Babin Ready for the Draft

Jason Babin

Just one short day away is the upcoming NFL draft in New York and Jason Babin is poised to be one of the highest picked Broncos ever. If picked Babin will also be the first draft pick from WMU since Tom Nutten in 1995, who went to Buffalo in the seventh round.

Predicting where a player may be drafted is a very hard thing to do, even for the experts. Predictions include first-rounder to St. Louis, third defensive end taken behind Will Smith of Ohio State and Kenechi Udeze of USC, Pittsburgh pick in the first couple rounds and even one prediction as high as a top 10 pick. Jason Babin himself won't be making any predictions though, "I couldn't predict that."

One thing that is very unclear is what teams are truly interested in taking Babin in the draft. "It's a pretty secret society," said Babin. "Teams don't want other teams to know they're interested in someone. Some teams will be interested and they just won't act interested so opponents don't take a player out from under them."

If Babin is taken in the first round he will become the highest draft pick from WMU ever. Bob Rowe has that distinction now with the 43rd pick overall in 1967 to the St. Louis Cardinals, and John Offerdahl close behind with the 52nd pick in 1986 to Miami.

One area that may make a difference in when Babin is chosen and to whom is what position he may play at the NFL level. Some teams are looking at him as a defensive end like he played at Western Michigan while some teams were quite interested in seeing him play as an outside linebacker in the Combine. "It doesn't matter to me," said Babin. "To me it's still football. I get to go out there and hit some guys and make plays, it doesn't matter what position I'm playing."

In the NFL Draft Combine Babin dropped a little weight to add some speed to his game. "The NFL scouts don't look at you and say ‘if he can drop some weight he'll be faster,'" said Babin. He wanted to show the scouts how fast he can be since they already know what weight he can play at. "Scouts are really impressed with what they see and not with what they think you might do in the right circumstances."

Babin Career Highlights:

- Broke Joel Smeenge's career records at WMU for tackles for a loss and sacks with 75 and 38 respectively. Ironically the records were broken against archrival Central Michigan on the same afternoon Smeenge was indicted into the WMU Athletics Hall of Fame.
- Was the first MAC Defensive Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons since John Offerdahl in the mid-80s.
- Played in the East-West Shrine game after senior season and recorded 4 tackles including 2 for a loss and one sack.
- His freshman season (2000) he was the only Bronco to play and letter as a true freshman. In a game versus Iowa that season he recorded 5 tackles and in the MAC championship game recorded 4 more tackles.
- Set WMU records for tackles for a loss (26) and sacks (15) as just a junior. As a senior he tied the sack record and broke his own record for tackles for a loss with 33.
- As a senior Babin led the nation in tackles for a loss with 2.75 per game and was fourth in the nation in sacks with 1.25 per game.

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