Longtime ESPN analyst Mel Kiper projects University of Tennessee at Chattanooga cornerback Buster Skrine as a third- or fourth-round selection in next month's NFL draft.
The 5-foot-10, 186-pound Skrine turned his share of heads at the recent NFL combine when he ran an unofficial time of 4.29 seconds in the 40-yard dash. His official clocking of 10.75 seconds in the 60-yard shuttle run was the fastest turned in during the eight days in Indianapolis.
"You look at him going in, and he was probably a fifth-rounder, a definite day-three guy," Kiper said Wednesday. "The cornerback position has some guys his size and with his skill set who are going to be in that mix, and coming out of Chattanooga, there is obviously going to be a level of competition issue there. But to run like that and to show that kind of athleticism, I think he's a guy in that third- or fourth-round area that could help you."
The Mocs have not had anyone drafted into the NFL since receiver Richmond Flowers and defensive tackle Terdell Sands were among the last 12 players chosen in 2001.
Skrine, a two-time All-Southern Conference selection, will participate in UTC's pro day on March 23. UTC assistant athletic director Jay Blackman said Wednesday that the running portion of pro day is open to the public and will be held at Scrappy Moore Field, with Skrine tentatively scheduled to go around 11:30 a.m.
"When you get into the interesting guys in the mid rounds or later, names get attention based on a performance that you can validate with game-day production," Kiper said. "Then all of a sudden you have a guy who can go a little earlier. You try to see if there is enough positive commentary to support what you saw, and if there is, you put him in that third- or fourth-round mix, and I think Buster Skrine is solidly in that group right now."