More Tigers Taken on Day 2 of NFL Draft

A report on day two of the National Football League Draft and a free agent signing are featured.

Auburn, Ala.--Two more Auburn defensive players were selected in the National Football League Draft with defensive tackle Pat Sims going in the third round on Sunday and Jonathan Wilhite being drafted in the fourth round.

The first offensive Tiger drafted came in round seven on Sunday when King Dunlap was picked by the Philadelphia Eagles. The backup Tiger offensive tackle was the 230th player taken.

King Dunlap (77) leads the way for running back Ben Tate.

Also on Sunday, undrafted Auburn senior tight end Cole Bennett didn't have to wait long to get picked up a team as a free agent. Inside the Auburn Tigers was told that Bennett will get a shot to make it in the NFL with the Texans.

Sims, who entered the 2008 NFL Draft following his junior season at Auburn, was taken as the 77th pick by the Cincinnati Bengals while senior cornerback Wilhite was selected by the New England Patriots as the 129th player overall.

Day one draft picks from Auburn included defensive end Quentin Groves in the second round (52nd overall) and cornerback Pat Lee in the second round (77th overall) to Green Bay.

With the additions on day two, Auburn has had at least four players drafted for five consecutive seasons. Auburn has had three or more players drafted in eight of the last nine seasons.

The last year Auburn had four defensive players drafted was 1989 when defensive linemen Tracy Rocker, Ron Stallworth, Benji Roland and Brian Smith were selected along with safety Carlo Cheattom.

Pat Sims had by far his best season this past fall.

Last year the Bengals drafted running back Kenny Irons from Auburn and now add Sims to the roster. The defensive tackle played briefly for the Tigers in 2004, but was granted a redshirt year. The former Dillard High star from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., quit the team and missed the 2005 season.

He requested a second chance for the 2006 campaign, which Coach Tommy Tuberville agreed to, and played in 13 games as a reserve. He finished the year with 16 tackles, including three sacks and he forced two fumbles.

Last fall he broke into the starting lineup and stayed there for all 13 games. He finished the season with 37 tackles, including 11.5 for lost yardage with for 4.5 of them being QB sacks.

A third team All-SEC selection, he forced two fumbles last season and recovered one.

Jonathan Wilhite was a key player for the Tigers for three seasons.

Wilhite is the first Tiger drafted by the Patriots since that team took defensive lineman Ben Thomas in 1985.

Wilhite played one season of junior college football at Butler County Community College in Kansas before transferring to Auburn. Wilhite started 22 games for the Tigers. He was in on 101 tackles in three seasons and intercepted three passes.

Wilhite played in 34 games for the Tigers despite battling through injuries that limited his playing time. One of the top all-around athletes on the team, he was a second team preseason All-SEC team going into his senior year. Wilhite finished with 22 solo tackles with eight assists as a senior.

Dunlap, 6-9, 312 pounds out of Brentwood Academy in Tennessee, had 20 career starts at tackle for the Tigers, but finished his career as a backup. A preseason second team All-SEC pick as a senior, he started 16 consecutive games prior to ending it in the New Mexico State game as a senior.

Dunlap was named SEC Lineman of the Week for his play vs. Tulane as a junior. He saw action for four seasons following a redshirt season in 2004.

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