond. I thought Mel Kiper’s analysis of Bradley was way off. He said Bradley “didn’t pack a punch” but I don’t think I’ve seen a Temple player hit as hard as Bradley over the last four years, and that includes Roche. If anything, he packs too much of a punch.

I wish the Eagles drafted Hennessy as well since Jason Kelce is getting long in the tooth. Yet the Eagles were set on Jalen Hurts in the second round. It might be just me, but Justin Jefferson was the best wide receiver in the draft and the Eagles could have had him in Round 1 and either Hennessy or Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins in Round 2 and been much better off. If they were concerned about the backup QB position, they could have upgraded from Nate Sudfeld and picked some better options in the lower rounds.

No doubt in my mind that the Owls had a better three days at the NFL draft than the other birds playing in the same stadium but only time will tell.

Russell will get every opportunity to shine as Bruce Arians has pretty much an all-Temple staff at Tampa Bay.

Getting drafted his one thing. Sticking in the NFL is another and, based on watching their careers here, I think all five of these guys have a good shot. The last 12 Temple players drafted currently are still on active rosters and only eight schools–all Power 5–have that kind of streak going. For the fourth time in five years, Temple has had more players drafted than any other G5 school. Only the “mythical national championship” team of UCF had more players drafted than Temple in the last five years.

Whatever happens, Temple should parlay NFL drafting success into attracting better recruits starting now.

Friday: Temple in the 2021 Draft

Monday (5/4): 5 Best Next-Tier Wins

Friday (5/8): Suspending Campaigns

Monday (5/11): Virtual Press Conference

Friday (5/15): Recruiting Patterns

Monday (5/18): Smoking Out The Winners

9 thoughts on “Owls dominate the NFL draft again

  1. truly a pleasant surprise to see all these young guys invited into the Pro’s and even if just for a short time. We watched these big boys play for the last few years it was was both fun and frustration.
    On the post draft invite list I saw a name , someone I forgot about – the dream of his possibilities did not pan out with TU last year though, I don’t know why. That once speedster I refer to is going to DC, Isaiah Wright, best of luck.
    Again , what went wrong with Mr Wright ?

  2. Matt Hennesy has the opportunity to learn the ropes from a Pro Bowler in Alex Mack correct?

    He might have the best shot at a good career out of the 4 Owls drafted.

    What ever happened to Hassan Riddick? Is it fair to say he’s been a flop?

    • Thanks for posting the article John – it adds a lot more details to the scenarios we’ve read about already. Two things not mentioned however: 1) The extension of the pandemic because our administration (for whatever reasons) is so badly handling the situation – even promoting the exact opposite of things to do than the experts are saying to do. It’s a very real factor in considering how long this may go on 2) If and when games are played with fans since that is a major financial driver, there was no mention of social distancing in the stands. Like in some stores they allow only a certain number of people in at the same time. I figure if to keep fans at least 6 feet apart only every other row of seats could be used and that’s half the number of fans right there. Keeping fans 6 feet apart means only every 3rd seat could be used, another at least 25% reduction. I figure only maybe a third of the total number of fans could be admitted into the stadiums. Speaking of fan numbers, there are a lot of schools, especially G5 programs, that don’t get many fans to their games so the attendance isn’t that much of a financial factor anyway. Living in MAC country this is definitely true but even some P5 schools, like Vandy, only seat about what TU gets. Just some thoughts. Largely because of #1, I too think this could go on for a long time – there may be a lot more important things to worry about than college football.

      • Another factor is that there are 50 states, each of which acts independently from the others. Need all 50 to agree to open for any college football or basketball season to be viable. College sports aren’t like the pros in that regard, who can gather all of the teams in one area. By the way, several of the major sports announcers interviewed on HBO sports do not think that they’ll be broadcasting and sporting event in 2020.

  3. I say, “Lets play Ball” !!! and soon.
    There is no guarantee to life , and sickness is around us always and everywhere.
    Flue has its season always.
    Once this current round of COVID begins to subside, its time to start getting back to life ?
    The elderly and the folks with problems where they take pills every day anyway are at risk, as I am in that group too ***.
    But I will not give up on fun
    As it is, there is no reason to not open up society again in a month or so.
    Life is a risk, there is no guarantee of anything.
    The Link is outdoors, we can wear a mask for awhile also.

    Why this opinion now ?
    Yesterday I found the CDC stats had 2018 Flu deaths as 61000 and Flu catchers as 45 million. 2018 was an extra bad year, but it was there .

    This is a fact of life and always has been; Mother Nature produces Flu, period.
    Are we letting political causes also enter into this discussion and shut down ?
    I want to live.
    Time for some TU Football fun, It would be a healing process.

    Anyone else question if the TV talking heads are milking this one dry, stoking extra fear for ratings and any other causes they want to promote ?

    End of my blurb.

    My opinion. Now Lets play ball.

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