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How Maryland football might be represented in the 2018 NFL Draft

The Terps could have some players hear their names called in April.

NCAA Football: Maryland at Rutgers Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Following two tough losses in which Maryland looked completely overmatched, the 2017 season is looking more and more in doubt. But that’s not to say there’s not talent on this year’s roster. Despite the team’s current 3-3 record, several players have shown that they have potential to play at the next level. When the 2018 draft rolls around, it’s likely that a few Maryland players find themselves on NFL rosters.

D.J. Moore, WR

Moore has been one of the lone bright spots for the Terps this season. Despite playing with three different quarterbacks, Moore has had a solid season, catching 44 passes for 624 yards, good for 11th in the NCAA.

Moore has played well enough through the first six games to warrant late-round draft consideration. Stefon Diggs is a fair comparison, considering both receivers have talent but didn’t have strong quarterback play during their collegiate careers. Moore may be overlooked because he’s not playing for a top-ranked team, but given the opportunity to play for an NFL team, I think he could translate into a solid option at receiver.

It’s plays like these, where Moore goes up and makes difficult, contested catches, that sell me on him as a legitimate NFL prospect.

Moore still has one more year of eligibility left, so he could stay for another season and hope that Tyrrell Pigrome or Kasim Hill aren’t sidelined with injuries to improve his draft stock.

Ty Johnson, RB

Johnson is another player that has some legitimate talent, but has been somewhat hindered by Maryland’s lack of success. After huge performances against Texas and Towson, Johnson has fallen off a bit as defenses have keyed in on him.

I think this run against Texas really highlights what makes Johnson so talented. Watch as he penetrates the line, hesitates to freeze the defender, and makes a hard cut to get to the second level.

More plays like that will bode well for Johnson’s draft hopes.

Like Moore, Johnson has another season of eligibility left, and would definitely benefit from playing next to a talented QB. Since Johnson is a longer shot at being drafted in 2018 than Moore, another year of ripping off long runs at Maryland might be the best option for him.

Damian Prince, OT

Prince is the most likely to be drafted out of everyone currently on Maryland’s roster, as CBS Sports has him listed as the 57th-best prospect coming into the 2018 draft. While he plays right tackle for the Terps, scouts see him as a guard at the next level.

Although he may go unnoticed as one of the great players on Maryland’s roster, he is definitely one of the top guard prospects entering this year’s draft, should he decide to enter. Prince projects to be a second- or third-round pick, which would be the highest draft position for a Maryland offensive lineman since 2010.

Jermaine Carter Jr., LB

After forgoing entering the 2017 draft, Carter returned to Maryland for his senior season to lead the Terps’ defense. He currently leads the team in total tackles with 40.

Carter was an All-Big Ten honorable mention the past two seasons, and was on the watch list for the Butkus Award, given to the nation’s best linebacker. Carter will likely make the All-Big Ten team this season and again be in consideration for the Butkus, which would definitely help his draft stock.

Carter’s body of work over his career at Maryland and a strong finish to his senior season should warrant some late-round consideration. If not, he should get a chance as an undrafted free agent.