Kentucky Wildcat QB, Mike Hartline, Gaining Ground As NFL 2011 Draft Prospect

The Kentucky Wildcats offense has been nothing short of explosive this season.

Some might think that was to be expected given the presence of both Randall Cobb and Derrick Locke, but that would be short-changing the above-average job that senior quarterback Mike Hartline has done for the team this year.

Hartline ranks 13th in the nation, 1st in the conference, in passing (2,402 yards, 19 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions)— a surprising feat given the fact that Ryan Mallett, Greg McElroy, and John Brantley were mentioned ahead of Hartline as the conference’s top quarterbacks to start the year.

His strong play has started to peak the interest of NFL draft scouts too as his name is moving up on some draft boards as a potential late-round selection in the 2011 draft.

As of now, he is projected as a 6th or 7th round selection and, before you scoff at the notion of that being relevant, recall the sheer number of players who were either drafted beyond the fifth-round, or not at all, yet managed to have great success at the pro level.

The last two Kentucky quarterbacks to be drafted—Jared Lorenzen (who won a Super Bowl with the New York Giants in 2008) and Andre Woodson (drafted in the sixth-round in 2008)—are not currently playing professional football.

Woodson was signed to a contract with the Hartford Colonials of the United Football League (UFL) in summer of 2010, but was later released. Lorenzen is the quarterback’s coach at his old high school.

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