News With Commentary by TSL Staff
Sunday, April 25, 2004
Five Hokies Drafted
Five Hokies were chosen in this weekend's NFL Draft, tying for the second-most ever for Virginia Tech. DeAngelo Hall (#8 pick to Atlanta) and Kevin Jones (#30 to Detroit) were both first round selections, the first time two Tech players have ever been chosen in the first round. Other picks were Jake Grove (Oakland, 2nd round), Ernest Wilford (Jacksonville, 4th round), and Nathaniel Adibi (Pittsburgh, 5th round).
The most Tech players ever selected in the Draft was eight, in 2002 (Andre Davis, Ben Taylor, Kevin McCadam, David Pugh, Bob Slowikowski, Chad Beasley, Derrius Monroe, and Jarrett Ferguson). Five Hokies have been selected five different times now: 1955, 1985, 1992, 2000, and 2004.
In addition to a record-setting two players in the first round, this year's class of draftees also set a new record: the most Tech players selected in the first five rounds. The previous record for number of draftees in the first five rounds was four, set back in 2000 (John Engelberger and Ike Charlton went in round 2, Corey Moore in round 3, and Anthony Midget in round 5).
Hall was the top cornerback selected and went where most prognosticators had him going. Some thought he might go to Cleveland with the #7 pick, but the Browns swapped with Detroit, picked 6th, and selected Kellen Winslow II instead.
Jones' position of being the 30th pick was lower than most predicted. It was thought that at the latest, the Dallas Cowboys would select him with the #22 pick, but Dallas dealt the pick to Buffalo, who selected Tulane QB J.P. Losman. Jones was the third running back selected, behind Oregon State's Steven Jackson (#24 pick to St. Louis) and Michigan's Chris Perry (#26 pick to Cincinnati).
Grove and Wilford went about where they were projected. Adibi was projected by ESPN.com as a sixth-round pick, and when contacted at his apartment Sunday night, expressed pleasure at having been drafted, but mild disappointment at not going until the fifth round. "I had been talking to a lot of people that said I might go third or fourth round," he said. Adibi didn't expect to get a call from the Steelers, who will try him at outside linebacker. We'll have more from Nathaniel later this week, in the next installment of his rookie diary.
The five selections this year mean that in the last three years, 15 Hokies have been drafted, 12 of whom played significant roles on the 2001 Hokie football team that went 8-4 and lost to Florida State in the Gator Bowl: Andre Davis, Ben Taylor, Kevin McCadam, David Pugh, Bob Slowikowski, Chad Beasley, Jarrett Ferguson, Willie Pile, DeAngelo Hall, Kevin Jones, Jake Grove, and Nathaniel Adibi. One other draftee, Lee Suggs, would have played a big role but sat out the season with a knee injury, and another, Wilford, caught nine passes that season. Derrius Monroe, the last of the 15 draftees, never played a significant role on the field for Tech but was drafted in 2002 on athletic potential.
Other notes of interest: the Miami Hurricanes lit up the draft board again, registering six first-round picks and nine picks overall. Miami has had 28 players drafted in the last three years, including a whopping 15 in the first round.
Around the ACC, the league had 39 players drafted, led by Miami's nine, and followed by four teams with five players taken, including VT.
Boston College, who will join the ACC in 2005, had two players selected.