Hoskins looking forward to NFL draft

UAlbany standout has done workouts with Giants, Jets
Malachi Hoskins, a former UAlbany football standout, hopes to hear his name called in this year's NFL draft.
Malachi Hoskins, a former UAlbany football standout, hopes to hear his name called in this year's NFL draft.

ALBANY — These next few days, Malachi Hoskins plans to keep things simple.

The former University at Albany football standout is going to keep working out, eating right, and doing his homework learning depth charts and coaching staffs of each NFL team.

And, yeah, he might check in on the NFL draft from time to time.

“Other than that,” Hoskins said, “I’m going to keep my head down and hopefully my name gets called.”

If it doesn’t?

“Then,” Hoskins said, “I’m hoping my phone starts buzzing as soon as that last pick is over. Once you’re not drafted, it’s kind of like college recruiting all over again.”

Hoskins, though, has a shot to get picked in this year’s draft. The 6-foot-3, 240-pound outside linebacker — he played defensive end at UAlbany — knows he won’t hear his name called in Thursday’s first round or Friday’s second and third rounds, but he is optimistic something good could happen Saturday for him in the draft’s final four rounds. At the very least, Hoskins is expecting to have options to continue his football career as an undrafted free agent.

“You can’t get too high or too low with this process,” Hoskins said.

Hoskins, who is from Queens, said he has remained “realistic” during the past couple months about his chances to be drafted. He played at an FCS school and is attempting to make it in the NFL at a position he last played during his freshman season at UAlbany. Still, Hoskins has the needed size and speed to make it as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defensive scheme. During his college career, he recorded 21.5 sacks and finished up as an All-CAA first-team selection as a senior.

“That’s what teams have responded back to me about,” Hoskins said of his pass-rushing skills.

Hoskins did participate in workouts for both the New York Giants and New York Jets earlier this month. Both workouts, he said, went well.

“And I got really good feedback from the Giants about how the day went,” Hoskins said. “I got a lot of positive comments from them.”

In addition, Hoskins said teams have been in contact with him and his agent, Joshua Stevens of DEC Management, ahead of the draft to gather information about the former Great Dane. Outside the Giants and Jets, Hoskins said he has received the most interest from the Tennessee Titans

“But that doesn’t guarantee anything. Just that your name is on their board,” Hoskins said. “Once the draft starts, anything is possible.”

Hoskins said he will check in on the draft from time to time — he is a fan, too, after all — but won’t let the draft’s later rounds consume his attention on a pick-by-pick basis. As much as he wants to be selected in the draft, Hoskins is preparing for an immediate future in which he goes undrafted and has some say in what team he goes to as a free agent. To that end, he has been studying up on which teams’ personnel and playing style would best mesh with giving himself a chance to compete for a roster spot.

“Hopefully we can do that part fast because the process is stressful,” Hoskins said. “It’s like all your dreams are right in front of you.”

As much as he can, Hoskins said he is trying not to think along those lines. Instead, he said, his focus is on making sure he is in the best possible shape — mentally and physically — to make an impression upon whichever team gives him his chance.

“Once I walk in the door,” Hoskins said, “I’m going to be someone they want to keep.”

Reach Michael Kelly at [email protected] or @ByMichaelKelly on Twitter.

Categories: -Sports-, College Sports

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