They were explosive offensive weapons for the Missouri Tigers during their record 12-1 season and run at the Cotton Bowl, but the reality is TE Martin Rucker and WR Will Franklin find themselves in a log jam at their position for this weekend’s NFL draft.
The knock on Martin Rucker is that he can’t block and all he’s good for is pass catching. Since when was that a bad thing? Besides, Rucker, in my opinion was never asked to block much when he played for the Tigers. His job was simple, go up, catch tough passes, and run over defenders.
Now, I agree that he won’t run over four or five NFL defenders like he did Western Michigan DB’s, but Rucker is a load to bring down. With redzone play so important, I could see a tight end of Rucker’s size and strength valuable to any NFL team. I also think Rucker is coachable if his blocking techniques need some fine tuning.
The knock on Will Franklin was that he was overshadowed by Jeremy Maclin, he never had a 1,000 yard season in receptions, etc, etc. Remember Franklin played on an offense that had five or six different reception threats on each play. Franklin was one of many options for quarterback Chase Daniel. However, I think Franklin shined at the NFL combine and pro days when Franklin was tied for third fastest 40 among receivers at the NFL combine and improved his broad jump and vertical leap during his Mizzou pro day.
However, as the experts have it laid out, expect Rucker and Franklin to go 5th round. NFLdraftblitz.com has Franklin going first in the 5th round (136) to Kansas City and Rucker going to the Saints as the 146th pick of the draft.
Scott Wright of NFLdraftcountdown.com explains more on Rucker and Franklin.