With stock holding 'steady,' Haynos ready for draft day

Former Maryland tight end Joey Haynos has played in a postseason all-star game and trained with other top NFL draft prospects in Florida.

He has participated in the NFL combine in Indianapolis and taken part in Maryland's Pro Day.

Essentially, he's spent the last four-plus months doing everything in his power to improve his stock for this weekend's draft.

Yet with nearly every major sports Web site tracking each prospect's progress and projecting the latest risers and fallers, Haynos' stock is ... holding steady?

"I think [his draft stock has] been relatively level," said Scott Wright, the founder of NFLDraftCountdown.com. "I don't think it's gone up or down very much. I'm not sure that's great for him because you'd like to see a lower-rated guy rise, but he only ran a [4.87] at the combine."

Chris Steuber, an NFL draft analyst for Scout.com, agrees with Wright's analysis.

"I don't think [his stock has] really dropped or elevated at all," Steuber said. "I think it's steady at this point. He's not the fastest tight end. He has good hands and good technique as far as blocking, but I'd like to see him run a little faster."

For the record, Haynos has also heard that his stock is stable.

"I'd say it's probably the same," Haynos said. "I don't know what I would've done to hurt it or help it that much. I think I helped it at my Pro Day, but I'd say it's probably about the same."

Since Maryland's Pro Day in March, Haynos has continued working out in College Park with other former Terps. Dwight Galt, Maryland's director of strength and conditioning, designed a workout for Haynos, which he has been going through "pretty much every day."

Meanwhile, several teams have called Haynos and his agent, Scott Smith of XAM Sports, to express their interest. Haynos said the Atlanta Falcons, Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots seem particularly interested, while he's also fielded calls from the Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles. Additionally, Haynos participated in a workout with the Washington Redskins for local potential draftees.

With so much time in between Pro Day and the draft, it's hard to imagine what else can be evaluated. The only thing Haynos can think of is further assessment of game film. For someone that was productive in college, but not necessarily a combine warrior, that would be a positive.

"[I think more evaluation of game film benefits me] because I think I've got good tape out there," Haynos said. "I think I did well enough at the combine and Pro Day. I've heard from teams that the combine matters and all that, but teams are going to draft from what they see on film -- not because you jumped so many inches or were so quick in the shuttle."

While NFL scouts and front office types continue to pour over tape, analysts try their best to peg each prospect's draft position.

At this point, the consensus for Haynos is that he will likely be a late-round selection. Haynos has heard from some teams that he's a possible fifth- or sixth-rounder, while Wright and Steuber think the former Terp will probably be chosen in the seventh round.

Wright has Haynos ranked as the No. 15 tight end in the draft, while Scout.com has the former Terp listed at No. 14.

In Wright's mind, the available tight ends in this year's draft compose two distinct tiers -- the top 11 and everyone else. While Wright thinks Haynos falls in the latter category, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

"Well one thing that I think works in Joey's favor is when you get in those late rounds, you look for that one specific thing," Wright said. "And obviously with his size, he stands out. He's a relatively rare physical specimen. You don't see many guys that are 6-7 1/2. ... So I think that can work in his favor."

Steuber said Haynos possesses a lot of desirable qualities that NFL general managers covet in their tight ends. There are some question marks, but Steuber thinks the positives in Haynos' game -- and potential for improvement -- make him a likely draft choice.

"Well I think his size -- you're talking about a kid about 6-7, 260 pounds," Steuber said. "I think he's a good athlete. He's a good blocker, although he can improve a little more. He's almost like a developmental guy. I think he's got the tools and skills and frame, but there are some questions. He has to improve his blocking, his speed and quickness. For tight end, you have to be able to stretch the field and locate the opening over the middle. I think Joey has to develop those skills."

Haynos doesn't have any firm plans for watching the draft. He'll probably go to Maryland's Red-White spring game on Saturday when the first two rounds of the draft take place. On Sunday, he'll most likely hang out in his family's Rockville home with his parents, brother, sister, aunts, uncles and friends. Haynos said he can't wait for the process to finally be over so he can find out where he'll begin his NFL career.

At this time five years ago, Haynos was finishing up his senior year at Gonzaga (D.C.) College High School and deciding to take Maryland's offer to join the football team as a preferred walk-on. Now he's on the verge of the NFL.

"To be honest with you, I was just thinking about it, and wow -- this time next week I'll hopefully officially be in the NFL," Haynos said. "It's really kind of crazy to think about."