Toronto’s Philip Blake and Windsor’s Tyrone Crawford hope to join an elite list of Canadians who have been selected in an NFL draft.
Both players figure prominently in 2012 NFL Draft discussions, and are projected by many to be mid-round selections when the draft begins April 26 in New York.
If Crawford and Blake are both drafted they would become the 19th and 20th Canadians to be selected since 1983 (see complete list below).
Blake, a 6-foot-2, 311-pound center, played at Toronto’s Father Henry Carr Catholic Secondary School before an outstanding collegiate career with the Baylor Bears.
A graduate of Windsor’s Catholic Central High School, Crawford played the past two seasons as a defensive lineman with the Boise State Broncos. The 6-foot-4, 276-pound end recorded 13.5 tackles for loss last season with the Broncos.
Both players appear regularly in prospect rankings prepared by media after the 2012 NFL Combine and Pro Day workouts.
NFL.com’s Gil Brandt ranks Tyrone Crawford 81st on his ‘top 100’ list. CBSSports.com ranks Crawford 75th overall, and 9th among defensive ends.
NFL Network’s Mike Mayock ranks Blake as the #2 Centre available in the draft, behind only Wisconsin’s Peter Konz. NFLdraftscout.com ranks Blake 74th in its list of top-100 draft prospects.
At the 2011 NFL Draft Canadians Danny Watkins and Orlando Franklin made history.
It was the sixth time two Canadians were selected, yet no Canadians had ever been selected as high in the same draft (Watkins 23rd overall, Franklin 46th overall).
The previous high was in the 1986 draft when Mike Schad was selected in the first round by the Los Angeles Rams, and Saskatchewan’s Reuben Mayes was selected in the third round by the New Orleans Saints.
A complete list of Canadians who have been selected in the past 30 NFL Drafts:
Danny Watkins – 1st round Eagles 2011
Orlando Franklin – 2nd round Broncos 2011
Vaughn Martin – 4th round Chargers 2009
Austin Collie (born in Hamilton) – 4th round 2009 Draft – Colts
Nick Kaczur – 3rd round 2005, Patriots
OJ Atogwe – 3rd round Rams 2005
Teyo Johnson (born in White Rock BC) – 2nd round 2003 Raiders (now plays in UFL)
Nate Burleson (born in Calgary) – 3rd round 2003 – Vikings
Jesse Palmer – 4th round Giants 2001
Jerome Pathon – 2nd round – 1998 Colts
OJ Santiago – -3rd round 1997 draft Falcons
Tim Biakabutuka – 1st Round 1996 Panthers
Tom Nutten – 1992 7th round Rams
Tyrone Williams – 1992 – 9th round — Phoenix
Tony Mandarich – 1989 – 1st round – Green Bay
Mike Schad – 1st round 1986 Rams
Rueben Mayes — 3rd round 1986 Saints
Chris Schultz – 7th round 1983 Cowboys