Solely 17 Illinois State Redbirds have been drafted to the NFL since 1944. After a formidable efficiency on the Senior Bowl, has Illinois State security Christian Uphoff put himself ready to be the 18th heading into the 2021 NFL Draft?
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Christian Uphoff NFL Draft Participant Profile
- Place: Security
- College: Illinois State
- Present 12 months: Redshirt-Senior
- Top: 6’2 1/2″
- Weight: 213 kilos
Tony Pauline’s Christian Uphoff Scouting Report
Positives: Good-sized security prospect with a big upside. Instinctive, fast to learn and diagnose, and possesses a closing burst. Crashes upfield defending the run, stays with assignments, and works laborious getting off blocks. Performs with good velocity, strikes nicely laterally, and possesses vary. Fires to the motion with a terrific closing burst and possesses strong ball expertise.
Negatives: Exhibits stiffness in his recreation. Should enhance his tackling and change into safer on the level.
Evaluation: Uphoff was a constant small-school security who confirmed flashes of next-level capability throughout Senior Bowl practices. He possesses the scale, velocity, and ball expertise to play on the subsequent degree. Uphoff is a possible late-round alternative who might make a roster as a ninth defensive again.
Christian Uphoff Participant Profile
From an unranked highschool recruit to a participant of the week on the Senior Bowl, it’s been fairly the journey for the Illinois State security. Though 247 Sports activities didn’t rank him, Uphoff will probably be remembered as top-of-the-line gamers to return out of Washington Excessive College. A four-year participant, he left with the third most interceptions in program historical past and the fourth-highest punt return common.
After securing All-Convention honors as a junior, the versatile playmaker loved an excellent senior season. Washington went undefeated in 2015, ending with a convention championship. Thus, Uphoff secured All-Convention honors for the second consecutive season. Along with 40 tackles and 5 interceptions as a defensive again, he secured 1,293 all-purpose yards on offense.
And not using a rating or Division I supply, Uphoff stayed near dwelling to play for Illinois State.
Uphoff’s faculty soccer profession at Illinois State
Having been so impactful in highschool, Uphoff noticed a gradual transition on the faculty degree. He redshirted in 2016 and didn’t line up at security for the Redbirds till two years later. Nonetheless, his highschool particular groups expertise got here to the forefront in 2017. He garnered nationwide consideration with a 100-yard kickoff return in opposition to South Dakota State. The play flashed the athletic capability that makes him an intriguing NFL Draft prospect.
He averaged 41 yards per return as a redshirt freshman including 470 return yards in 2018. Though, probably the most vital improvement that yr was his emergence at security. He performed in 11 video games, racking up spectacular defensive statistics.
He demonstrated protection capability with 6 move breakups and secured his first profession interception. Moreover, he displayed his capability to return down and make an impression on the line of scrimmage. Uphoff totaled 18 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and 1 compelled fumble.
It paved the way in which for a breakout season in 2019. Uphoff completed fourth on the group with 70 tackles after beginning in all 15 video games. He transformed 5.5 of these into tackles for loss, together with 3.5 in a standout common season efficiency in opposition to Youngstown State. Uphoff additionally added 2 interceptions and seven move breakups to his resume. Furthermore, he continued to be a menace on particular groups, averaging 29.5 yards per kickoff.
As a result of postponement of the 2020 FCS season till the spring, Uphoff declared for the 2021 NFL Draft. Within the course of, he earned an invitation to the Senior Bowl. A major alternative, the Illinois State security impressed sufficient to earn apply participant of the week honors as voted by the gamers he confronted in practices.
Christian Uphoff’s most closely fits within the 2021 NFL Draft
His efficiency on the Senior Bowl will appeal to consideration from numerous NFL franchises. PFN’s Chief Draft Analyst Tony Pauline offers Uphoff a seventh-round grade as his 247th total prospect. His intriguing athletic profile, mixed along with his particular groups capability, could be sufficient for him to listen to his title referred to as in Cleveland.
Some groups with depth want on the security place embrace the New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, and Baltimore Ravens.
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Oliver Hodgkinson is a employees author for Professional Soccer Community. You possibly can comply with him on Twitter at @ojhodgkinson.