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Former Lobos expect to get their NFL shot — after the draft

In 2010, New Mexico center Erik Cook was selected by the Washington Redskins in the seventh round of the NFL Draft. No UNM player has been drafted since.

The Lobo drought is expected to continue this week, during the three-day 2018 draft that begins today.

Several 2017 UNM seniors, though, are hoping to be offered free-agent contracts.

Among them:

COREY BOJORQUEZ, punter. Bojorquez ranked fourth in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision ranks with a 47.3-yard average per attempt. He has had private workouts with Jacksonville, New England and Philadelphia.

At UNM’s Pro Day on April 5, observed by scouts from Arizona, Tennessee, Jacksonville, Cleveland and Oakland, he launched one attempt some 80 yards in the air.

Of his most recent workout, with the Eagles on Tuesday, Bojorquez said via social media that it “went really well. If I’m not drafted, I’m highly confident I will get a free agent contract.”

GARRETT HUGHES, outside linebacker. At UNM, Hughes played defensive end while weighing 265 pounds. He weighed 244 at UNM’s Pro Day.

His Pro Day numbers weren’t exceptional, nor was his productivity as a senior. But highlights from his junior season, during which he led the team with 6½ sacks, still might stir some interest.

AVERY JORDAN, tight end. Jordan was an offensive tackle at UNM but weighed only 268 pounds at UNM’s Pro Day — at which he listed himself as a tight end.

At 6-foot-4½, with a wingspan of 81 inches, he would make an inviting target for quarterbacks. But his Pro Day timing of 4.84 seconds in the 40-yard dash, while fast for an offensive lineman, is slow for a tight end.

LAMAR JORDAN, slot receiver. An option quarterback at UNM, Jordan ran a surprising time of 4.46 in the 40-yard dash at UNM’s Pro Day — the fastest of the day.

Earlier in the year, Jordan honed his pass-catching skills under the tutelage of former NFL wide receiver Chris Chambers.

“I’m definitely prepared for anything they throw at me,” Jordan said at Pro Day.

RICHARD MCQUARLEY, running back: McQuarley weighed 220 pounds during his senior year at UNM. He weighed 210 on Pro Day and is campaigning as a running back and not a fullback.

McQuarley chose not to run the 40 at UNM’s Pro Day but reportedly ran a time in the 4.5s at Jackson State’s Pro Day in his native Mississippi.

AUSTIN OCASIO, linebacker: Before straining a hamstring, Ocasio was having perhaps the strongest overall performance at UNM’s Pro Day: 26 repetitions of 225 pounds on the bench press, a 4.57-second 40, a 10-foot, 2-inch standing broad jump and 33-inch vertical leap.

Ocasio’s father, Anthony, told the Journal via social media that the Cleveland Browns have shown interest.

“He’s trying to latch on special teams or on a practice squad,” the elder Ocasio said.

JASON SANDERS, kicker: Sanders was 22-of-28 on field goal tries during his final two seasons at UNM, making 11 attempts from 40 yards or more and four from 50 or more.

He has had private workouts with the Dolphins and the Jets and performed for more pro scouts at UNM’s Pro Day.

LOBOS OF THE PAST: Cornerback SaQwan Edwards (2012-14), linebacker Ryan Langford (2014-15), running back Jhurell Pressley (2012-15) and safety Daniel Henry (2015-16), who have been in NFL camps or on NFL rosters before, have the potential to be re-signed.

Quarterback Austin Apodaca (2015-16) is still pursuing his dream.

The NFL, of course, is not the only option. There’s the Canadian Football League and The Alliance of American Football, which is scheduled to debut next February.

Safety Glover Quin (Detroit Lions) and wide receiver Marquis Bundy (New York Giants) are the only former Lobos on current NFL rosters.

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