anyone know about Raphael Nguti or Chris Lynch at albany?

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by cowboyjoe, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. cowboyjoe

    cowboyjoe Well-Known Member

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    Great Danes to NFL not far-fetched

    By MARK McGUIRE, Senior writer
    First published in print: Wednesday, January 28, 2009

    SCHENECTADY — It's doubtful you'll hear the names Raphael Nguti or Chris Lynch announced from the podium during the NFL draft in late April.

    Then again, the draft is never a sure thing. If the NFL thinks you have a shot, they'll find you, whether you play at Auburn or Albany.

    "I do expect to hear my name called," said Nguti, a mammoth offensive tackle from the University at Albany. "Whether it's a sixth-round or seventh-round draft pick, it doesn't matter to me."

    Are you going to argue with a 6-foot-7, 330-pound lineman?

    Being selected or not won't seal the pro fates of Nguti or Lynch, a UAlbany punter/holder with a strong leg. For all the pre-draft hype focusing on select blue-chippers, many future stars come from more humble pro beginnings. Think of that while watching Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner and Pittsburgh Steelers running back Willie Parker, unwanted free agents on their draft day who'll star on Super Bowl Sunday.

    Meanwhile, Charles Rogers and Ryan Leaf and a host of other first-rounders come and go, only to be quickly forgotten.

    Nguti and Lynch signed Tuesday with National Sports Management, a Schenectady agency that represents several dozen NFL and pro baseball players. As agents they're charged with hooking up these Great Danes with the right trainers while working the phones with NFL teams.

    "We really lobby these teams to give those kids a look," said vice president/co-owner Michael Giorgio. "Kids do fall through the cracks."

    These players have jobs now: Training and preparing for auditions before NFL scouts, likely at Pro Days. In a sense, with a pen stroke Tuesday they became pro athletes

    "t's a very important step in the process to making it to the NFL," said Nguti, an FCS Coaches All-American who lost almost 60 pounds dating to his freshman year. "I don't know if I feel like a professional … but I feel like I'm on my way."

    Long shots? Sure. But all prospects are; for all the scouting and evaluation that goes into college players in the years, months and days leading up to a draft, no team truly knows who is going to make a good, let alone great, NFL player. "All I have ever said to any of those questions is 'I don't have a clue,'" UA coach Bob Ford said. "This is not an exact science."

    When a lineman is as big as Nguti, he will get noticed. (Ford said most NFL teams came to Albany to scout him.)

    When you're a punter like Lynch, you're not going to get drafted, so you have to impress a scout, get invited to a camp and hope there's an opening. "I never had a punting coach," said Lynch, who will get specialized training in the weeks leading up to Pro Days and tryouts. "I just have to keep working on my form to get more like the guys on TV."

    From most of the thousand or so players with pro dreams a little more than 300 will be drafted, with a like number of first-year players sticking with some team. And those 300 include drafted players, free agents and holdovers from previous incoming classes.

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  2. cowboyjoe

    cowboyjoe Well-Known Member

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    Great Danes to NFL not far-fetched

    First published in print: Wednesday, January 28, 2009

    (Page 2 of 2)

    Some were stunned to hear Rashad Barksdale's name announced in the sixth round of the 2007 draft, when he was taken by the Philadelphia Eagles. The former UAlbany cornerback finished this past season on the New York Giants' roster. After awhile in the NFL it doesn't matter where you came from.
    But now the idea of a Great Dane playing in the NFL is not so outlandish. The odds are still long, ridiculously long, unless you ask Nguti. Then, if he puts in the work he promises, it's merely expected.

    Mark McGuire can be reached at 454-5467 or by e-mail at Visit his blog at

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