Whether or not he hears his name called during the National Football League draft next month doesn't matter to Josh Tupou.

The former Colorado defensive lineman just wants a chance to prove himself.

"Whatever happens in the draft happens," he said Wednesday after going through CU's annual pro timing day. "I know God is going to put me in the right place at the right time. I'm not really worried about whether I go in the draft or not."

The 6-foot-3, 353-pound Tupou is an intriguing prospect after excelling at nose tackle in CU's 3-4 defense scheme last season. Projected as a possible late round pick during the draft, which takes place April 27-29, he could also be a priority free agent signed after the draft.

Tupou's success at CU landed him an invitation to the East-West Shrine Game in January. Despite showing up heavier than expected, at 362 pounds, Tupou had a performance at the Shrine Game that was "outstanding," according to Cecil Lammey, an NFL insider for 104.3 The Fan in Denver.

Tupou appeared to be on the right track after the Shrine Game, but it surprised most scouts that he wasn't among the 330 players invited to the NFL combine last week. It was a surprise to Tupou and his agent, too, because he was originally invited.

"I was officially invited, but it was pulled last minute," Tupou said. "It was something I couldn't control."


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Tupou's agent, Audie Attar of Paradigm Sports Management, said he's not sure why the invitation was pulled, but it could be because of a new rule that bans prospects from the combine if they have had a misdemeanor or felony conviction involving violence.

In 2015, Tupou had an assault case against him dropped by the Boulder County District Attorney's office. Despite the case being dropped, Tupou was suspended from school — and therefore the team — for a year, missing the 2015 season.

Attar said it was unfortunate Tupou didn't get a chance to participate in Indianapolis.

"I can tell you that every club voiced the same frustration that we had because Josh is a good kid who made a mistake — nothing that would have me question his character," Attar said. "I think NFL teams wanted guys like Josh at the combine so they could do their due diligence and find out and learn more about the kid and about his character and learn more about all the different situations, be it football or non-football.

"It's one of those things that we have to just roll with the punches and move past it."

Tupou is striving to do just that, and Wednesday was a big step for him. All 32 NFL teams were on hand for CU's pro day and had a chance to watch Tupou and other former Buffs work out.

Tupou's workout numbers don't put him among the top defensive line prospects in this year's draft class, but he's a prospect that intrigues several teams, including the New York Jets, who sent their defensive line coach, Robert Nunn, to Boulder.

"Since I didn't get (to go to the combine), this was my one and only opportunity to show myself," Tupou said. "I took it really serious and something I worked hard for.

"I think I did well. I still could have improved in a lot of other things, but I did well.

I'm just trying to work as hard as I can; keep my head down and work."

Attar said his client is still learning how to be a pro, but felt it was encouraging that Tupou dropped weight from the Shrine Game. Tupou hopes to get down to the 335-340-pound range.

"The feedback (from CU's pro day) was very positive," Attar said. "It's just now continuing to do the same for the remainder of this process."

The process includes visits he has lined up with the Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks, with hopes of more visits to come.

For Tupou, the focus will continue to be on making himself ready for whatever opportunity comes his way.

"If a team picks me up, it'll be great and I'll be really grateful for it," he said.

Brian Howell: howellb@dailycamera.com, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.