York County, S.C. currently has five active NFL players, but that number could grow considerably this weekend during, and after, the 2018 NFL Draft. Here's everything you need to know ahead of a huge couple of days for three locals, Mason Rudolph, Jaleel Scott and Beau Nunn.
▪ Why should I watch?
Only once has the city of Rock Hill, let alone York County, had three players drafted the same year.
It's very likely that three York County products will officially be NFL players by Sunday. Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State (Northwestern High School) Jaleel Scott, New Mexico State (Rock Hill High School) Beau Nunn (York Comprehensive High School) will either get drafted or signed right after the draft concludes on Saturday.
▪ When is the draft? How do I watch?
The draft is spread over three days for maximum TV exposure. Watch the action live on ESPN or the NFL Network.
First round: Thursday, April 27, 2018. Actual drafting begins 8 p.m., though there is plenty of pregame viewing beforehand.
Second and third rounds: Friday, April 28, 2018. The draft resumes at 7 p.m. on Friday night.
Fourth thru seventh rounds: Saturday, April 29, 2018. The final three rounds begin at noon.
▪ When will they get drafted? (Will they get drafted?)
A crowded field of quarterbacks is working against Rudolph. But a long list of teams that need a QB is working in his favor. That may explain why mock drafts have the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Rudolph getting picked anywhere from the 20s (first round) to the 70s (third round).
Rudolph and his family are holding a party Thursday night, but it's not certain that he ends that night as an NFL player. He almost certainly will be off the board Friday, though.
There are a number of very promising landing spots for the former Trojan QB, including Pittsburgh, which has an aging Ben Roethlisberger running its offense and picks 28th, or New England, which picks 31st and could use an understudy to 40-year old Hall of Famer Tom Brady. According to WalterFootball.com, which tracks draft prospect interactions with NFL teams, Rudolph met with the Steelers and Buffalo the most.
Keep an eye on Buffalo. The Bills are almost certainly drafting a QB after parting ways with last year's starter, Tyrod Taylor. They pick twice in the first round, at Nos. 12 and 22. NFL draft analyst Chris Trapasso pointed out on Twitter Wednesday that Buffalo's new offensive coordinator, Brian Daboll, ran nearly 98 percent of his offensive plays at Alabama in 2017 out of the shotgun. Rudolph has played nearly his entire career as a shotgun QB, taking 99.6 percent of his snaps at Oklahoma State last season from shotgun formations, according to Sports Info Solutions.
Like Rudolph, Scott isn't sure which day he'll get picked, though his days are Friday and Saturday. The 6-foot-5 pass-catcher could land anywhere from the third to sixth round, with a slew of different teams likely interested in a player that compares to former NFL wide receiver Plaxico Burress.
Scott made arguably the catch of the season last fall against Arizona State, a highlight that pointed out two things about the former Bearcat: 1) he had his best games as a New Mexico State senior against the Aggies' best competition, Arizona State and Arkansas, and 2) he is one of the best receivers in this draft at catching the football at its highest point. That's a skill that could lead to immediate chances for Scott to play with whatever team picks him. Any number of teams could use a red zone threat like Scott.
WalterFootball.com indicates that Scott met with the Minnesota Vikings at the Senior Bowl in January.
Nunn doesn't expect to get drafted, but the former York Cougar does expect to get phone calls after the draft ends. Any team looking for versatility and athleticism on its offensive line would do well to bring Nunn into camp, if not select him during one of Saturday's later rounds.
The 6-foot-4, 305-pound Nunn was a four-year starter at Appalachian State, and a cornerstone member of one of college football's best offensive lines this past season. The Winston-Salem Journal's Ethan Joyce reports that Nunn can perform a complete split, impressive for any male, let alone one his size.
Nunn worked out for coaches from the Arizona Cardinals and the New York Giants during Appalachian State's pro day, and WalterFootball.com also lists a meeting with the Tennessee Titans that day. The Journal's Joyce also reports that Nunn worked out for the Detroit Lions alongside teammate and likely draft pick Colby Gossett.
▪ When does each team pick? What positions do they need to fill?
▪ Rock Hill all-time NFL Draft selections
If Mason Rudolph is selected in Thursday night's first round of the NFL Draft, he would become the eighth player from a Rock Hill high school to be taken in the first 32 picks. Check out this story that highlights what helped Rock Hill produce first round draft picks three consecutive years from 2012 to 2014. Its premise still holds true.
2014: Jadeveon Clowney - first round, 1st overall (Houston)
2013: Cordarrelle Patterson - first round, 29th overall (Minnesota); Jonathan Meeks - fifth round, 143rd overall (Buffalo); Devonte Holloman - sixth round, 185th overall (Dallas)
2012: Stephon Gilmore - first round, 10th overall (Buffalo)
2010: Phillip Adams - seventh round, 224th overall (San Francisco)
2006: Johnathan Joseph - first round, 24th overall (Cincinnati); Ko Simpson - fourth round, 105th overall (Buffalo)
2004: Benjamin Watson - first round, 32nd overall (New England)
2002: Derek Ross - third round, 75th overall (Dallas); Chris Hope - third round, 94th overall (Pittsburgh)
1994: Jeff Burris - first round, 27th overall (Buffalo)
1992: Gerald Dixon - third round, 78th overall pick (Cleveland)
1979: Rick Sanford - first round, 25th overall (New England)