NFL future could be in store for Olson

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Lane Olson isn’t your prototypical NFL strong safety.

Former Warhawk Lane Olson, who played with the team from 2007-2010, is being courted by NFL teams and has the possibility of being taken in the NFL Draft. Photo by Tim Gumz

Standing at 5-foot-8 inches and weighing just more than 200 pounds, the Racine native didn’t even play the position for the majority of his college career.

But after posting some of the best numbers in this year’s safety draft class at the UW-Madison Pro Day March 9, Olson has solidified himself as a legitimate prospect in the NFL Draft, which occurs April 29-May 1.

If Olson had been invited to the NFL Combine March 2 to work out with other defensive backs, he would have posted some of the top numbers among both safeties and cornerbacks in the draft.

In fact, in every drill Olson performed Madison, he would have ranked in the top four among safeties if he had participated in the NFL Combine.

“One of the big things that got me noticed at the Madison Pro Day was all of my drills and times,” Olson said. “I’m pretty sure every team in the NFL has come and talked to me, watched some of my practices or watched game film from last fall.”

Although only 10 players from Division III have actually been drafted, and only eight are currently on an NFL roster, that won’t discourage Olson from pursuing his dream.

From now until the draft, he will work on refining his skills in the secondary. Olson started as a linebacker for the Warhawks the past three seasons, recording 216.5 tackles and 18 sacks.

Olson recently signed with agent Mitch Chargo, who has worked as the middleman for Olson in talking to teams. Olson said he is hoping he will be drafted, as free agents will be in a state of limbo until a collective bargaining agreement is reached by the NFL and the player’s union.

“My agent said it looks like I could be drafted in the seventh round, but I’ll most likely end up as a high-priority free agent,” Olson said.

Olson’s performance was so eye-popping at Madison that even Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson was impressed.

“I didn’t really talk to him, but he called me a beast and shook my hand,” Olson said.