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So Your Team Drafted Mike Zordich

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Patrick Smith

Mike Zordich has all of the tools to have a long career in the NFL. At 6-1, 240 pounds, he has the right frame to both give and take (but mostly give) a pounding each fall Sunday. He has the right genes, as he is the son of a former college All-American and All-Pro NFL safety (Fun Fact: Michael's mother, Cindy, is also former a Penn State cheerleader). He has a highlight reel that includes three years of ample playing time in the Big Ten, where he contributed at tailback and fullback and made plenty of vicious hits on special teams. He can make tough runs, catch out of the backfield and create massive holes as a lead blocker.

Zordich is also the definition of a "high-character" player, a trait extremely coveted at the next level. We all witnessed Zordich's leadership skills, both on and off-the field. He was an emotional spark plug whenever the team seemed flat, and by all accounts was the one guy who refused to let his teammates quit during the darkest days in Penn State history. He did have a couple run-ins with the law during his early days at Penn State, but Zordich has proved those incidents were caused more by youthful indiscretion than having character issues.

Surprisingly, Zordich did not receive an invite to attend the NFL combine with several of his teammates. His draft status remains cloudy at best as we stand only days away from the beginning of the 2013 NFL Draft. What is certain, though, is that one NFL team will give Zordich a shot as a late-round draftee or as an undrafted free agent.

Zordich demonstrated the strength and athleticism desired by NFL teams at Penn State's Pro Day on March 13 with a 30 1/2'' vertical jump and 24 reps of the standard 225-pound bench press. However, his subpar 40-yard-dash time (ranging between 4.72 and 4.92 seconds) will likely hinder his draft stock.

If Zordich finds himself on an active NFL roster this September, expect him to contribute on special teams and in goal line situations immediately. This skill set should help him find a home, as he won't just be a "development player" taking up a roster spot. A very intriguing possibility is an NFL team that determine his most natural position is at linebacker. It's not too rare to see a player switch positions once he enters the NFL (see Hines Ward, Brian Urlacher, Matt Jones). Shifting from offense to defense is unlikely, but not out of the realm of possibility for someone with Zordich's ability and natural football instincts.