The 2013 NFL Draft was held last week and over the weekend in New York City. Rutgers presence in the NFL increased once again as a school record seven Scarlet Knights were selected in the seven round draft.
For the second straight year, a Scarlet Knight was selected with the 83rd overall pick. Mohamed Sanu was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals with that pick last year. This year, the New England Patriots selected junior cornerback Logan Ryan in the third round, 83rd overall. Ryan joins former teammates Devin McCourty and Justin Francis in New England.
The Patriots continued their Rutgers connection with another third round pick, 91st overall, by selecting free safety Duron Harmon. The senior was a two-time All-Big East First Team selection but was somewhat unnoticed by many due to some of his defensive teammates like Ryan and Khaseem Greene.
Speaking of Greene, many fans and scouts expected Greene to be the first Scarlet Knight selected in this years draft. However, the outside linebacker was not drafted until the Chicago Bears selected him in the fourth round, 117th overall. Greene was a two-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year, an All-American, and the most decorated defensive player in Rutgers history.
After Greene, no Scarlet Knight was selected until the seventh and final round. In the seventh round, four former Rutgers players were picked by four different teams. Tight End, D.C. Jefferson was selected by the Arizona Cardinals with the 219th overall pick. Jawan Jamison, who left school early to chase his NFL dreams and support his mother who is suffering from cancer, was selected 228th overall by the Washington Redskins.
With the 235th overall pick, once again the New England Patriots selected a former Scarlet Knight. This time, the pick was middle linebacker Steve Beauharnais.
The final Scarlet Knight to be selected in this years NFL Draft was cornerback Marcus Cooper, selected by the San Francisco 49ers with the 252nd overall pick. Cooper joins former Rutgers star offensive lineman Anthony Davis in San Francisco.
Once the draft is over, teams scan the list of eligible players and typically make a handful of undrafted free agent signings. As in years past, some Rutgers players have been signed to such contracts and this year is no different. Offensive lineman R.J. Dill transferred to Rutgers and played one season for the Scarlet Knights after graduating from Maryland. Dill has signed a contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Wide receiver Mark Harrison joins Greene after signing with the Chicago Bears and fellow wide out Tim Wright signed with former coach Greg Schiano and the Tampa Bay Bucs.
There are also some reports that say Mason Robinson has been given the opportunity to try out in Tampa Bay. It’s possible you will hear some other names of former Rutgers players being given try out opportunities.
Draft Note: Florida State had the most players selected in this years NFL Draft (11). Rutgers was tied for sixth nationally with South Carolina for number of players drafted this year. The seven players drafted from Rutgers was easily the most of any Big East or Big Ten school.