LARAMIE – Andrew Wingard and Carl Granderson are about to go on job interviews.
The former University of Wyoming football players will be in Indianapolis this week for the NFL Scouting Combine, where they will go through a plethora of tests, drills and interviews that will go a long way in determining their futures in professional football.
Wingard left UW as a three-time first team All-Mountain West safety. He tied for the conference lead in career tackles and was second in UW history with 454. Since Jan. 1, Wingard has been training in San Diego, and in mid-January he played in the East-West Shrine Classic in St. Petersburg, Florida.
“It’s been crazy,” Wingard said during a phone interview with WyoSports this week. “I had a really good experience at the East-West game (seven tackles) and showed a lot of people what I could do. I think I did really well and helped my stock. Since then, I’ve been back in San Diego training.
“It has been a whirlwind, but it has been awesome.”
Efforts to contact Granderson through his agent were unsuccessful.
Wingard will participate in on-field testing Monday, but arrived in Indianapolis on Thursday. Wingard said a lot of his training has centered around speed and explosiveness.
All of the on-field tests at the combine are important, but Wingard said the three most important to him are the 40-yard dash, broad jump and vertical jump.
“(The NFL) is a league based on speed. If you can’t run and can’t be explosive, you can’t play in the league. I think I’m going to do really well,” he said.
The NFL draft is April 25-27 in Nashville, Tennessee. Wingard said leading up to the combine, the Oakland Raiders, Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys have shown interest in him.
“I don’t know as much as I would like. I just go in every day trying to do my best, and hopefully someone will like you more than someone else,” Wingard said. “It has been fun getting feedback.”
This is what Lance Zierlein of NFL.com wrote about Wingard prior to the combine: “An average backup safety with the mental makeup necessary to become a good special-teams performer on the next level. Wingard is a rugged run-stopper near the line of scrimmage and an adequate tackler in space. He has adequate instincts and anticipation for his backend duties, and soft hands to take it away when throws sail his way. His lack of plus athleticism and makeup speed could create a ceiling on his draft value, but he’s a good day three (draft) value with a solid shot of making a roster.”
After the combine, Wingard will participate in UW’s pro day in Laramie in front of NFL scouts and officials this Thursday.
Granderson was charged last month with third-degree sexual assault and sexual battery in Laramie. He is still scheduled to participate at the combine, and his on-field testing will be Sunday.
The 6-foot-5 Granderson was listed at 261 pounds by UW last season, but when he played in the Senior Bowl in January, he weighed in at 246 pounds. CollegeFootballNews.com projects Granderson as a sixth-round draft pick.
However, WalterFootball.com ranks him as the ninth-best defensive end prospect in this year’s draft and a second or third-round pick.
This was Zierlein’s analysis on Granderson: “A long-limbed developmental prospect who will likely be drafted based upon traits over production. He is a leggy rusher and can too easily be neutralized by aggressive, first-strike tackles.
“Granderson has shown the athletic ability and pursuit speed to transition into a 3-4 outside linebacker, but his inability to handle run-stopping duties on the edge could make him a designated pass rusher only.”
Granderson was a first team All-MW pick as a junior with 77 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 9½ quarterback sacks, two interceptions and two passes broken up. As a senior, Granderson was a second team All-MW selection with 40 tackles, 7½ tackles for loss, three sacks, one interception, which he returned 61 yards for a touchdown, and two pass break-ups.