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Former Monarchs Await NFL Draft

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: May 05, 2014
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Several former Old Dominion University Monarchs will be anxiously awaiting the NFL Draft this coming weekend as they hope to either be taken in the draft or be picked up by a team as an undrafted free agent.

Nine players, including D.J. Morrell, Jack Lowney, Jarod Brown, John Darr, Colby Goodwyn, Alex Johnson, Paul Morant, Marquel Thomas and T.J. Cowart worked out at ODU’s Pro Day in March.

Morrell, a native of Norwalk, Conn., has received the most interest from NFL scouts.  He is ranked the No. 17 best guard in the draft by Scott Wright of Draft Countdown and is the No. 4 ranked small school guard/center by Tony Softli’s website.  He was also listed in the draft magazine “DraftNasty” as a potential sleeper pick and was projected as a sleeper pick by Yahoo Sports.  A look at what DraftInsider.net said about Morrell:

A Junior-college transfer with a versatile game. Possesses a thick build, has nice length, and easily controls opponents at the point of attack. Keeps his hands and feet active throughout the play, works to block with leverage, and makes good use of both angles and body positioning. Keeps his head on a swivel, seals defenders from the action, and displays terrific hand punch.

Morrell put up solid numbers at ODU’s Pro Day despite performing on a cold, rainy day in Norfolk.  He also performed well at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, where he was coached by Dick Vermeil.  Morrell embraced the process continuing to work out in his hometown of Norwalk, Conn. while talking to scouts leading up to the draft.

“The scouts have been calling and said I did really well at our Pro Day, even though the weather was bad,” Morrell said.  “It has been a long process but I have just tried to stay positive through the entire thing.”

Brown has also seen interest from NFL scouts.  Brown left ODU as the all-time leader in points, extra points made and attempted, and field goals made and attempted.  His 103 points in both 2012 and 2013, is a school record, and the Yorktown, Va. native left his mark recording four field goals in his career of 50-yards or longer.  His 54-yarder at Pittsburgh was a school record, and the longest kick, pro or collegiate, at Heinz Field.

A four-year starter on the offensive line and two-year starter at left tackle, Lowney has attracted interest from teams as a possible interior offensive lineman.  Lowney started 43-straight games to end his career, earning All-America and All-CAA recognition as a junior.

Information on the six other players that worked out at ODU’s Pro Day.

John Darr – LB - Darr finished third on last year’s squad with 73 tackles and 5.5 tackles for loss.  He is the second leading tackler in ODU history with 232 stops, trailing only Craig Wilkins, who had 340 tackles from 2009-12.

Colby Goodwyn – RB - Goodwyn became the Monarchs’ all-time leading rusher with 1,583 career yards in 2013, and also holds the record for career kickoff returns.  He led the squad in rushing this past season, carrying 104 times for 483 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Alex Johnson – DE- Johnson played in 10 games last season, recording 19 tackles and four tackles for loss.  In 2012, he played in all 13 games, notching 40 tackles and three sacks.

Paul Morant – LB - Morant recorded 178 tackles in his ODU career, good enough for fifth all-time.  He started three games in 2013, making 37 tackles.

Marquel Thomas – WR - Thomas had 35 receptions for 414 yards and four touchdowns in 2013.  He recorded career-bests with seven receptions for 137 yards and two touchdowns in the win at Idaho.  All four of his TD's came against FBS competition.

T.J. Cowart – CB - Cowart was denied a final season of eligibility last April by the NCAA, but finished his career with the Monarch playing in 35 games, notching 138 tackles, 18 pass breakups and a pair of interceptions.

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