The 2017 NFL Draft takes place this week, starting Thursday and ending on Saturday. Maryland has a few players who could sneak into the late rounds or will at least be fighting for roster spots in training camp. We'll break down all of them.
Maryland football hasn’t had an offensive tackle taken in the NFL Draft since 2010, when Bruce Campbell went in the fourth round to the Oakland Raiders. Michael Dunn isn’t a lock to break that streak, but the former walk-on is used to a challenge.
CBS Sports ranks Dunn the 37th-best offensive lineman in the draft and No. 502 player overall; there are 253 picks in this year’s draft. He’ll probably earn a shot in someone’s camp regardless, but it won’t be easy for him to make a team.
Dunn knows there are no guarantees for him, and he’s prepared to earn his spot at the next level. In an interview with Glenn Clark Radio on March 1, he sounded like he’s up for the task.
“Knowing my projection as a Day 3 guy or undrafted free agent guy, I know I’ll be somewhere come August, come training camp,” Dunn said. “I’ve already been in a place where I’ve had zero expectation for me and I’ve proved everybody wrong. I’m confident enough in my abilities that I can do the same thing all over again.”
What an NFL team is getting
Ryan Connors interviewed draft analyst Corey Chavous in September, who mentioned Dunn as someone to watch this draft season.
“Michael Dunn is an experienced player that is probably going to get some looks because he’s a decent technician and he’s got the necessary footwork,” Chavous said. “If not on the left side, then the right.”
Dunn’s been a tackle since game 10 of the 2013 season; he started the first nine at right guard. He logged 31 starts at left tackle and eight at right tackle during his Maryland career and was the Terps’ most reliable lineman last season. Dunn was a crucial part of a line that paved the way for Maryland running backs to hit the 2,500-yard mark for the first time since 2003.
He has the skills to play at the next level and was the essence of durability and consistency at Maryland. Dunn walked on and redshirted his first year in College Park, then started on the offensive line for four years. After earning a scholarship and a starting job, he started 37 straight games before missing the season finale in 2015 with a high ankle sprain. Dunn started all but two games last season.
He could sneak his way into Day 3, but he’s currently projected to go undrafted by both CBS Sports and NFL.com.
NFL Scouting Combine performance
Dunn wasn’t invited to the combine, and he didn’t workout at Maryland’s pro day either. He injured his shoulder at the end of the season, which has limited his pre-draft activities. Here are his last known measurements:
40-yard dash: 5.28 seconds, according to CBS Sports.
225-pound bench reps: n/a
Vertical jump: n/a
Broad jump: n/a
Weight: 300 pounds
Where Dunn goes from here
Training camp is most likely Dunn’s next step. The injury killed his draft stock, but he should make someone’s offseason roster. He has the technique and footwork necessary to play at the next level, and outside of two non-related injuries, proved to a durable tackle during his college career. It won’t be easy, but he has a shot.