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Former Scarlet Knight Draft Hopefuls

The NFL Draft begins this Thursday night, and seven eligible former Rutgers Scarlet Knight football players have the best chance to be drafted or latch onto a team according to The three day event takes place in Chicago, I.L., the first time since 1964 the draft will not be held in New York City and first since 2006 at Radio City Music Hall.

Of the 14 players who participated in the school’s Pro Day on March 11 inside the bubble, tight end Tyler Kroft has the best shot to be drafted, and could go in the middle rounds. The redshirt junior from Downington, P.A. had a solid Pro Day and according to, the Bears, Bengals, Browns, Giants, Patriots, and Ravens have shown interest. The Bengals worked exclusively with Kroft at Pro Day.

Kroft skipped out on his senior year after accumulating 901 receiving yards on 70 catches during his time “on the banks”. It what is considered a weaker tight end draft class, Kroft is ranked as the sixth best tight end prospect in the draft according to

After doctors caused his ankle to flare up which he injured during the Quick Lane Bowl in December at the NFL Combine medical checkups, Kroft was forced to sit out the drills in Indianapolis – banking his luck on participating at Pro Day.

Kroft has worked out with the Buccaneers, Bears, Eagles, Broncos, and Jaguars according to Asbury Park Press writer Ryan Dunleavy.

TE Tyler Kroft (


Gritty fullback Michael Burton is ranked as the seventh best fullback according to, and I think that number is too low. I bet Burton is ‘okay’ with it after being underrated and overlooked coming to Rutgers as a former walk-on. The 5-11, 242 pound Long Valley, N.J. native is hard-nosed blocker and can catch the ball out of the backfield, having 47 career receptions for 401 yards. With only nine fullbacks selected in the previous three drafts, Burton doesn’t have a good chance to be selected, but could latch onto a team via undrafted free agency.

NJ Advance Media writer Dan Duggan cited that Burton had private workouts with the Buccaneers and a visit with the Browns as well.

Four-year starter Gary Nova shined during Pro Day running a fast 40-yard dash time at 4.61 seconds. The former Don Bosco Prep product played in 46 games at Rutgers, starting 41, accumulating 9,285 passing yards and 73 total touchdowns. Nova participated in the Giants and Jets local workouts along with six other Scarlet Knights: Kroft, Burton, offensive linemen Kaleb Johnson and Betim Bujari, safety Lorenzo Waters, and wide receiver Andrew Turzilli. lists Nova as the 27th best quarterback prospect. Nova could be picked up by a team after the draft looking for depth or possibly even the practice squad.

Turzilli, the speedster from Butler, N.J., came to Rutgers last season as a graduate transfer from Kansas, and clocked in the 40-yard dash at an impressive 4.44 seconds. The 6-foot-4 receiver provided a deep threat for Nova with 10 catches for 347 yards and four touchdowns last season.

Kaleb Johnson, a versatile offensive lineman from Florida started 50 straight games for the Knights to finish out his career playing both tackle and guard. With 34-reps in the bench press at Pro Day, the 6-foot-4, 303 pound lineman is the number 35 guard according to, which is crazy low considering the amount of experience. Look for Johnson to shock some people if he gets picked up either in the draft or after.

Other former Scarlet Knights eligible for the draft who participated in the school’s Pro Day over a month ago include, safety Jonathan Aiken, linebacker Kevin Snyder, kicker Nick DeLouisa, cornerback Gareef Glashen, defensive tackle Kenny Kirksey, linebacker Joey Lohmann, and defensive back Iyanosa Ogbevoenn.


NFL Draft: April 30 (8 p.m. First Round)

May 1 (7 p.m. Rounds 2-3)

May 2 (12 p.m. Rounds 4-7)

Eastern Times

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