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CFL NFL Europe
Canadians Nick Kaczur and O.J. Atogwe hold their own against top prospects for this year's NFL draft

Wed, March 2, 2005




"I didn't think they hurt themselves at all," Mike McCarthy, a scout with the NFL Chargers, told the Associated Press.

"I'd say they're both where we thought they would be."

As McCarthy told AP, Kaczur, a six-foot-five, 315-pound offensive lineman from the University of Toledo, is projected as a third-or fourth-round pick while Atogwe, a five-foot-11, 219-pound safety from Stanford, should go around the fourth and fifth rounds.

Kaczur, of Brantford, Ont., and Atogwe, of Windsor, Ont., were the only Canadians among the 333 players invited to work out at last week's combine in Indianapolis. Representatives from all 32 NFL teams speak with and test the top college football prospects at the combine.

Physical tests performed by the two Canadians include the 40-yard dash, bench press (number of reps at 225 pounds), vertical jump, broad jump, 20-yard shuttle, a three-cone drill, 60-yard shuttle and specific position tests.

According to the Associated Press, Kaczur was among 62 offensive linemen (27 tackles, 22 guards and 13 centres) interviewed and tested Thursday and Saturday, respectively.

Atogwe and 58 other defensive backs (including 13 free safeties and 13 strong safeties) did their interviews on the weekend before taking to the RCA Dome field Tuesday.

"He went about his job and didn't look out of place at all," McCarthy said of Kaczur to the Associated Press. "Nick could probably be a bit more defined physically speaking, but you have to consider he came out of junior football in Ontario right to Toledo.

"It was there at Toledo that he got on their (weight-training) program and regiment and had four years of it compared to some of the other kids who start doing that sort of stuff in high school. Overall, he did what was expected of him and did pretty well."

Atogwe posted an ordinary time of 4.61 seconds in his first run, and opted against doing the second because he felt tight. However, Atogwe returned to run the drills, which McCarthy said was a good sign.

"There really isn't a test for heart or one's will to go beyond an over-achiever," McCarthy told AP. "But for a kid to want to still go out there and perform even if he's not feeling 100 per cent tells you something."

While a player's results at the combine are important, McCarthy said they're not crucial because they don't tell the whole story.

"The biggest thing is what a guy can do on the football field."

Over the next six weeks, colleges will be conducting their own test sessions.

Stanford will conduct two days of pro testing (March 9, March 24) while NFL officials will be at Toledo on March 29. McCarthy also told the Associated Press that he expects McMaster Marauders star running back Jesse Lumsden to attend NFL testing sometime this month in either Arizona or California.
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