In my preseason work last summer, I predicted that Rich Gunnell would be drafted after a strong senior season. Rich had a strong year and played some of his best football against BC's most talented opponents. He also managed to produce while breaking in two new QBs. He's a good guy and a good football player, so you would think teams would be lining up to draft him. They are not. Gunnell was not invited to the combine and is barely getting mentioned on the major scouting services. If Rich is going to make it in the NFL, it will be through determination and free agency.
But if the program's all-time yardage leader cannot get drafted, then what is the problem? BC has not had a wide receiver drafted since 1987. Gunnell is not a tall burner, but he has enough size and speed to play in the NFL. He has the production. It doesn't make sense. Is there a bias against BC WRs? I have a few theories. Leave your in the comments section.
1. College football is producing too many WR prospects. Think of how many places run the 4-wide offenses. Now consider all the programs that used to run conservative ground attacks. Even the most basic program has too many WRs. So when it comes time for the draft there are more than enough prospects and only the seemingly flawless merit an actual pick.
2. Perception about BC talent. When Matt Ryan was drafted, all you read in the scouting reports was how he was surrounded by mediocre skill players. Most of our skill guys have still come from cold weather territories. Fair or not, there is a perception that these guys aren't as fast as their counterparts in California or Florida.
3. The position was a recruiting afterthought for a long time. Coughlin brought in some good pass catchers but never hung around long enough to bring in an elite WR. Henning loaded up on tight ends. TOB put an emphasis on linemen and often converted DBs to WR. Gunnell was one of the few decent WR recruits of the TOB era.
4. Dumb luck. We've hit on so many positions with under the radar guys that you're bound to have one position that causes headaches. You would think that BC would have stumbled into an NFL WR on its roster. Instead, we've been left with tough kids, willing to play hard but who have questionable size and hands.
I think Gunnell will catch on somewhere. He is willing to play special teams and has enough things going for him that he'll get a chance. I just wish for his sake and BC's, that someone would give him an official shot via a draft pick.