2 Cougars drafted; 4 sign free agent contracts

Two BYU football players were drafted in the late rounds of the NFL draft yesterday by the Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots.

Dustin Rykert, a 6-foot-7, 315-pound offensive lineman, was drafted by Oakland with the 31st pick in the sixth round of the 2003 NFL Draft.

Spencer Nead, a 6-foot-5, 260-pound tight, was selected in the seventh round by the New England Patriots.

Four other BYU players signed free-agent contracts and are scheduled to participate in mini-camps this week with their new teams.

BYU's free agent commitments:

* Receiver Reno Mahe signed a free-agent deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.

* Offensive lineman Isaac Herring will join Rykert in Oakland, after inking with the Raiders.

* Tight end Gabriel Reid signed with the New York Jets.

* Offensive lineman Ben Archibald signed with the San Francisco 49ers.

This year's draft marks the third straight a BYU tight end has been selected in the seven-round process.

Meanwhile, Rykert is the first BYU offensive lineman to be drafted since Matt Johnson was selected in the fifth round by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2001 draft.

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