North Augusta, SC (WJBF) -- North Augusta native Matt Hazel says he's not really stressing out this week as the NFL Draft approaches. The 6'1" 198 pound wide receiver says all the work has been done, and teams have their draft boards ready. He's hoping one of those teams has him pretty high on their board.
The former Coastal Carolina Chanticleer has been back in North Augusta the past couple weeks. He says he's been working out almost every day. Most days he does so with some of his friends in the area including current Yellow Jackets quarterback Trib Reece and wide receiver Dre Dunbar. Hazel says he's been working on his routes, and he's been trying to get stronger. Those are two of the areas he was told he needed to improve.
Despite going to a smaller school, Hazel has garnered some big-time attention. He finished with a school record 183 career receptions and tied for the Big South lead in TDs with 9 in 2013. He also impressed at the East-West Shrine game and at the NFL Scouting Combine. Hazel said he worked out individually for the Panthers, Patriots, Colts, Buccaneers, and Eagles, and he says at least a couple other teams have him him "high on their radar."
He's hoping one of those teams will give him a call during the NFL Draft. He says it will be nerve-wracking waiting for that call, and he's told his family and friend to not call him during the draft. Hazel says if he sees a number he doesn't have saved, then he'll know it's an NFL team calling.
Hazel has been projected as a late round pick although he says he'd be fine if he ended up signing as an undrafted free agent. ESPN NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper called Hazel one of his sleepers saying he expects Hazel to be drafted on day 3.
The NFL Draft begins with the 1st round on Thursday night. The 2nd and 3rd rounds are Friday night. Rounds 4-7 are on Saturday. Hazel says he will watch the draft at home. He says he will watch all of it because he has some friends who will be selected in the early rounds.