Falcons take Lavalais in fifth round

The Georgia Dome has provided friendly confines to LSU defensive tackle Chad Lavalais over the last four years. He's been a part of Tiger teams that won the 2000 Peach Bowl and the 2001 and 2003 SEC Championship at the Atlanta venue.<br><br>His next appearance there will be as a member of the Atlanta Falcons, who picked him in the fifth round of the 2004 NFL Draft.

Lavalais became the fifth LSU player selected in the draft as the 142nd player taken overall. He joins former Tiger center Todd McClure as a member of the Falcons.

The route Lavalais took to LSU is as eventful as his productive career with the Tigers. It took him three chances to gain his eligibility, and he spent time between high school and college working as a prison guard in his hometown of Marksville.

Once part of the LSU program, Lavalais made immediate contributions. He finished his four-year career with 202 tackles (128 solos) with 12 sacks for minus-77 yards, 32 1/2 tackles for losses of 152 yards, 50 quarterback pressures, a fumble recovery, 10 pass deflections, an interception and a blocked kick.

Lavalais joins a string of former LSU players who started their pro careers with Atlanta.

Along with McClure, a seventh-round choice in 1999, other Tigers drafted in past years by the Falcons were offensive tackle Ralph Norwood (second round, 1989), linebacker Rydell Malancon (fourth round, 1984), defensive back James Britt (second round, 1983), linebacker Lyman White (second round, 1981) and running back Brad Davis (ninth round, 1975).

Tiger Blitz Top Stories