The CIS Blog and the London Free Press are reporting that Western Mustang’s defensive lineman Vaughn Martin has declared his eligibility for the 2009 NFL draft. This is the sort of move that would tend to find its way on to our “What Were They Thinking?” board.
NFL rules state that a player must be three years removed from high school to be eligible. The best players at that age are often the subject of rumours and speculation guessing if they will or won’t enter the draft. CIS players are seldom even mentioned on an NFL team’s draft board let alone part of the media or scouting buzz leading up to the draft. Hec Crighton (CIS outstanding player) award winners seldom get a sniff from NFL teams. Jesse Lumsden was the most recent player looked at by the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks signing him after he went undrafted and cut him by the end of training camp.
That isn’t to say the same would happen to Martin. But having watched him for three months in the fall, he’s one of Ontario’s better defensive linemen, perhaps slightly more adept as a run-stopper than a pass-rusher. He isn’t, however, the top defensive tackle in Ontario and certainly not in Canada. Since he’s not even close to the All-Canadian level, I doubt he would even get a training camp invite from most teams.
In two more years, with some more muscle and experience, he has all the makings of an All-Canadian DT. He might even be good enough to win the Metras Award for Canada’s best down lineman. Until then, Vaughn should keep his mind on the here and now. The Mustangs have a legitimate chance to win the Vanier Cup next season and distractions like this can only hurt their chances when their top defensive lineman is more upset about not getting drafted than missing a tackle or losing a game this fall.
Update: Vaughn Martin Drafted