by Ryan Baillargeon, Pressbox Baltimore
Stefon Diggs is done making plays for the University of Maryland football team, but the future remains bright for the former Terps star wideout, who chose to forgo his senior season to enter the NFL Draft.
Many analysts have pinned Diggs to the third round of the draft, held April 30 to May 2, although he still has time to improve his stock at his pro day. Diggs participated in the NFL Combine in February, during which he clocked a 4.46 40-yard dash.
The Gaithersburg, Md., native missed three games last season with a lacerated kidney, but he returned for the Terps’ bowl game against Stanford Dec. 30, during which he hauled in 10 catches for 138 yards. The big outing helped Diggs finish his Maryland career with 150 receptions, 2,227 yards and 14 touchdowns.
As a speedy wide receiver who stayed at home to play college football, fans and media often compared Diggs to former Terp and Baltimore Ravens wideout Torrey Smith. Their college numbers support the comparison, too.
Diggs finished two catches shy of Smith’s 152 career receptions, which rank third all-time in program history. In yards, Diggs edged Smith by 12 for the second most in a Terps uniform.
It turns out Smith has been mentoring Diggs during the offseason. Diggs joined Glenn Clark Radio March 25, and he discussed his relationship with Smith, who signed with the San Francisco 49ers March 10.
“Torrey Smith, as anybody knows, he’s a great person,” Diggs said. “Along the process, I gave him a lot of phone calls, text messages to see where I should be training, what I should be doing as far as just the whole process. He gave me a lot of guidance and a lot of advice. I really appreciate that.”
The two players worked out together recently, too.
“It was just really, really nice to see him, because I hadn’t seen him in awhile,” Diggs said. “I try to pick his brain as much as I can to get all the information I can for the next level, because I’m trying to be a sponge.”
Diggs said the most valuable advice Smith has given is to make sure 100 percent of his focus is on football, because this is a new experience for him. He also stays in contact with former Maryland tight end Vernon Davis, who will be playing alongside Smith in San Francisco.
Asked about the possibility of a trio of Terps pass catchers aligning out west if the 49ers were to draft him, Diggs said it would be “crazy.” For now, though, his focus is on improving as much as he can before he starts his NFL career.