Darden draft blog art

North Texas wide receiver Jaelon Darden jumps over a host of Middle Tennessee defenders during the Mean Green’s win over the Blue Raiders last season. Darden is expected to be selected in the upcoming NFL draft.

North Texas is now just days away from what promises to be a historic time in program history.

The NFL draft is set to begin on April 29 and will run for three days.

UNT has sent plenty of players on to the NFL in recent years, including Lance Dunbar and Craig Robertson.

What the Mean Green haven't had in years is a player who was selected in the NFL draft. Linebacker Cody Spencer was the last. The UNT Hall of Famer was picked by Oakland Raiders all the way back in 2004.

UNT wide receiver Jaelon Darden is a near certainty to break that drought this year. The Houston native put up one of the best individual seasons in program history last year, catching 74 passes for 1,190 yards and 19 touchdowns in just nine games.

That performance solidified Darden's status as a prospect. His stock continued to rise when he exceled at his pro day in front of 34 scouts from 29 teams.

Darden ran a pair of 40-yard dashes in the 4.47 to 4.48 second range, good times for a wide receiver. Where he really stood out was in positional drills, where he posted a 4.07 second 20-yard shuttle and a 6.65 three-cone drill.

Both marks are elite when compared to other wide receivers in past NFL scouting combines.

So, where will that performance land Darden?

Mock drafts are everywhere this time of year and provide a general idea of the range in which players could be taken.

Here's a look at where a few have Darden slated to go.

Fourth round, 108 overall, to the Atlanta Falcons

Fourth round, 138 overall, to the Cowboys

Sixth round, 206 overall, to the Indianapolis Colts

Sixth round, 209 overall, to the Los Angeles Rams

BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 and via Twitter at @brettvito.

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