clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

HOW LOW COULD WALSH GO? NO. 213

It's been common knowledge that BYU quarterback John Walsh's stock as an NFL player had been falling, but few could have predicted how low he'd go in the draft.

How bad was it for Walsh?Put it this way: the Cougar QB - thought of as a sure first-round pick a few months ago - actually went 23 picks after the Cougar offensive lineman who insists he won't play on Sundays because of religious convictions.

Fourteen quarterbacks were selected during the two-day draft. Walsh was the 14th taken.

Walsh was finally picked in the seventh - and final - round of draft Sunday by the Cincinnati Bengals as the 213th pick overall. Eli Herring, the BYU lineman who sent a letter to each NFL team saying he won't play on Sundays - the day of the week the vast majority of NFL games are played on - was selected in the sixth round by the Los Angeles Raiders. Walsh and Herring were two of the eight local collegiate players to be taken in the second day of the annual draft.

BYU offensive lineman Tim Hanshaw was the 127th player selected (fourth round) by the San Francisco 49ers. Weber State defensive lineman Tau Pupua (136th player; Cleveland) and Utah's Lance Scott (165th; Arizona) were taken in the fifth round. BYU defensive lineman Travis Hall (181st; Atlanta) and Herring (190th; Raiders) were sixth-round picks. Going in the seventh round were Walsh (213th; Cincinnati), Utah wide receiver Curtis Marsh (219th; Jacksonville) and Utah defensive end Bronzell Miller (239th; St. Louis).

The eight locals drafted Sunday brought the total to 10 for the draft. Utah's Luther Elliss went as the 20th pick in the first round to Detroit and BYU offensive lineman Evan Pilgrim was a third-round pick of the Chicago Bears Saturday.

Herring said he was surprised and honored to be drafted by the Raiders in the sixth round. Still, his decision to forego professional football remains the same.

"Right now there's nothing I can foresee that would cause me to change my mind (and play on Sundays)," said Herring Sunday night. Herring had yet to be contacted by the Raiders, probably because he hadn't been home at his Provo apartment for long after speaking at an LDS Church fireside in Sandy Sunday evening.

"We're not going to try to talk (Herring) into playing," Raiders coach Mike White told the Associated Press. "We want to provide him an opportunity to play, if he changes his mind."

Walsh, who was at home in Torrance, Calif., was said to be "devastated" by his being drafted so late. He declined to speak to the Deseret News Sunday evening and failed to return phone calls.

If there is one positive for Walsh, it's that the present Bengal quarterbacks - David Klingler and Jeff Blake - are not superstars, so Walsh may get a chance to move up on the depth chart in Cincinnati faster than he might elsewhere.

"(Walsh) will do fine," Herring said. "If he gets into shape and gets a chance to play, he'll be a good NFL quarterback."

One notable BYU player that wasn't among the five Cougars drafted was all-time leading rusher Jamal Willis. Willis and Cougar defensive end Randy Brock now become free agents and can sign with any team that wants them.

Utah offensive lineman Anthony Brown, quarterback Mike McCoy and running back Charlie Brown also went undrafted and can now shop themselves to different teams as free agents.