NFL Draft Preview: BYU's Van Noy, Timpview's Su'a-Filo are first-round possibilities

2014-05-08T06:00:00Z 2014-05-11T16:42:06Z NFL Draft Preview: BYU's Van Noy, Timpview's Su'a-Filo are first-round possibilitiesJared Lloyd Daily Herald Daily Herald
May 08, 2014 6:00 am  • 

If you were a high-level NFL draft prospect, how would you spend what might be the biggest day of your life?

Former Timpview offensive lineman Xavier Su'a-Filo, who played at UCLA and is projected to be a late-first-round or early-second-round selection, said Wednesday that he knows what he'd like to be doing.

"I want to go golfing and relax," Su'a-Filo said. "It depends on the rain."

Ironically, former BYU star linebacker Kyle Van Noy posted in his draft diary blog at USAToday.com that he has similar plans:

"I try to stay pretty even-minded with things," Van Noy wrote on the blog. "I'm going to basically treat Thursday like a regular day. I'm going to probably go golfing and I'm going to get a good workout in the morning. I'm going to do everything like I do every other day — except I get to find out what team I'm on and where I'll live for like the next four or five years."

Su'a-Filo and Van Noy are the prospects with Utah Valley ties who have the best chance to hear their name called in Thursday's first round of the 2014 NFL Draft (6 p.m. MDT, ESPN).

Su'a-Filo -- who is also known by the single letter "X" -- said that he plans on getting together with family and watching the draft, but expects it to be low-key.

"I worked hard and I've been doing what I can, controlling what I can control," Su'a-Filo said. "I'm happy that I'm here at this point."

The second and third rounds of the draft will take place Friday, while Rounds 4-7 will complete the draft on Saturday.

Other BYU and local players with shots at hearing their names called include ex-Cougar wide receiver Cody Hoffman, safety Daniel Sorensen, defensive lineman Eathyn Manumaleuna, linebacker Uani 'Unga and former American Fork and Utah Ute tight end Jake Murphy.

Su'a-Filo said getting to this point is somewhat surreal, since it is the fulfilling of a dream.

"I remember talking about it back during high school at Timpview," he said. "That was five years ago. It's crazy how time flies. Now this is a great opportunity I have here."

The talented offensive lineman credited both his time at UCLA and his LDS mission to the Florida Tallahassee Mission for helping his performance on the field.

"Playing in the Pac-12 was a great experience for me, playing against those teams and that competition week in and out," Su'a-Filo said. "It's funny how it worked out. After being there as a freshman I came back home from my mission and had to start fresh, ended up being the best thing for me. I helped them and they helped me, that pop at UCLA was something I needed prepare for the next level.

"My mission also fueled me and made me a better player emotionally, physically and mentally. I grew into a man's body. Being away from the game didn't affect me at all. It paved way to have more potential and upside."

After his junior year in 2013, Su'a-Filo elected to enter the draft. He said the variety of NFL experience that the UCLA staff had prepared him for the process.

"I received great advice from the coaches," he said. "They told me how the process would go and it's gone exactly how they told me it would. That helped me relax -- not taking it easy but handling it like a mature adult and realizing I can control what I can control."

He said it now comes down to this weekend and that he's been contacted by a lot of teams with needs. He worked out for Denver, Atlanta, St. Louis and Carolina but teams like San Diego, Baltimore and Cleveland have also shown interest.

"I feel fortunate that I'll get drafted, but I don't know when," Su'a-Filo said. "I hope it will be tomorrow. I want a call, but whatever happens I'm ready to show an organization why they made the best decision to bring me in."

He said that he doesn't think anyone in his position wants to drop to the second or third round but being a first-rounder would be extra special.

Su'a-Filo said he believes that he's been able to prove that he will be an asset to a team on and off the field.

"I want to do exceptionally well, not just on the field but as a person," he said. "I think teams have been impressed with the kind of guy I am. Football is my priority and it's so important to me. Achieving this dream would mean the world to me and my family. IT would be a tribute to me being really blessed and working hard to deserve it."

In his draft diary blog on USAToday.com, Van Noy echoed similar sentiments as he also looked back as he gets ready to move forward:

"At this point, I reflect on all the hard work that has gone in and all the people that have helped me reach this moment in time," Van Noy wrote. "There's a lot of people. I can't just pinpoint one. I have a pretty close, core group and they've all had their share. I'm going to watch the draft with family and see where I go. I'm just excited to have the opportunity to play in the league and I'm going to enjoy it as much as I can."

The first round of the 2014 NFL draft will kick off at 6 p.m. MDT and can be seen on ESPN.

Daily Herald sports editor ​Jared Lloyd can be reached at 801-344-2555 or jlloyd@heraldextra.com. Twitter: @JaredrLloyd. Instagram: @JaredrLloyd.

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