Lucas, Zimmerman best chance for Wildcats NFL draft streak to continue

Emily DeShazer | The Collegian Senior offensive lineman Cornelius Lucas is projected to be drafted in the later rounds of the upcoming NFL Draft.

The K-State Wildcats have the second longest streak in the Big 12 when it comes to having at least one player drafted into the NFL. That streak has a strong possibility of continuing. K-State’s hopes lie in the rather big hands of offensive tackle Cornelius Lucas.

During his two years as a starter for the Wildcats, Lucas was responsible for protecting the blind side of Heisman trophy finalist Collin Klein and former junior college player of the year Jake Waters. Lucas was one of the few Wildcats to be invited to the NFL combine this spring, however he was hampered with a broken foot.

Despite not being able to fully workout for teams, the size of former All-Big 12 performer is something that jumps off of the page. Lucas was the tallest player at the NFL Combine and had the longest wingspan of any player as well, measuring in at 88 1/8 inches from middle finger to middle finger. According to many draft boards, Lucas is projected to be drafted in the later rounds.

However, Lucas is not the Wildcats only hope. Ball-hawking safety Ty Zimmerman could also hear his name called during this week. During his time at K-State, Zimmerman sketched his name into the history books. As a four-year starter, Zimmerman was named an All-American multiple times during his time at K-State.

The Junction City native was a crucial part of the Wildcats 2012 Big 12 championship season in 2012. Zimmerman concluded his career with 13 total interceptions and 257 tackles.

Both Zimmerman and Lucas will likely end up at a team’s rookie camp later this summer, it will just depend on if they are selected in the draft or picked up as free agents. Last season the Wildcats saw three players get drafted, linebacker Arthur Brown Jr., wide receiver Chris Harper and fullback Braden Wilson.