Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stunned - Drager moved to Defensive End!

At first glance I'm stunned to see that Chris Drager has agreed to move to defensive end. This guy just got the Coaches Award for best player on offense this spring and was pushing Greg Boone (a surefire NFL tight end) for the starting role at TE. But with Sam Wheeler playing as well as he did this spring, and Andre Smith  - last year's 2nd string TE - returning from injury, the coaches don't need more studs at TE, they need help at defensive end. 

But the more I think about this move, the more I think it makes sense for everyone involved. First of all, credit Chris Drager for just being a true Hokie and being willing to help the team out by moving from a position with great depth to a position with almost none. But remember that this move was talked about earlier and Drager fought to stay at tight end - and with Andre Smith out and Sam Wheeler still an unknown at the beginning of spring, it was the right thing to do then. 

But for his own future, something else changed between the beginning and end of spring as well. Drager and the coaches watched what happened to Connor Barwin at Cincinnati, whom the Hokies battled in the Orange Bowl this year. Barwin was a tight end in 2007 who moved to defensive end for his senior year and just last weekend got drafted in the 2nd round by the Houston Texans at defensive end. 2nd round is big money. With an opportunity to play on defense this fall, Drager can see a chance to help the team and himself out here. He is an athlete to be sure, although I have no idea how his skills will translate into rushing the passer. I guess we'll find out when summer practice begins. 

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