Sokoli only started with UB for two seasons but the Albanian immigrant made the most of his opportunity. Despite not having the prototypical build for a nose tackle the senior's performance on the defensive line was one of the bright spots for an otherwise struggling UB defense.
The struggles of that unit, and Sokoli's assignment at nose tackle, played him out of the NFL Combine. He had to settle for an audition in front of NFL scouts at UB's pro-day. Sokoli put on a show which landed him on the radars of several NFL teams.
Sokoli is sized well for the periphery of the defensive line in the NFL. At 6-5 and weighing in at 290 pounds he could project as an end or tackle and his measurables at the pro-day stacked up well against this years field in the draft.
My client Kristjan Sokoli (DL, U of Buffalo) just came in at 6050/290lbs, ran a 4.84 w/a 38" vert, 9'11" broad, 7.19 3-cone & 31 bench reps!— Brett Tessler (@TesslerSports) March 12, 2015
His 40 time would've been 14th among defensive linemen that participated at the Combine, ahead of USC's Leonard Williams. His 31 reps on the bench would've been fourth-best among defensive linemen, his 38' vertical third-best, and his 9'11' broad jump would've also been fourth-best. A lot of solid numbers that compare well with some of college football's best.
That instantly raised his stock and created a mid to late round buzz.
On film Sokoli looked solid enough but some NFL scouts questioned his explosiveness off the line and how he handled himself when the pass rush was stalled. That did not deter the 'Hawks from
|2013||5||147||Steven Means||DE||Tampa Bay|
|2010||6||193||James Starks||RB||Green Bay|
|2000||7||233||Drew Haddad||WR||Buffalo Bills|
|1997||4||125||Ed Ellis||T||New England|
|1964||Gerry Philbin||DE||NY Jets|
While Sokoli is the first Bull to be drafted by Seattle he will not be the first Bull to play for the Seahawks. Last year Josh Thomas spent time with the eventual NFC Champions.
Sokoli in UB Draft History
This is the third year in a row the Buffalo has had a player drafted into the NFL. In 2013 defensive end Steven Means was picked up by Tampa in the fifth round and last season UB Linebacker Khalil Mack was taken in the first round. Sokoli also becomes the seventh Bull drafted since 2008.