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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

ESPN's Mel Kiper views Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova as undrafted free agent

By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto

Mel Kiper Jr. was intrigued more by a Rutgers player that opted not to enter the NFL Draft, but he said Wednesday that left guard Kaleb Johnson could end up being a third-day selection.

Johnson started a Rutgers-high 50 career games at three different positions and could be a swing lineman in the NFL, where teams often carry only eight players there on game day.

"I look at the Rutgers guys, and some of the guys went back," Kiper said on his draft conference call. "(Leonte) Carroo went back. But I think when you look at Johnson, maybe in the late rounds he would be a possibility. I don't see anybody else of consequence that is going to get drafted high outside of (Tyler) Kroft. .... Johnson would be the guy that would at least have a chance to go late, somewhere in the fifth- to seventh-round area."

RELATED: Kiper on his evaluation of Kroft, Rutgers' top draft-eligible player

Kiper said he considers longtime starting quarterback Gary Nova an undrafted free agent.

Nova finished his Rutgers career in the top two all time in passing yards (9,258), attempts (1,245), completions (689), touchdowns (73) and interceptions (51).

Average size (6-foot-2, 220 pounds) and accuracy (career 55-percent passer) could hurt Nova's draft stock.  He appeared in the Medal of Honor Bowl on Jan. 10, when he finished 6-for-14 for 85 yards and an INT.

Rutgers graduate assistant Mike Teel was the school's last drafted quarterback after he went in the sixth round in 2008.

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