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ASU Football: Where experts predict Sun Devils to be picked in 2018 NFL Draft

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A bit more to choose from in 2018

NCAA Football: Arizona State Spring Game Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona State Sun Devils fans are counting on more than just one player to see his name on the 2018 NFL Draft board come Saturday.

It took 224 picks, three days and seven rounds for ex-ASU kicker Zane Gonzalez to be picked by the Cleveland Brows in 2017. By the time the seventh round rolls around, experts suggest ASU could have two maybe three or even four players picked.

Let’s take a look:

RB Kalen Ballage (6-2, 228 pounds) — NFL Combine results: 40 time: 4.46 (3rd), Bench Press: 15 (14th), Vertical Jump: 33.5 (14th), Broad Jump: 122” (5th), 3 cone drill: 6.91 (4th), 20-yard shuttle (15th) *ranked results among running backs

Where they think he’ll be picked: Round 3: CBSSports (81st), Landof10 (98th), Round 4: Walterfootball (117th), DraftWire (130th), Round 5: SBNation (163rd).

Positional ranking: CBSSports (8th) Bleacher Report (14th).

He once ran 23.3 mph in practice, tied an NCAA record with eight touchdowns in one showing to down Texas Tech and impressed at not only the Reese’s Senior Bowl, but the NFL Combine.


ILB Christian Sam (6-2, 244 pounds) — NFL Combine results: 40 time: 4.75, Bench Press: 28 (1st) Vertical Jump: 32”, Broad Jump: 114”, 3 cone drill: 7.03 (9th), 20-yard shuttle: 4.25 *ranked results among linebackers

Where they think he’ll be picked: Round 4: Landof10 (128th), SBNation (128th), Round 5: CBSSports (170th) Round 6: Draftwire (200th), Round 7: Walterfootball (236th)

Positional ranking: CBSSports (7th), Bleacher Report (15th)

As a redshirt junior, Sam amounted 127 tackles — good for the most in the Pac-12 conference — yet it only earned him a spot as an all-conference honorable mention.


OG Sam Jones (6-5, 297 pounds) — NFL Combine results: 40 time: 5.32 (7th), Bench Press: 28 (6th), Vertical Jump: 27” (7th), Broad Jump: 101” (4th), 3 cone drill: 7.92 (10th), 20-yard shuttle: 4.86 (10th) *ranked results among offensive guards

Where they think he’ll be picked: Round 6: DraftWire (183th) Round 7: CBSSports (223)

Positional ranking: CBSSports (9th), Bleacher Report (16th)

Another Sun Devil who declared early for the draft, Jones played in all 13 of ASU’s games in 2017, after playing in just seven before injury in 2016. He played an integral role on the O-line at left guard, lining up next to Cohl Cabral who played tackle.


DE JoJo Wicker (6-3, 263 pounds) — NFL Combine results: 40 time: 5.16 (14th), Bench Press: 25 (5th), Vertical Jump: 30” (12th), Broad Jump: 105” (11th), 3 cone drill: N/A, 20-yard shuttle: N/A *ranked results among defensive ends

Where they think he’ll be picked: Round 7: CBSSports (228th), DraftWire (248th)

Positional ranking: CBSSports (22nd), Bleacher report (29th),

The redshirt junior led the Sun Devils with 13 tackles for loss and had more total tackles (42) than any Sun Devils d-lineman. Wicker was named All-Pac-12 second-team.


RB Demario Richard (5-10, 219 pounds) NFL Combine results: 40 time: 4.7 (22nd), Bench Press: 12 (27th), Vertical Jump: 29.5” (28th), Broad Jump: 115” (20th), 3 cone drill: N/A, 20-yard shuttle: N/A *ranked results among running backs

Will he get drafted?

His NFL Combine profile says Richard “should be in an NFL training camp,” which means he has a great chance to be picked up as an undrafted free agent. While it’s not in the top 256 possible players drafted, CBSSports ranks Richard as the No. 364 overall prospect.

Positional ranking: Bleacher Report (32nd), CBSSports (34th)


Tashon Smallwood and DJ Calhoun may have missed the Combine, but will likely join an NFL team over the weekend as an undrafted free agent.

In 2017, four Sun Devils signed as UDFAs: De’Chavon “Gump” Hayes (Cardinals), Tim White (Ravens), Matt Haack (Dolphins) and Jordan Simone (Seahawks).