Blair’s Draft Stock Rises After NFL Combine, Says S.I.

Blair’s Draft Stock Rises After NFL Combine, Says S.I.
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Special Report to Blowing Rock News from App State Sports. By Mike Flynn. March 1, 2016. BOONE, NC — Following a strong showing at the National Football League Combine, Appalachian State University defensive end Ronald Blair (Greensboro, Ga./Greene County) was tabbed as the No. 65 overall prospect in the 2016 NFL Draft by Sports Illustrated on Tuesday.

180x150_OrthoBlowing Rock News coverage of App State Sports is made possible by a sponsorship from AppOrtho, a member of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System

COVER IMAGE By Brad Batchelor for Blowing Rock News

In his latest “2016 NFL Draft Big Board: Top 100 Prospects” article, SI’s Chris Burke lists Blair at No. 65 overall, the No. 11 prospect from a non-”power conference” program and the No. 7 defensive end in next month’s NFL Draft, which is slated for April 28-30 in Chicago. Blair is the only Sun Belt Conference representative on Burke’s “Big Board.”

The Cleveland Browns own the 65th overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft (second pick of the third round) and should Blair go in that slot, he would match linebacker Dexter Coakley (Dallas Cowboys -1997) as the fourth-highest NFL Draft pick in Appalachian State history. Current Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brian Quick (second round, 33rd overall – 2012) is the highest-ever selection from Appalachian, followed by linebacker Dino Hackett (second round, 35th overall – Kansas City Rams, 1986) and wide receiver Dexter Jackson (second round, 58th overall – Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2008).

Blair improved his draft stock by impressing coaches, general managers and scouts at the NFL Combine last weekend in Indianapolis. Most notably, he bench-pressed 225 pounds 32 times, which was tied for the second-most reps among all defensive linemen at the Combine (Georgia’s Chris Mayes had 33 reps). Blair also displayed prototypical size, measuring at 6-2 and 284 pounds with 34-inch arms and 10 1/4-inch hands.

Up next for Blair is Appalachian State’s Pro Day. Blair and eight of his former Mountaineer teammates — wide receiver Bobo Beathard (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield), offensive lineman Jesse Chapman (Cookeville, Tenn./Cookeville), offensive lineman Davante Harris (Blythewood, S.C./Blythewood), wide receiver Malachi Jones (Roswell, Ga./Central Gwinnett), place kicker Zach Matics (Jacksonville, N.C./Southwest-Onslow), wide receiver Simms McElfresh (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian), defensive back Doug Middleton (Winston-Salem, N.C./Parkland) and linebacker Osvaldo Sombo (Matthews, N.C./Butler) — will work out for NFL scouts during the Mountaineers’ annual Pro Day on March 31.

About The Author

As Editor and Publisher of Blowing Rock News, David Rogers has chosen a second professional career instead of retirement. For more than 35 years, he served in the financial services industry, principally in institutional equity research. He grew up in the oilfields north of Bakersfield, California and was a high school English major and honors student. From an economically disadvantaged family background, he worked his way through college (on grounds crew and in dining hall, as well as advertising sales for college newspapers), attending Johnston College at the University of Redlands, Claremont McKenna College, and California State University, Bakersfield. Other jobs to pay for college included a Teamsters Union job in South Central Los Angeles, a roustabout in the central California oilfields, and moving sprinkler pipe and hoeing weeds in the cotton fields west of Bakersfield. Rogers' financial services industry career took him from Bakersfield to La Jolla and San Diego, then to Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, Newport Beach and Charlotte before arriving in the High Country in 2000 to take a volunteer position coaching the rugby team at Appalachian State University and write independent stock market research. He spent three years as a senior financial writer for a global financial PR firm with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Shanghai, Beijing, Tel Aviv, and Frankfort (Germany). Rogers is the author of "The 90% Solution: Higher Returns, Less Risk" (2006, John Wiley & Co., New York). He is married to wife Kim (Jenkins Realtors), and shares in the joy provided by her three grown children and five grandchildren.

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