Colledge waits, serene on draft By DANNY MARTIN Dallas Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells was friendly, even talking about Alaska. New England Patriots sideline boss Bill Belichick was cordial, too. Welcome to Daryn Colledge's Pre-NFL Draft Tour, as the North Pole High School graduate and standout left tackle for Boise State University spent the last few weeks making the rounds in some National Football League cities. If it's Tuesday, it must be Tampa Bay. (He actually visited with Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden.) But making the rounds didn't give Colledge an indication of which round and by whom he'll be selected this weekend. The two-time All-Western Athletic Conference first-team selection wasn't intimidated or awed by opposing defensive ends in college, as he didn't allow a sack during his last three seasons with Boise State. The 6-foot-5, 304-pounder also hasn't dwelled on predictions which have him going in the first round to third round on Saturday, the first day of the draft. "I've done my best not to," Colledge said Tuesday night from Boise, Idaho. "I've heard I'll be going late in the first round to early in the third round. If it happens before that, that will be amazing, and if it happens after that, that will be fine. "I just hope I get an opportunity to work for a job (with an NFL team), earn some respect and maybe prove some people wrong." NFL Network draft expert Mike Mayock ranked him as the fourth best offensive tackle in the draft. To NFL.com senior analyst Gil Brandt, a former Cowboys general manager, Colledge is the sixth best offensive tackle and considered a wild card, meaning he could be a surprise first-round pick. If you believe the latest issue of The Sporting News, Colledge will be selected in the third round with the 88th overall selection. And the folks at ESPN The Magazine said the following teams need offensive tackles: Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets, San Diego Chargers, Tennessee Titans, Philadelphia Eagles and of course, Tampa Bay. So, any of them could be Colledge's future employer. Understandably, Colledge is a little nervous because his dream of playing in the NFL is only two days away from its first step. But he's also calm, helped by playing a little golf this week. "Inside, I'm turning a little bit," he said. "But I'm little excited, too. It's a great opportunity and I'm just excited to see where I'll be." Coaches and administrators of several NFL teams wanted to get an idea of where Colledge would fit in with their programs. The same coaches saw him play in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., in January and participate in the NFL Scouting Combine in March in Indianapolis. But they wanted to meet Colledge up close and personal, whether it meant they flew him in for visits or they flew to Boise. Among the teams he visited--or had representatives visit him--were Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, New England, Atlanta, Dallas, Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets and Chicago Bears. In some ways, Colledge said, the visits were similar to a high school senior checking out a college football program during a recruiting visit. "But," he said, "the stakes are much bigger, they bring in fewer players and there's a lot of high-end stuff that they'll take care of--things you can't do with an NCAA team." It means an NFL team could have a limousine pick him up at an airport and the team could book him in a luxury hotel. Colledge saw friendly sides of Parcells and Belichick, who have each guided teams to Super Bowl titles. "He (Parcells) was a really nice guy, and he talked a little bit about Alaska," Colledge said. "Belichick was very casual and he wanted to know about North Pole and Boise. They're guys you respect and are worth playing for." The 23-year-old also met with Eagles and Buccaneer offensive linemen. "They (visits) were all equally pleasant and it was an awesome experience," Colledge said. "Every facility and every city was different, but I'm excited about the opportunity of playing in any NFL city." Colledge, though, took each visit with a grain of salt. "The coaches all made it sound like you were the guy they wanted with their first pick or they expected to take you on the first day," he said. "If it doesn't work out Saturday, then I hope to go on Sunday." Colledge and his wife, Megan, will be watching the draft Saturday morning and Colledge will play video games, too, while he waits for a team to call and tell him it has selected him. "It's an overwhelmingly surreal experience," Colledge said of being in the draft. "It's not going to kick in until the phone rings."