Draft Knight: Dark Horse Cioffi is NFL-Ready

Anthony Cioffi

Unless you are one of a mere handful of NFL teams, you probably need some serious secondary help. So, many franchises have major holes when it comes to defensive backs. The good news is that there’s a Jersey guy ready to don a pro jersey and contribute immediately. The bad news is that many squads will let Anthony Cioffi slip through their fingertips.

Born and bred in the Garden State, Cioffi followed up his Jonathan Dayton High School career with four tremendous years at Rutgers. He was a ball hawk’s ball hawk with the Scarlet Knights, intercepting eight passes, forcing three fumbles and recording 2.5 sacks. Speedy and smart, Cioffi is also durable. During his time on campus Cioffi played in 47 of 48 games, appearing in two bowl games while winning one. The Scarlet Knights beat Michigan along the way and Cioffi’s jam-packed highlight reel included a throttling of Teddy Bridgewater. Cioffi stepped up on the big college stage, and he’s ready to do the same in the NFL.

Some teams, including the Philadelphia Eagles, have expressed early interest in Cioffi. Many however, are projecting him as a “just miss” draft choice who will have to try to pursue the free agent route in order to get to the pros. Teams that pass up on him could be left kicking themselves. Cioffi is well worth a draft choice. He has it all.

Not only can Cioffi flat out fly, he has all the intangibles. His dedication, work ethic, and football IQ can rival any prospect. In a day and age where so many athletes run off the rails, Cioffi has his priorities straight. As a Christian athlete, Cioffi is all about faith and family, as well as football of course.

“I do it for my family because they really pushed me to be the best I could be, not only in football but in life as well,” Cioffi said while appearing on The Palin Update radio program. “Having my parents, grandparents, cousins, and aunts and uncles there is huge. You look in the stands and when you see everybody it gives you that extra push. That’s something I really wanted to keep with me.”

Cioffi gets his overall strength and fortitude through Christ, evidenced by the Bible verse tattooed on his arm. The grandson of a legal immigrant, Cioffi looks at his grandfather as one of his heroes. “He’s been out to seek the American dream from the moment he touched the U.S.,” Cioffi said. Now, Cioffi is doing the same thing–dreaming big.

On the gridiron, Cioffi admires Harrison Smith, Eric Weddle, and Kam Chancellor. But, it’s his family that really fuels the fire. The Cioffis have run an iconic New Jersey deli for decades. It’s the family that instilled the remarkable work ethic in this young athlete, so perhaps the full equation for success here is faith, family, food, and football.

Now it’s draft time, and most NFL teams are in desperate need for D-backs. Why draft a risky project-type player when Cioffi is ready to roll? It’s a no-brainer.

Tom Brady was selected in the sixth round back in 2000. The future Hall of Famer has since earned five Super Bowl rings. The Patriots took Brady with the 199th selection, the biggest steal in NFL Draft history. Now, there’s another steal waiting for his opportunity. Like Brady, he’s a Big 10 guy. More impressive, he’s the grandson of immigrants and the son of supportive, loving parents. He’s ready in every way. So, while we’ll surely hear names like Garrett, Thomas, Adams, and Fournette called at this year’s draft, perhaps the team that has the foresight to dial up an order for Cioffi will be fullest come September.


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