Sundays in his future? Memorial grad Roberts on deck for draft call

Published 11:32 pm Saturday, April 23, 2016

This is the week 2012 Port Arthur Memorial graduate Elandon Roberts has been waiting his entire life for.

The NFL Draft kicks off Thursday and will continue on both Friday and Saturday.

Roberts, a linebacker out of the University of Houston, fully expects to hear his name called.

“It is just a blessing to have this privilege,” Roberts said. “A lot of guys wish they could be in this position.”

A mock draft on nfl.com projects Roberts to be taken in the seventh round by the New York Jets with the 241st pick in the draft.

Roberts finished his college career with a sensational senior year. He led the Cougars in tackles (142), solo tackles (88) and tackles for losses (19). The 88 solo tackles led the nation. Roberts added six sacks.

Roberts was at his best when Houston played in one of the biggest games in school history.

The Cougars faced Florida State in the Peach Bowl and defeated the Seminoles 38-24. Roberts had 10 tackles in the game.

“Elandon is the ultimate team player,” Memorial football coach Kenny Harrison said. “He will do whatever it takes to help his team win and that includes playing special teams.”

Roberts (5-foot-11, 234 pounds) was not invited to the NFL scouting combine, so he had to rely on the Cougars pro day to impress NFL scouts.

The scouts clocked Roberts in 4.49 to 4.53 seconds in the 40-yard dash, better than most running backs. His official time was marked at 4.60.

Roberts bench pressed 225 pounds 25 times, had a 10-0 broad jump and jumped 36 inches in the vertical leap.

“I feel like I am the best inside linebacker in the draft,” Roberts said. “What you see on film is what you get. The scouts can see my instincts and see the ways I get to the football. I really think that pro day opened some eyes.

“What separates me from the other guys is when in a big game and you need a play, I have done that.”

Roberts came up with a huge play against Memphis this past season with an interception of Paxton Lynch. The quarterback is projected by nfl.com to be drafted in the first round by San Francisco with the seventh overall pick.

Roberts had 18 tackles against the Tigers, who erased a 20-0 hole to win 35-34.

In the Peach Bowl, Roberts and the Cougars held highly touted FSU running back Dalvin Cook to 33 yards on 18 carries.

“I hope scouts looked at every game because I think I played with that same intensity every game,” Roberts said. “It is sometimes hard for guys from small schools to get recognized, so when the Florida State game comes up, eyebrows get raised. You always want to be at your peak in your last game and I was at my peak that night against FSU.”

Roberts said he will be in Port Arthur for the draft with his family and friends.

“I am expecting Day 2, but if I go Day 3 it should be early,” Roberts said. “I will be watching the whole draft. The thrill of it hasn’t hit me yet. I stay working out and getting ready for whichever team takes me. I know when my phone rings, it will sink in. It is going to be a huge accomplishment.”

About Gabriel Pruett

Gabriel Pruett has worked with both the Port Arthur News and Orange Leader since 2000. A majority of the time has been spent covering all aspects of Southeast Texas high school sports. Pruett's claim to fame is...being able to write his own biographical information for this website.

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