"The 6’2″, 190-pound University of Georgia commit has all the tools in the toolbox necessary to become a smash-hit at the big-league level. He’s shown the capacity to hit for average and power, use his tremendous speed and athleticism whenever needed and flash a strong arm from the outfield when necessary. Buxton's makeup has drawn comparisons to Tampa Bay Rays outfielder B.J. Upton."
-- Bleacher Report on 2012's "most intriguing prospect."
"Buxton will be in good company should he opt to chase professional riches over a no-guarantees college career. He would become the 14th Georgia signee since 1997 to instead sign a pro deal after being picked in the top three rounds -- and many of his predecessors in that department developed into MLB stars after turning pro."
-- University of Georgia Sports blog: Dawg Nation.
The Twins "will be getting a young, versatile outfielder who has the potential to be their most sensational outfielder since Torii Hunter roamed the warning tracks in Minnesota. In a draft loaded with pitching, Buxton is the position player with the most to offer. He's fast, can hit for power and contact and can help rejuvenate a rebuilding franchise like the Twins into a contender in a weak AL Central."
-- Bleacher Report on why Buxton "will be the breakout star" of the 2012 class.
"Scouts began to look hard at Buxton at the end of his junior season at Appling County, located 200 miles southeast of Atlanta. Over the summer, he blossomed into a star prospect while playing for the Round Trip II club team."
-- Atlanta Journal-Constitution pre-draft report on Buxton
"Of all the tools Buxton possesses, speed is at the top of the list. He's been clocked at 6.6 seconds in the 60-yard dash, while also stealing 38 bases this season as a senior. What's more impressive is that some felt Buxton could have entered the Draft as a pitcher, and he would have been ranked almost as high"
-- MLB.com's report on Buxton's selection
After the seven rounds of the draft, NFL teams typically announce that they are bringing in a bunch of other players to try out for their teams. Most of them have little chance of making it, but there's always some hope.
North Dakota State tight end Matt Veldman, who played high school football in Becker, Minn., is among those with some hope. He agreed to a deal with Jacksonville as an undrafted free agent.
North Dakota State, you might remember, won the Football College Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-AA) championship in January -- and beat the Gophers by two touchdowns last September. Veldman caught a couple of passes in that game, including a 23-yarder.
Veldman will go to Jacksonville's rookie camp this month and said what guys are supposed to say in this situation on NDSU's sports website: "It is a good spot for me. Jacksonville provided me with the best chance to be able and compete right away."
For inspiration, Veldman can look to St. Louis Rams safety Craig Dahl, a Mankato native and NDSU alum who made the New York Giants as an
undefeated undrafted free agent in 2007 and finished last season as a starter for the Rams.
The 6-foot-7 Veldman has one other distinction: He's a second-generation
undefeated undrafted free agent: His father Gregg was a standout at South St. Paul High School and Moorhead State, and signed the same kind of free-agent deal with the Dallas Cowboys in 1983.
To read the view on Veldman from the North Dakota State student newspaper, go here.
The Cleveland Browns are going on the road to work out left tackle Matt Kalil and will keep him on the short list for the fourth pick in next week's draft if the Vikings choose to go in a different direction.
The Browns would use him at right tackle because Joe Thomas, a five-time Pro Bowler, holds down the left tackle spot.
Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot reported Wednesday morning: "At the NFL Annual Meeting last month, Browns general manager Tom Heckert said that the Browns would have to consider drafting Kalil if he's available at No. 4. The other players the Browns are considering at No. 4 are Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill, Justin Blackmon, Alabama running back Trent Richardson and Morris Claiborne."
Cabot's story also quotes ESPN analyst Todd McShay saying that even though he's heard some people say that the Vikings "don't love Kalil," he'll be surprised if Minnesota doesn't take Kalil if the team holds on to the third spot in the draft.
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