As we enter the week of the NFL Draft, a lot of fans keep a close eye on the players that their favorite teams have made a priority this offseason, either by attending their pro days, working them out privately, or bringing them to the team premises for one of the coveted top-30 visits. A popular feature of this offseason has been players geo-tagging their Instagram stories to let you know where they are, like this example from former Tar Heel Mike Hughes:
This usually gives you a pretty good idea of which prospects a team is interested in, or, if you’re looking at it from our side, which teams have shown interest in your school’s representatives.
Unfortunately for us, we’ve gotten nothing like this from any of the UNC prospects expected or hoping to hear their name called between Thursday and Saturday: M.J. Stewart, Andre Smith, or Austin Proehl. Aside from some scant information at their Pro Day, they have flown almost completely under the radar. It seems to be by design, as Stewart in particular told reporters at UNC’s Pro Day that he didn’t want to disclose the meetings he had scheduled. Smith and Proehl were a little more generous with their information, the former saying he was planning to meet with the New York Giants and Baltimore Ravens, and the latter saying he had a private visit planned with the Carolina Panthers. Since then, though, their names have been completely absent from social media in terms of meeting with teams.
We did get this one nugget about Stewart, easily the most high-profile of UNC’s draft hopefuls this year:
Tampa Bay could certainly use a cornerback, as 2016 first-round pick Vernon Hargreaves struggled to play on the inside or outside last year before landing on injured reserve. Stewart’s ability and versatility would fit right in. We also got this semi-official sign of interest from the Philadelphia Eagles, courtesy of a video breakdown on the Eagles’ official site:
UNC corner MJ Stewart is up next on Meet The Prospect. Tune in as @fduffy3 breaks down the tape on who he believes could be one of the top nickel corners in this year's class. pic.twitter.com/nKn94mG5Xb— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) April 11, 2018
That doesn’t really mean anything, but it’s cool to see regardless. Stewart has generally been getting a lot of love from NFL writers and analysts on Twitter, as you’ll see if you check his mentions on Twitter. Whether teams have similar interest, though, we can only assume.
Stay tuned for a look at where writers are projecting Stewart and Smith to go in the draft. Proehl, unfortunately, doesn’t find his name printed as often, but he’s certainly shown teams he can play, as we covered in our Pro Day Recap. We at Tar Heel Blog wish the best of luck to all three and the other Heels hoping to get a shot at playing in the NFL.