By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
Bobby Massie decided to take a pass on his final year of college eligibility.
That was not good news for new Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze, but it appears to be paying off for Massie.
A three-year starter at right tackle, Massie’s stock has risen since his performance at the NFL combine.
NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper, in his final mock draft, projects Massie to go with the last pick in the first round, No. 32, to the New York Giants.
Other Ole Miss players who could be drafted include running back Brandon Bolden, offensive tackle Bradley Sowell and safety Damien Jackson.
If drafted, all three are projected late-round picks, and free agency might be a more realistic path to the professional opportunity.
The website NFLdraftscout.com has Bolden as a sixth- to seventh-round pick or to free agency.
Bolden narrowly missed 1,000 rushing yards as a junior and in an injury-plagued senior season, that included a suspension, he finished with 472 yards and four touchdowns.
Bolden’s skill in the passing game – he was used not only out of the backfield but often split wide under former coach Houston Nutt – makes him an intriguing possibility for someone.
As a sophomore Bolden also played in an H-back role for the Rebels.
Defensive end Kentrell Lockett is draft-eligible as well, and a phone call from an NFL club seemed like a much more realistic goal before Lockett tore his ACL in September of 2010.
At that time the website rated Lockett as the No. 17 defensive end. Today it rates him No. 41 out of 133 available ends.