The University of Connecticut doesn’t typically produce a lot of NFL draft interest. The Huskies have had just six players drafted since 2015, none in 2023.
That drought will end in 2024. UConn has three players on the preseason Senior Bowl watchlist, with the most prominent being offensive guard Christian Haynes. Based on his performance in the Huskies’ matchup against visiting North Carolina State, Haynes could hear his name called early in the draft.
Haynes, playing right guard, had an outstanding debut. Normally it’s not easy to notice interior linemen unless they mess up, but that’s not the case for Haynes. He leapt off the game film.
With impressive agility and a seek-and-destroy style of play, Haynes was a snowplow in the run game.
Watch UConn right guard Christian Haynes, who received some All-American consideration last year, pull out in space, keep his head on a swivel and blow up the saftey. pic.twitter.com/6Cascr3JkP
— Brent Sobleski (@brentsobleski) September 1, 2023
Led by RG Christian Haynes (#64), the UConn OL was doing some work on that TD drive. NC State OL has NFL dudes too.
Haynes (6027v, 312v) enters the season as my No. 5 senior OG prospect. pic.twitter.com/Y3iXCN9tuF
— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) August 31, 2023
Pass protection wasn’t as glorious, but Haynes fared well against the Wolfpack. In a quick once-over of the game, I had him getting beat twice in pass protection, one of which resulted in a sack. His game reminds me some of Larry Warford back at Kentucky. Warford was the No. 65 overall pick in 2013 and had several successful NFL seasons before injuries ended his career.
Expect to see Haynes in upcoming mock drafts as a Day 2 prospect. He could very well surpass Will Beatty as the highest-drafted UConn offensive lineman in program history. Beatty was the No. 60 overall pick back in 2009.