A 6-foot-4, (1.93 meter) 307-pound (140 kilograms) Birthright alumnus is expected to be a high pick in the National Football League’s draft that begins Thursday night in Chicago.
Last summer, Alexander “Ali” Marpet was in Israel as just another American Jewish student on a Birthright tour. By the end of this weekend, he is likely to find himself selected fir the NFL.
If he makes it to the NFL, the offensive lineman from Hobart College in upstate New York will join such Jewish players as offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz of the New York Giants, Marpet’s favorite team growing up.
ESPN.com ranks Marpet as the No. 4 guard and No. 84 overall prospect in this year's draft. He ran the fastest 40-yard dash (4.98 seconds) among offensive linemen at the scouting combine in February.
Sports Illustrated has Marpet, a member of the Jewish Sports Review’s 2014 All-America football team, as the 89th-rated player among those draft eligible and 14th among offensive linemen.
Marpet told JTA this week that he expects to be taken by the 100th pick, meaning early in the fourth round. That would be on Friday or Saturday.
It's an unlikely athletic journey for a senior at Hobart College, a Division III school in upstate New York that last produced an NFL player in 1937.
Ali's father Bill Marpet, a videographer in Manhattan’s fashion industry, lived in Israel from 1974 – 1979, working as a studio cameraman for a Tel Aviv-based educational television program. His first wife was Israeli.
“I am a little excited and a little bit nervous,” Marpet said of the draft, which he will watch on television at his father’s house in Hastings-on-Hudson, a town about 20 miles north of Manhattan. “I’ll be waiting for the phone call” from the NFL team that selects him and is excited to see where he’ll end up.
An economics major at Hobart with a minor in philosophy and public policy, Marpet said he’ll proudly represent his small school and Division III players in the NFL. It also would be “a huge honor” to represent Jewish athletes.
“I’m happy to wave that flag,” Marpet said.