Updated: Sep 16, 2019
Written by: Kelechi Anozie
Photo By: Kelechi Anozie
The draft process can be an unpredictable one, and in some cases, a harsh reality.
For senior linebacker Khalil Hodge out of Buffalo, all seemed well in place prior to this year's draft. He finished his third consecutive season with over 100 tackles, and was often mentioned in the same sentence as some of the top names at his position such as Devin White and Devin Bush. Several mock draft pundits has projected him to be selected anywhere between the second and seventh round. Though he was not invited to this year's NFL Combine, his snub oddly enough added to his credibility, as many believed he worthy of an invite. It once seemed that all was going in the direction for Hodge, then something happened on March 13th which changed everything.
With as many as 30 NFL scouts in attendance, Hodge had the opportunity to showcase his skills at UB's Pro Day. Though many in attendance were anticipating to watch star receiver Anthony Johnson perform, Hodge was also an intriguing prospect for several NFL teams. With all the buzz surrounding his potential, Hodge had the perfect platform to show he was worthy of being selected by one of 32 teams. When he was finished, his performance was not what many expected.
His 40 times were 5.0 and 4.95 seconds. His broad jump was a disappointing 9 feet, 1 inch, and his vertical jump was only 29 inches. To put his performance into perspective, this year's third overall pick Quinnen Williams posted a 40 times of 4.87 and 4.84, as well as a vertical jump of 30 inches while weighing over 300 lbs. Following his Pro Day performance, it seemed that his name fell into obscurity.
The NFL Draft is almost three weeks old, Hodge has yet to be signed; meanwhile, his former teammates Anthony Johnson, Tyree Jackson, Cam Lewis, and Chuck Harris have each signed undrafted free agent contracts. As time passes, what remains is a promising player that may never realize his NFL dreams.