By Jay Coulter
By late Saturday afternoon, former Auburn defensive star Quentin Groves should be a very wealthy man. The hard work in the weight room and on the practice field is expected to pay off – in the millions.
The all-time Auburn sack leader is projected as a late first round or early-to-middle second round choice in the NFL draft. Where he’s headed is anyone’s guess.
The off-season has been like a freak rollercoaster ride for Groves. After having a somewhat disappointing senior campaign due to injuries, Groves rebounded at the NFL combines in February. His performance in Indianapolis caused his stock to rise faster than gas prices.
Then it all came crashing down – temporarily. While undergoing an NFL physical – which is akin to being treated like Ned Beatty in the North Georgia Mountains, doctors found a minor heart condition that ended up requiring surgery.
It now appears the condition will have little effect on his place in the draft and most importantly should have no effect on his overall health.
Quentin Groves is such a class guy. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he will get an early call Saturday and hopefully it will be from Pittsburgh – the team he’s idolized his whole life.
While Groves is grabbing most of the attention, there are several more former Auburn players expecting a phone call over the weekend. Defensive tackle Pat Sims and safety Patrick Lee are projected to go as high as the second round by some draft experts.
Here’s an interesting stat that I read in Thursday’s USA Today. Auburn is ranked third all-time in the number of top picks taken in the NFL draft. Auburn has had four players taken number one overall, trailing only Notre Dame and USC. Not too shabby.
Say it ain’t so Joe
Former Auburn great Joe Cribbs is at it again. You may remember that earlier this year, Cribbs served as president of Team Alabama – a Birmingham semi-pro football club that was made up of mostly washed up Alabama players who were scheduled to compete in something called the All-American Football League. It folded like a house of cards before a ball could be put on the tee.
Yesterday Cribbs was named commissioner of another new league – this one called the United National Football League. It plans to field 22 teams, but currently only has two in place – both in Texas.
Cribbs hopes the organization will serve as sort of a feeder league to the NFL. Where have we heard this before?
“This league is not trying to compete with the NFL. It’s trying to complement the NFL,” said Cribbs. “This is a true developmental league. It’s not a destination or a last-stop league. We want this to be affordable for fans who crave more football.”
Joe, we love you. But please make it stop.