News With Commentary by TSL Staff

Tuesday, April 24, 2001
by Will Stewart,

NFL Draft and Free Agent Recap

Michael Vick's selection by the Atlanta Falcons as the #1 pick overall highlighted an NFL draft and free agent weekend that saw three Hokies get drafted and five more sign free agent contracts.

Here's a rundown of the action:

Player Round Selection Overall Team
Michael Vick 1 1 1 Atlanta Falcons
Cory Bird 3 29 91 Indianapolis Colts
Matt Lehr 5 6 137 Dallas Cowboys
Dave Kadela Free Agent Atlanta Falcons
Anthony Lambo Free Agent Baltimore Ravens
Dave Meyer Free Agent Indianapolis Colts
Josh Redding Free Agent Indianapolis Colts
Nick Sorensen Free Agent Miami Dolphins

If you're scoring at home, that's three players to the Colts, two to the Falcons, and one each to the Cowboys, Ravens, and Dolphins.

Vick is the second-ever #1 selection for the Hokies. Bruce Smith cemented his status as a Hokie legend when he was taken #1 overall by the Buffalo Bills in the 1985 draft. Smith went on to an All-Pro career in the NFL and is arguably the best defensive end to ever play the game.

Three Hokie players taken in the draft ties for the third-most Virginia Tech players taken in any one draft. Tech has had five players selected four other times: 1955, 1985, 1992, and 2000. It should be noted that in 1955, the draft had at least 30 rounds (Tech's Tom Petty was taken in round 30 by Washington), and in 1985, Tech basketball player Al Young was taken in the 11th round by the Giants (Young was later cut -- he was quick enough to play defensive back, but not fast enough). The 1992 draftees also had the benefit of the draft being 12 rounds -- it is now only 7 rounds.

Year VT Draftees and Round
1955 George Preas (5th), Johnny Dean (7th), Howie Wright (21st), Jim Locke (27th), Tom Petty (30th)
1985 Bruce Smith (1st), Jesse Penn (2nd), Ashley Lee (8th), Joe Jones (10th), Al Young (11th)
1992 Eugene Chung (1st), Will Furrer (4th), Damien Russell (6th), William Boatwright (7th), John Granby (12th)
2000 John Engelberger (2nd), Ike Charlton (2nd), Corey Moore (3rd), Anthony Midget (5th), Shyrone Stith (7th)

The Hokies have had four players drafted twice, in 1997 (Jim Druckenmiller, Torrian Gray, Antonio Banks, and Cornell Brown) and 1998 (Todd Washington, Gennaro DiNapoli, Ken Oxendine, and Marcus Parker). Tech has had three players selected five times (1957, 1961, 1967, 1988, and 1994).

In the last two years, 8 starters from Tech's 1999 Sugar Bowl team have been drafted. Next year, Andre Davis is a near lock to make it 9 total starters from that team taken in the NFL draft.

Beamer Tabs Noel as Starting QB, Burns as Punter

Various media outlets, including, are reporting today that Coach Beamer has named Grant Noel as his #1 quarterback heading into summer workouts, and he has also named Vinnie Burns as his #1 punter.

Beamer told the Roanoke Times that he anticipates Noel being the starter for the opening game Sep. 1 against UConn. He also wants Burns and now-#2 punter Bobby Peaslee to continue to push each other.


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