Dalton leads 5 Frogs taken in NFL Draft

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    The 2011 NFL Draft is now complete, and five former TCU players were selected by NFL teams to continue their football careers at the next level. 

    “It’s a great day to be a Horned Frog,” TCU director of media relations Mark Cohen said. “It’s great for national exposure and it’s great to see these guy’s hard work pay off.”

    Former quarterback Andy Dalton was the first Horned Frog selected on Friday when he had his name called with the 35th overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals.

    On Saturday, offensive lineman Marcus Cannon was chosen by Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots with the seventh pick of the fifth round ( 138th overall). Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley was then chosen with the 22nd pick of the seventh round by the New York Jets. 

    Safety Colin Jones was selected with the 25th pick of the sixth round by the San Francisco 49ers. 49er’s coach Jim Harbaugh was the only NFL head coach present at TCU’s on-campus pro day in March. Lastly, defensive back Malcom Williams was the second Frog taken by New England, as he filled the 16th pick of the seventh round. 

    “Colin and Malcom are both guys who had great pro days,” Cohen said. “That helped them a lot coming into draft day.”

    Andy Dalton was the fifth quarterback taken off the board. Auburn’s Cam Newton (1st overall), Washington’s Jake Locker (eighth overall), Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert (10th overall) and Florida State’s Christian Ponder (12th overall) were all chosen before Dalton. 

    Marcus Cannon was the Pat’s sixth pick of the draft, coming after offensive lineman Nate Solder, defensive back Ras-I Dowling, running back Shane Vereen, running back Stevan Ridley, and quarterback Ryan Mallet. 

    TCU has had at least one offensive lineman chosen in six of the last seven drafts.

    Jeremy Kerley was the fourth pick by the Jets, who selected defensive tackle Muhammad Wilkerson, defensive lineman Kendrick Ellis and running back Bilal Powell before taking the former TCU receiver. 

    The Hutto, Tex. native was one of just two players in the nation to rank in the top 20 in punt returns yards (12.9) and kickoff return yards (27.7) last season. 

    Kerley joins LaDainian Tomlinson and Drew Coleman as former Horned Frogs on the Jets roster. 

    Jones and Williams may have been the surprises for TCU, and center Jake Kirkpatrick and cornerback Jason Teague were disappointments. Both, however, will likely join NFL teams as free agents once the lockout ends and teams can begin free agent signings.

    “Guys like Jake, Jason, Wayne [Daniels], and Bart [Johnson] are unlucky in that they can’t have any contact with NFL teams until the lockout is over,” Cohen said. “For now they will be working out, waiting for that call. There isn’t much they can do.”

    With these five players drafted, 29 TCU players have been drafted in Patterson’s 10 years at TCU. Five Horned Frogs were drafted for the second time in three seasons.