Canadians Urban, Duvernay-Tardif May Go Early at NFL Draft

Frank Doyle | Updated Oct 04, 2017

Brent Urban NFL Draft

Just 25 Canadians have ever been selected in the NFL Draft so when Brent Urban and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif are being discussed as possible second or third-round picks, it’s a big deal.

Urban is a giant at 6-foot-7 and 295 pounds. He turned some heads playing for the University of Virginia but is being touted as a sleeper pick with J.J. Watt upside. Urban led all NCAA Division I defensive lineman with nine batted passes last season despite starting only eight games before a high ankle sprain put him on the shelf. Some NFL Draft gurus think a team may take a shot on him as early as the second round.

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“I’d call him a poor man’s J.J. Watt right now in terms of fit and also based on his special knack for swatting passes,” ESPN’s Todd McShay said of Urban. “He’s a perfect 3-4 defensive end, creating good leverage against the run despite a long frame. (Could be) a steal on Day 2.”

Meanwhile, McGill Redman AAU standout offensive tackle Duvernay-Tardif is also feeling his ears burn ahead of Thursday’s NFL Draft. Duvernay-Tardif was a med student at McGill and impressed a lot of NFL scouts at his pro day in March.

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Not only does he have good size at 6-foot-5, 314 pounds, but Duvernay-Tardif also showed his athleticism with a 4.94 40-yard dash, 31.5-inch vertical jump and 34 bench press reps. Those numbers would have put him among the best offensive lineman who attended the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

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His maturity and time-management skills that were needed to balance medical school and football combined with his athletic schools had nine NFL teams schedule meetings with him following his pro day.

“I think most teams believe being involved in medicine is a plus but they want to know why and how you’re able to manage that,” Duvernay-Tardif told “I had to tell teams I was watching a lot of film by myself and having Facetime meetings with my coach to prepare for games because I wasn’t able to attend every practice.”

NFL Draft analysts have Duvernay-Tardif going anywhere from the third to the seventh round, so he will certainly be glued to the television over the next few days.