When making your list of guarantees in life, such as death, taxes and unpredictable Midwest weather, be sure to include NFL-bound Northwest football players.
Many fans are aware of Northwest’s recent success with head coaches. From Tjeerdsma to Dorrell to Wright, Northwest has been fortunate to have one exceptional coach after another.
Within the past 20 years, not only has Northwest cemented itself as the standard in Division II football, but it has done so while producing NFL talent.
Each year, scouts flock to Bearcat stadium to get a glimpse of what Northwest has to offer. This year was no different. With three players receiving significant attention from NFL teams, this year’s crop is positioned to be one of the best in years.
Defensive linemen Cass Weitl and Collin Bevins have been major pieces in Northwest’s recent dominance on the defensive side of the ball, while Denmark transfer kicker Simon Mathiesen has been reliable since setting foot in the United States.
After Bevins suffered an injury late in Northwest’s 2016 playoff run, Weitl received an offer to play in the NFL Player's Association Collegiate Bowl Jan. 21. In that game, Weitl recorded two tackles, including one tackle for a loss, and proved that he could compete against some of the best.
Following that performance, Weitl began to receive attention from multiple NFL teams. Both Seattle and Dallas have shown interest in Weitl. Both teams run a 4-3 defense that would be ideal for Weitl, who is projected to play in that exact rotation.
Since his hip injury came later in the season, Bevins has been limited in what he can do during the pre-draft process. However, multiple websites have Bevins projected to be selected in the later rounds of the draft. Foxsports.com has pegged Bevins as a potential late-round gem for the Dallas Cowboys, a team desperate for pass rushers in a conference that boasts quarterbacks such as Aaron Rodgers and recent MVP Matt Ryan.
With the NFL transitioning to a more pass-heavy style of play, pass rushers such as Bevins and Weitl will be in high demand.
As for Mathiesen, his recent showing at the NFL Regional Combine in Washington impressed scouts in attendance. After his performance, Mathiesen’s agent Scott Bergman received calls from teams such as the Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts.
If that was not enough, Mathiesen can also be seen in a video circulating around social media of him kicking a 75-yard field-goal in the brutal Maryville wind.
It is clear that teams like Seattle are looking for players that come from winning cultures considering the team’s recent success. All three Bearcat players have received interest from Seattle and all three play positions that are in high demand in the NFL.
The NFL Draft begins April 27,and while the Northwest trio may not hear their names called, they still have a chance to receive an invite to a team’s rookie camp that takes place in mid-May.
At the bare minimum, each player left their mark during their time at Northwest. Each player is defined by hard work, and each carries a winning attitude with them. Whatever team takes a chance on any of the Northwest players will be making a wise investment.