Draft stock rising

Draft stock rising

With the draft fast approaching McMaster’s Ben D’Aguilar and Regina’s Stefan Charles raised eyebrows at the NFL Super Regional Combine. Particularly Charles.

According to the Associated Press the performance of Charles – a  six-foot-five, 324-pound defensive lineman with the CIS University of Regina Rams – led to meetings with several NFL teams in advance of the 2013 NFL Draft (April 25-27). The AP also reports that Charles is now in more advanced talks with two of those teams – the Indianapolis Colts and Seattle Seahawks.

TSN’s Farhan Lalji similarly reported after the combine that there is serious interest in Charles among NFL teams, and even that the Oshawa, ON native is expected to get drafted in the NFL Draft in late April.

Lalji reported that Charles impressed the Seattle Seahawks in a visit last week and also has visits planned with the Houston Texans and Atlanta Falcons.

Charles joined McMaster’s Ben D’Aguilar among the 219 players invited to the Super Regional Combine in Dallas.

D’Aguilar is a six-foot-two 240 pound defensive end who registered a Canadian university-record 12.5 sacks last year and claimed the J.P. Metras Trophy as the CIS’s top lineman. He is renowned for his versatility.

The invitations were sent after solid performances at smaller NFL regional combines. While at the Super Regional Combine Charles reportedly met with the Green Bay Packers, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars and the Colts.

“It’s been a whirlwind but he’s a pretty level-headed guy,” Darren Gill, Charles’ Montreal-based agent, told the Associated Press. “From the start we knew what the objective was, which was certainly the NFL and more importantly getting drafted and we’re working towards that.”

“His objective is to be in an NFL training camp and at this point we’re pretty optimistic that will happen, be it through the draft or as a free agent. As much as he loves going through the combine process and the testing and interviews, he just wants to play football.”

Charles posted a 34-inch leap at an NFL regional event in Tampa.

Prior to attending the University of Regina Charles played for the Ontario Varsity Football League’s Metro Toronto Wildcats and in the Canadian Junior Football League.

“Stefan has matured both physically and mentally over his three seasons with us,” Rams head coach Frank McCrystal said. “He is a confident, physically dominant player and his size combined with explosive lower-body strength makes Stefan very difficult to block. He plays with an edge that impacts the outcome on every down.”

Akiem Hicks, a teammate of Charles in Regina, was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the third round of the 2012 NFL draft.

Charles was a Canada West all-star and first-team CIS All-Canadian in 2011.

The Associated Press reports that NFL scouts have projected Charles as a defensive end in a 3-4 alignment.