Boston College. When this school is mentioned in regards to the upcoming 2009 NFL Draft, the two players that almost always come to mind are Defensive tackles B. J. Raji and Ron Brace. Although this attention is rightfully deserved, there is one athlete from BC that might have even more upside. His name, Brian Toal. The once 5-star recruit from Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey NJ, has been devastated with injuries during his career at Boston College. The 2004 Big East rookie of the year was one of the best linebackers in the country when on the field. The special teams demon also excelled at Fullback for B.C. Scoring a team best six rushing touchdowns in 2006, finishing with a career total of 12.
Toal and other Boston College draft hopefuls participated in their Pro Day this past Wednesday. And Brian stole some of the spotlight. Running a very solid 4.63 40 time and posting a 10-foot broad jump. Probably his most impressive number was his vertical jump of 37.5 inches. Which would have been better than any linebacker at the combine, including the consensus best backer in the draft Aaron Curry. Toal also showed surprising agility, flexibility, and quickness while participating in the defensive and running back drills.
Toal would look great in Giants Blue, and he’s the team first guy/hard worker that Tom Coughlin loves. His ability to play offense, defense, and special teams gives him the kind of versatility that Jerry Reese covets. As a rookie Toal would contribute immediately on special teams and provide nice depth at linebacker (as well as fullback if they so chose).
Every year teams try to find those hidden gems in the second day of the draft. Although Brian’s injury history raises the red flag, his immense upside is definitely worth a late round flyer.