Friday, April 24, 2009

Isdaner Takes Early Chance

Isdaner ready for uncertainty of NFL Draft
By Mike Casazza
The Daily Mail, April 23, 2009

Morgantown, WV -- Like many college underclassmen do, Greg Isdaner quizzed with the NFL's draft advisory committee last season about his immediate future in the league.

The response wasn't entirely encouraging.

In fact, it was the kind of feedback that might convince a junior to return to school.

"The exact wording was, 'You do not have the potential to be picked on the first day as of right now based on game tape,'" Isdaner said.

Assured he wouldn't be picked in the first two rounds Saturday, Isdaner nevertheless signed with an agent and thereby forfeited his senior season at West Virginia.

"It'd be different maybe if you thought you had a chance to go in the first round, but being a guard, I realized we generally don't go that high in the draft," the now-former left guard said. "From there, I asked if there was any consensus I'd go undrafted. There was none. There was none of that whatsoever."

Following an admittedly average performance in the combine and some productive workouts and interviews, Isdaner expects to get the call Sunday afternoon as a late-round pick.

"I'm pretty sure I'm going to get drafted," he said. "Then again, you don't really know. I'm confident I will. I think most people are confident I will, but the entire process gives you no indication.
. . .
Isdaner was invited to the NFL Combine, which helped legitimize his decision. His performance was satisfactory and in the middle of the offensive linemen in attendance. His worst result was the 40-yard dash, which he ran in 5.52 seconds, slower than all but three of the 45 linemen.

"I hurt myself on my first 40 and that affected all the other times," he said. "But that's out of my control. Everything I've been in control of I've done well at and done it the right way. People might think I made a mistake, and I can see where they're coming from, but I certainly don't feel that way." was even in its analysis, saying Isdaner is "agile in space but has average straight-line speed. ... Choppy in his lateral movement at times. Leans too far into his man when run blocking; can get ripped off or lose his balance."

Positively, though, the same review said he "comes out of his stance with fair quickness, gets his hands active right away and is able to push his man down the line when coming off the ball. Strong angle technique, gets to his man's opposite shoulder and anchors to create a lane or will push his defender so he takes himself out of the play."

ESPN ranks Isdaner as the No. 8 offensive guard in the draft, though at 6-foot-4 and 325 pounds, Isdaner has had conversations about playing tackle and even center.

Sports Illustrated said Isdaner is a "workman like blocker with limited athleticism and upside potential. Unlikely to ever be a starter in the NFL, he could be an inexpensive back-up for a roster."

"I didn't think I'd be going in the first round or on the first day, but after that, it's really a crap-shoot at the guard position," he said. "It's about what a team needs and if I get drafted, then obviously they saw something in me they liked and needed. I can't say growing up it was my dream to be in the NFL, because that's a pretty unrealistic dream, but it's something I think I can do and take advantage of if given the opportunity."
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