NORMAL — Colton Underwood would not go as far as saying he is confident he will be selected in this week's NFL Draft.
The former Illinois State standout defender does admit to having "a really good feeling."
"If I don't get drafted, I have a lot of options to go with," Underwood said Wednesday. "I'm confident in the visits I took and the conversations I had with coaches."
If Underwood is taken in the draft, it will likely be Saturday when Draft rounds four through seven are held. If that does not occur, he will field offers to sign as a free agent.
"A lot of teams have reached out to me this week," said Underwood, a two-time finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award as the top defender in FCS.
Underwood was brought in for visits by the Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers and Green Bay Packers. The New England Patriots came to ISU to put Underwood through a workout.
"I think it really helped my stock to get a feel for coaches and have them get a feel for what kind of player and person I am," Underwood said.
Underwood is listed as the No. 18 defensive end in the draft by ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. At 255 pounds, Underwood is considered a hybrid end-outside linebacker in a 3-4 NFL defensive scheme.
"Technically, outside linebacker is no different than what I did at ISU with a few more drops and coverages," he said. "So many coaches and coordinators really know how to use players like me and put them in spots to make plays."
Underwood, who has been measured at both 6-2½ and 6-3 1/8 by NFL teams, helped his cause by running a 4.68-second 40-yard dash in a Pro Day at Northwestern.
"It's been common in my career to have guys be 4-3 ends (in college) end up being 3-4 outside linebackers," ISU coach Brock Spack said. "Colton has good straight-line speed. He's powerful and explosive. And he can do a lot of things special teams-wise."
Underwood said talking with former Redbirds in the NFL, Nate Palmer and Cody White, has helped him know what to expect.
"Physically, from college to the NFL is not that big a difference," said Underwood. "The mental aspect of the game is the biggest change and challenge."
Other ex-Redbirds who could be taken late in the draft or be signed as free agents are offensive tackle Josh Aladenoye and defensive lineman Shelby Harris.
Harris was dismissed from the ISU roster after the 2012 season and did not play in 2013.