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Multiple Huskers projected to be picked on NFL draft's final day

Multiple Huskers projected to be picked on NFL draft's final day

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Lamar Jackson

Lamar Jackson appears to be the most likely of the former Huskers to be selected in the 2020 NFL draft.

LINCOLN — Time for Nebraska football to return to the NFL draft.

After its 56-year run of having at least one player drafted was snapped last year, NU seems poised to begin anew Saturday. At least four Huskers are candidates to be selected over the final four rounds of the draft, which resumes at 11 a.m. Saturday on ABC, ESPN and the NFL Network. NU did not have any players selected in the first three rounds conducted Thursday and Friday.

Cornerback Lamar Jackson and defensive linemen Carlos Davis, Khalil Davis and Darrion Daniels were each invited to the NFL combine and have met with several teams before the draft. The 6-foot-3, 208-pound Jackson seems most likely to be picked, according to various mock drafts, though several projections featured multiple Huskers getting selected.

Jackson enjoyed a big senior season with three interceptions, two forced fumbles and 15 passes defended, making the All-Big Ten second team. He told The World-Herald this week he expects to go in the fourth round, though most mock drafts have him as a fifth- or sixth-round pick.

“I’m taking it slow, trying not to be nervous,” Jackson said. “I feel like I’m getting a lot of external anxiety from family and friends, guys who are excited for me. I try to act like it’s normal. It’s an honor to even be going through this. I’ve been waiting for this moment all my life.”

Daniels is being viewed as a nose tackle by most NFL teams, and he said he’s had good meetings with many teams who appreciate his motor and off-the-field character. Daniels was a captain at two schools, Oklahoma State and Nebraska, where he played his final season with his younger brother, Damion.

“At Nebraska, I had my job and I did my job to the best of my abilities,” he said. “But I think them being able to see my versatility has helped.”

The Davis twins turned heads at the NFL combine with impressive 40-yard dash times. Khalil ran it in 4.75 seconds, Carlos in 4.82.

They both can lean on four years of production at Nebraska. Khalil had the bigger senior season with eight sacks and 11 tackles for loss. Carlos played more positions and started more games for the Huskers.

By the end of Saturday, it is almost certain the brothers will be a part of different teams for the first time in their lives.

“We really haven’t thought about it, but I know he’s ready to go his separate ways and I’m ready to go mine,” Khalil said. “We’re ready to compete from different teams. We’re going to be happy if either one of us gets drafted. We want the best for each other. We’re going to sit back and watch and wait for the phone call.”

If multiple Huskers are drafted, it’ll be the first time that’s happened since 2016, when NU had four selections in Maliek Collins, Vincent Valentine, Alex Lewis and Andy Janovich. All but Valentine remain in the NFL.

Since then, NU has had one draftee in 2017 (Nathan Gerry) and one in 2018 (Tanner Lee). In 2019, several Huskers, including receiver Stanley Morgan, signed free agent contracts but none were drafted.

“That was the realest thing for me to see,” Jackson said of Morgan not getting drafted. “It ain’t going to be given. It’s a business.”

Along with the quartet projected to be drafted, linebacker Mohamed Barry, edge rusher Alex Davis and wide receiver Mike Williams are candidates to sign free agent contracts. Free agent signings generally happen soon after the end of the draft.

Every Husker selected in the NFL draft since 2000

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