Hynoski excited as draft nears
PITTSBURGH - As the NFL draft approaches, Henry Hynoski says he's more excited than nervous.
Hynoski, the former Southern Columbia all-stater who started at fullback the past two seasons for the University of Pittsburgh, has a pretty good idea of what will happen when the draft gets under way next Thursday.
"From talking to my agent and to several teams, I'm thinking I'll be going in the middle rounds, from the fourth to the sixth round somewhere," Hynoski said Tuesday after a workout. "Only one fullback was taken last year, and he went in the fifth round. But crazy things can happen in the draft, so we'll just wait and see."
Hynoski had a setback at the recent NFL combine, when he pulled a hamstring muscle during the 40-yard dash, but he said he doesn't think teams that have expressed interest in him are concerned about that.
"It was one of those things," he said. "I pulled it at about the 25-yard mark and then stumbled to the finish line. The bad part about it was that I got really leaned up and was hoping to do a 40 in the 4.6 range, or at least in the 4.7s that I was doing all during training."
Hynoski also wasn't able to perform drills that came after that
which focused on lateral movement, which he thought he would do well at, nor was he ready to go when Pitt had its Pro Day workouts late.
Still, Hynoski thinks his chances at being drafted are pretty good, despite the fact that not all NFL teams rely on the fullback position these days.
"The teams that liked me before still do, from what they've told me," Hynoski said. "I've met with several head coaches and had a lot of good discussions, and my agent still thinks that when it's over, I could go as high as the fourth round, but probably in the fifth or sixth. Draft day is a crazy day, and I'm just hoping for the best."
Hynoski's agent is Drew Smith of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who is affiliated with Goal Line Management.
"One of my former teammates works for them, and that's how I got hooked up," Hynoski said. "I've really liked what they've done so far. I've had some other agents try to get me to come with them, but I'm happy with them."
Hynoski said most of the teams he's talked with have said they prefer their fullbacks to be on the beefy side.
"I weighed 262 most of last season, and I got down to around 255 for the combine, but most of the teams I talked to said they want me back up to 260 or more. I told them that's no problem," he said, chuckling.
No matter what happens, Hynoski has no second thoughts about declaring for the draft when he had a season of eligibility left at Pitt. Once Dave Wannstedt was fired as head coach and replaced by Todd Graham, who runs a run-and-gun offense which has little use for a fullback, the writing was on the wall.
"I'm 100 percent happy with the choice I made," Hynoski said.