We are all total homers for the guys who play for our favorite college football teams.
Let’s embrace that today.
I grew up in Utah as a die-hard BYU fan and graduated from Brigham Young in 1999. In 2003 I moved to North Carolina and adopted the Panthers as my NFL team, making me a rare breed of fan who lives and dies with both the Carolina Panthers and the BYU Cougars.
Like many of you here at CSR, I always hold out hope the Panthers will unexpectedly draft a player or two from my favorite college team, BYU in this case, somewhere in the back half of the draft.
Each of us who follows the NFL Draft and reads mock drafts, reviews scouting reports, etc. already has a pretty clear picture of the Top 100 prospects. But once you start getting into players projected from Rounds 4-7, things get a bit fuzzier.
It is in the back half of the draft where we can put on our “college homer” hats and advocate for players entering the draft from our favorite schools.
As a BYU homer, here are the two late-round picks I hope end up going from Provo to Charlotte.
Jamaal Williams, Running Back
Projection: Rounds 3-5
Height: 6-0, Weight: 211, 40 Time: 4.59, WalterFootball Position Rank: 13
Jamaal Williams became BYU’s all-time leading rusher as a senior, finishing his career with 3,901 yards (5.4 YPC). He is a power runner who could fit nicely into Carolina’s offensive scheme. The guy is simply a beast. He rushed for 182 yards against Texas, 169 against West Virginia, 163 against Michigan State, and 162 against Arizona, blowing up good competition behind a pretty average BYU offensive line.
Williams set a BYU single-game rushing record when he destroyed Toledo for 286 yards and five TDs in 2016. One of his highlight packages can be seen here.
Williams is a great between-the-tackles runner with decent speed and could fit Carolina’s scheme, or at least I think he could in my totally biased mind.
Kai Nacua, Safety
Projection: Round 6-UDFA
Height: 6-2, Weight: 215, 40 Time: 4.5, WalterFootball Positing Rank: 26
Kai Nacua is a ball-hawking, hard-hitting safety who tends to come up big when it matters most. I vividly remember several games where he came up with huge interceptions to either shift momentum or seal a BYU victory. Between his junior and senior seasons, Nacua registered 12 interceptions and 114 total tackles.
After his 4.5 40-yard dash performance, Nacua has been getting somebuzz as of late. Walter Football’s assessment is Nacua is a “sleeper prospect who could be a steal.” The Panthers need depth and youth at safety, and a gamer like Nacua is worth a late-round gamble. Kai’s highlight package can be seen here.
Who Are Your Homer Picks?
So, those are my BYU homer picks for the Carolina Panthers.
Please, Dave Gettleman, make this happen!
I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting the players from my favorite college team ending up with the Panthers.
Sound off in the comments below with your late-round wish list.