Huskies coach Paul Pasqualoni knows his players as well as anybody. And as such, he's more qualified than most to talk about them. All told, seven players signed NFL contracts over the weekend; five were drafted -- CB Dwayne Gratz (Jacksonville), LB Sio Moore (Oakland) and CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson (Tennessee) all in Round 3; LB Trevardo Williams in Round 4 and TE Ryan Griffin in Round 6 (both to Houston) -- and two signed as undrafted free agents -- WR Mike Smith (Houston) and WR/KR Nick Williams (Washington).
"I thought the draft went good for our guys and I liked the fit for each of the guys," Pasqualoni said via the Hartford Courant's Desmond Conner. "I think Sio being out with Oakland, they're a little bit more of a 3-4 team, so there's things that he can do ... rush the passer on third down. I like the fit for Trevardo a lot down in Houston. They'll make him a 3-4 outside linebacker so he'll be in a two-point stance on first and second down, which we tried to do a little bit here, and on third down he'll put his hand down ... and rush the passer.
"Brian Pariani, the tight ends coach [with the Texans], liked the flexibility and how many different things Ryan Griffin did here as a tight end. He played the regular tight end spot, he played the fullback spot and he played the wide receiver spot, which are all the things in [coach Gary Kubiaks's] system that the tight ends have got to be able to do. The terminology will be different, but the concepts will all be the same.
"Nick Williams getting a chance with the Redskins as a returner and slot receiver, I think that's good. I think Mike Smith [also with the Texans] getting an opportunity is good as well. I like the fit for Blidi; the Titans are more of a man-to-man, bump-and-run team. That's what they want to do. I think that's Blidi's strong suit. Jacksonville wants a mixed zone along with some man, and I think that's what Gratz does well."
UConn set a school record for the number of players drafted. More than that, it sends a signal that Pasqualoni can help players get where they want -- ultimately, the NFL.
"On the NFL Network and ESPN, I think it really sent a message that UConn was very strong," Pasqualoni said. "I think the timing of it, with respect to recruiting, is very good. We've got our camps coming up soon as well. ... The culture of the program and the approach to football hopefully will be something people in the NFL will notice and have a high level of respect for."
Now the Huskies need to find a way to take these talented players and win. In Pasqualoni first two years, UConn has finished 5-7.