Commentary

Kings for a day

For the fourth year in a row, The Mag invited a crew of midround NFL draft prospects to the Big Apple for a little taste of the action

Updated: April 8, 2011, 11:38 AM ET
By LaRue Cook | ESPN The Magazine

This story appears in the April 18, 2011 issue of ESPN The Magazine.

Kurt Iswarienko for ESPN The MagazineKerley in Dumbo, Brooklyn

JEREMY KERLEY, WR, TCU
Attention NFL owners: Don't ask what Kerley can do for you, but, rather, what can't he? In 2010, the 5-foot-10, 189-pounder caught a team-leading 10 TDs, ran for two scores, threw for another and was TCU's top punt and kick returner. "I bring a lot to the table," says the Mountain West's two-time special teams POY. Plus, he's already played for a proven winner: The Horned Frogs were the first non-BCS school to become Rose Bowl champs. "We always knew we were going to be the ones to put the program back on the map."
When he'll be picked: Fifth or sixth round.
Draft plans: At home, watching every round on TV.

Leather jacket by Diesel; shirt by Yigal Azrouel; jeans by DKNY jeans; watch by Breitling.


Kurt Iswarienko for ESPN The MagazineMatthews in Dumbo, Brooklyn

CASEY MATTHEWS, LB OREGON
"My parents give us the freedom to do anything, but I wanted to play football," says Matthews, whose father, Clay Jr., and uncle Bruce, both played 19 seasons, while his brother Clay III won Super Bowl XLV with the Packers. Casey lived up to the pedigree in 2010: He led the Ducks with a team-high 79 stops, and racked up three picks and nine tackles for loss en route to the BCS title game. At 6-1, 231, he may not be the biggest or strongest of this year's 'backers. "But watch the film," Matthews says. "It's obvious I can make plays."
When he'll be picked: Third or fourth round.
Draft plans: Hanging out with family.

Suit jacket by Tommy Hilfiger; shirt by Billy Reid (from Bloomingdale's); T-shirt by Calvin Klein Underwear; jeans by Levi's; watch by Breitling.


Kurt Iswarienko for ESPN The MagazineCarmichael in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

RASHAD CARMICHAEL, CB, VIRGINIA TECH
Nicknamed Roc by his late father, Bernard, the 5'10", 192-pound speedster (4.36 40-time) certainly played solid defense for the Hokies. After recording a career-high six interceptions and 55 tackles in 2009, he led a secondary that ranked No. 2 nationally in picks last season. All that from a guy considered slightly undersized by most scouts. "To me, size doesn't matter," he says. "This game's all about heart."
When he'll be picked: Fourth or fifth round.
Draft plans: Home with family and friends.

Trench by Burberry (from Saks Fifth Avenue); cardigan by The Men's Store at Bloomingdale's; jeans by Diesel.


Kurt Iswarienko for ESPN The MagazineKaepernick in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

COLIN KAEPERNICK, QB NEVADA
The only QB in FBS history with the head-turning stats of 10,000 yards passing and 4,000 yards rushing, the 6-5, 233-pound Kaepernick ran Nevada's pistol-spread attack with aplomb. The question is whether he can run a pro-style offense. "I had to adapt to a completely new offense in college, and I started as a freshman," says Kaepernick, whose 4.53 40-time was the second best for QBs at the combine. "That proves I can make a transition quickly."
When he'll be picked: Second or third round.
Draft plans: Lounging poolside or playing basketball.

Trench by Burberry (from Saks Fifth Avenue); shirt by Izod; tie and vest by Rag & Bone (from Saks Fifth Avenue); jeans by Buffalo; shoes by Allen Edmonds; hat by Still Life NYC.


Kurt Iswarienko for ESPN The MagazineRidley in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

STEVAN RIDLEY, RB, LSU
During his first two seasons in Baton Rouge, patience became a virtue for the 5-11, 225-pound Ridley: With only 57 carries he didn't exactly have much of a resume. "When your time finally comes, you have to be ready," Ridley says. His time came last season, and Ridley was prepared, rushing for 1,147 yards and 15 touchdowns, fourth most in school history. It was only one season, but the bruising back believes he showed enough to prove he's NFL-ready and that last season wasn't a fluke. "If a team wants three or four yards a carry," he says, "then I'm their pick."
When he'll be picked: Sixth or seventh round.
Draft plans: Cook out with LSU teammates.

Suit jacket by DKNY; shirt by Izod; tie by Billy Reid; jeans by Diesel; hat by Still Life NYC; sunglasses by Tommy Hilfiger.


Kurt Iswarienko for ESPN The MagazineSash in Vinnie's Styles

TYLER SASH, SS IOWA
He may have had trouble deciding on a pair of shoes, but choosing a college was a no-brainer for the six-foot, 211-pound strong safety. "I grew up knowing nothing but the black and gold," says the Oskaloosa, Iowa-native, who hauled in 13 career picks and holds the Hawkeyes' all-time record for interception return yards (392). Those are just the kind of stats he'll need to stand out among this year's crop of safeties. Not that Sash is sweating. "All 32 teams don't have to like you," he says. "It just takes one."
When he'll be picked: Fifth or sixth round.
Draft plans: A small get-together with friends.

On Sash: Sweater by Burberry (from Saks Fifth Avenue); shirt by Robert Geller Seconds; jeans by Levi's; boots by Red Wing. (In background, front left) On Kerley: leather jacket by Spurr (from Bloomingdale's); Henley by The Men's Store at Bloomingdale's; V-neck by Robert Geller; jeans by Buffalo. On Carmichael: leather jacket and shirt by Diesel; jeans by Buffalo; shoes by Allen Edmonds.


Kurt Iswarienko for ESPN The MagazineThe six potential draft picks take a stroll through Brooklyn Bridge park.
On previous page, from left: On Carmichael: leather jacket by Dolce and Gabbana; shirt by Robert Geller; hat by Still Life NYC, belt by Diesel; jeans by Buffalo; shoes by Allen Edmonds. On Matthews: leather jacket by Diesel; t-shirt by Barney's Co-Op; jeans by Levi's; boots by Red Wing. On Ridley: suit jacket by Hugo Boss; shirt by Izod, tie by Billy Reid; jeans by Diesel, Larkee Relaxed Fit; boots Red Wing; sunglasses by Tommy Hilfiger. On Sash: Trench by Bill Reid (from Bloomingdale's); shirt by Izod; tie by Billy Reid; jeans by Levi's; boots by Red Wing. On Kaepernick: trench by Burberry (from Bloomingdale's); shirt by Izod; jeans by Diesel, Larkee Relaxed Fit; shoes by Dior Homme. On Kerley: suit jacket by Hugo Boss Red Label; t-shirt by Robert Geller; belt by Diesel; jeans by DKNY; boots by Red Wing.