NFL Draft Day 1 Sees Some Familiar Faces Selected

No players from Oregon St., or anywhere in the area, for that matter, were selected in the first round of the NFL draft Thursday, but there were some familiar faces to Beaver Nation taken.

Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck of course went #1 overall, to the Indianapolis Colts, and the Cardinal also had OG David DeCastro selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers, who had to be very happy to be able to get him as late as the 24th overall pick.

Everyone is well aware that USC is the favorite to win the Pac-12 Southern Division, be a contender to win the conference overall, and even be on the short list of candidates for the BCS Championship this year, and the fact that almost all of their team returns is why. That the Trojans aren't the prohibitive favorite has to do with the fact that a couple of players did not opt for one more year, but its easy to see why.

OT Matt Kalil was the 4th pick overall, and the first lineman taken, by the Minnesota Vikings. And DE Nick Perry found a great new home, when the Green Bay Packers picked him with the 28th pick.

Two more players Oregon St. fans have seen before are also moving on, and will be playing with former Beavers.

Boise St. had a pair of first round picks, with OLB Shea McClellin headed to the Chicago Bears, who took the Bronco defensive standout with the 19th pick. McClellin could wind up at DE in the Chicago 4-3 scheme, alongside Oregon St. alum Stephen Paea.

Paea, by the way, recently received the Brian Piccolo award, given by vote of the teams' players for the rookie (Paea) and veteran who best exemplify the courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and sense of humor of the late Brian Piccolo.

And the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Boise St. RB Doug Martin with the 31st. pick. Martin will join former Oregon St. WR Sammie Stroughter, and of course that guy LeGarrett Blount, the RB from down the road at Oregon.

The draft continues today, and a number of additional Pac-12 players should show up on the selection list, as well as some additional Boise St. players. But its likely that it will be tomorrow in the last rounds, or even later, when free agent invitations to camps are extended, before any action involving recent Beavers is likely. CB Brandon Hardin stands the best chance of hearing his name called, with WR/KR James Rodgers also holding out some hope of getting drafted.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com

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