The last time I wrote about the chances of Kansas State OT Scott Frantz landing on an NFL team this summer, I was very optimistic. After talking with several people and reading a lot, I gave him a 70% chance of being drafted and a 99.5% chance of being signed before training camp.
Yet a couple of things have happened over the last two months that have changed that significantly.
Yes coronavirus has played a role and will likely continue to play that role for players like Frantz for months to come. I’ll get to that in a minute.
Another issue is what happened on Frantz’s Pro Day in early March.
The measurables of a Pro Day
For those who don’t know, major schools hold Pro Days where their NFL prospects get to essentially do a little try-out for NFL teams.
When contacted about Frantz’s Pro Day, his agent, Brett Tessler, told Outsports that Frantz had a hamstring injury that affected his performance. That definitely explains some of it.
Still, Frantz’s Pro Day numbers likely did not help.
He ran the 40-yard dash in 5.74 seconds. Because of the coronavirus, many players’ Pro Days were canceled, so there are many prospects with no officially recorded 40 time. So it’s hard to compare Frantz, who came out publicly as gay in 2017, with the rest of his draft class.
Yet as guidance, of all the 2019 NFL Draft prospects last year — and we have Pro Day times for just about all of them — only two top-60 Draft Scouts prospects were slower than Frantz’s 40 time.
Last year, Florida OT Martez Ivey ran an injured 5.82 in his Pro Day. He was about Frantz’s height and weight, with longer arms. He went undrafted, then signed with the New England Patriots before being cut in August.
Also in 2019, Univ. of San Diego OT Daniel Cooney ran a 5.81 in his Pro Day. He also went undrafted before getting a shot in the Chicago Bears rookie minicamp.
Frantz’s other Pro Day numbers don’t shake out great either. His vertical jump of 22 1⁄2 feet, and his broad jump of 7’11”, put him in a low percentile.
Again, the fact that he was injured may convince some NFL teams to put a big asterisk next to these numbers.
To be sure, Frantz does have some things going for him, namely his four-year career as a starter for Kansas State in the Big XII. That’s not nothing. Frantz has proven he can play with the best players in one of college football’s best conferences.
Still, Frantz may now be on the outside of the NFL Draft looking in.
There are a couple of players to watch for in the Draft and the days after that may give an indication of Frantz’s future. Kansas OT Kevin Feder, as well as Frantz’s Wildcats teammate Nick Kaltmayer, have 2020 Pro Day numbers similar to Frantz’s. Each of them, admittedly, are bigger with longer arms.
The lasting effect of coronavirus
And here’s where coronavirus gets problematic for Frantz. There is no reasonable expectation right now that NFL teams will have rookie minicamps or other forms of rookie tryouts this offseason, due to the virus. Heck, the League is running the Draft virtually. These are opportunities for unsigned rookies to come to a team and show them they belong that they likely won’t have this offseason.
Without that chance, many rookies who don’t get drafted and don’t get immediately signed may have added trouble getting a shot this year. Without the ability to bring a guy like Frantz to their facility, see him for themselves and have their doctors check him out, even with a career in which he never missed a start, it just presents a potential hurdle for Frantz.
Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien has said the inability to workout receivers in the Draft was a factor in trading for veteran Brandin Cooks. It may simply be that fewer rookies get signed all together, due to the coronavirus.
If Frantz ends up not getting an NFL shot this season, there is always the Canadian Football League. This year Ivey, the undrafted tackle from last year with the poor 40 time, played in the XFL. Unfortunately for Frantz, that’s another spot the coronavirus is causing a problem, as it forced the XFL to shut down.
Ultimately, Frantz’s best shot at the NFL, with this worldwide uncertainty, is to be drafted this weekend. We’re holding onto hope.