NFL

Matt Szczur Must Choose Between NFL Draft and MLB

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Many athletes in college sports in the past and present have been dual sport athletes. Guys like Tony Gonzalez, Julius Peppers, Antonio Gates, and most recently Jimmy Graham have been productive talents as both basketball and football players in college. Charlie Ward won the Heisman Trophy and played in the NBA. Bo Jackson played both for a little while, which likely won't happen again in the near future.

And so, like many athletes before him, he'll have to choose which path he thinks is best for his career.

Will it be baseball on the heels of his promising start thus far? Or will he pass on the Jeff Samardzija route (former ND WR who passed on NFL) and stick with football? It should be a tough decision, one that both the NFL and MLB will pay close attention to.

Matt Szczur was a 5th round draft pick of the Chicago Cubs in the most recent MLB Draft, a pick that shows that he not only has had success over his Villanova baseball career, but at least one team feels he could play professional baseball. He was selected in the 38th round out of high school, but instead decided to play at Villanova. The third round is almost equivalent to the late first, early second round of the NFL Draft.

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Szczur finished the season with a .443 batting average, four home runs, 38 RBIs, ten stolen bases, and only one error in 39 games started this year. He can play center and right field in the major leagues (played center in college), and could be at the top level  in two to three years based on some baseball scout's perspective. He started his career with the Cubs minor league system hitting safely in his first 21 games as a pro. He finished his first season as a pro baseball player with a .347 batting average.

As for his NFL potential, Szczur has been arguably the most valuable player to his team compared to every other FCS team in the country. He's played quarterback, running back, all three receiver spots, and has been a stud return man when he's been healthy.

He has great speed and cutting ability in the open field, and his moves have allowed for consistent big plays over his career. He also grabs the ball out of the air very well for his size. His routes aren't consistently NFL caliber, but he finds holes in the defense very well and puts himself in the best window for his quarterback to get him the ball.

Overall, he's a dynamic playmaker, and a guy who is deadly with the ball in his hands. He's a mixture of Marc Mariani of the Tennessee Titans and Davone Bess of the Miami Dolphins. If he comes out to NFL scouts and says that he is fully committed to the NFL, he could go as high as the 2nd or 3rd round. His versatility should make him highly coveted come draft day as a slot receiver, wildcat back, and return man.