The NCAA-best streak of six straight seasons with a player chosen in the first round of the NFL Draft ended on Thursday for LSU. Nonetheless, by the time the final pick was handed down on Saturday afternoon six Tigers had been selected, the fifth highest total among all schools in the nation.
During Friday’s third round, Chad Jones was picked by the New York Giants with the 76th overall selection, while LaFell was taken two picks later at No. 78 overall to the Carolina Panthers.
The next string of LSU selections came during Saturday’s fourth round, seeing Perry Riley taken by the Washington Redskins with the fifth pick and Al Woods taken by the New Orleans Saints with 25th selection.
Riley, who lined up on both the weak and strong sides during his four years at LSU, will now be tasked with learning middle linebacker, the spot multiple teams, including the Redskins, interviewed the 6-foot, 283-pounder for prior to the draft.
“It’s going to be a transition, but I don’t think it’ll be too hard,” Riley told reporters in a conference call shortly after the Redskins selected him. “Linebacker is linebacker. You get in there--see ball, hit ball. Find the running back and tackle him. Blitz and beat the offensive guard. It’ll be a little different, but I’ll adjust to it.”
Woods, the first LSU player selected by the Saints since 2004, will move on to professional ball not far from his childhood home in Elton, La. After leaving high school rated amongst the nation’s top defensive tackles, a four-year career with the Tigers resulted in just 73 tackles and 16 starts. Thanks to strong pre-draft workouts, Woods’ stock took rise once more.
“We liked him and were getting concerned that he wasn't going to be there when we picked,” said Mickey Loomis, the Saints' Executive Vice President/General Manager, in a press release. “We think he has the chance to come in here and compete and add depth to our defensive line. He has good athletic ability and we think that this opportunity he has is something he takes seriously.”
Speedster Trindon Holliday, whose 5-foot-5, 160-pound frame tagged him as a late-round gamble in most draft circles, was the next name off the board. Drafted by the Houston Texans with the 28th pick in the sixth round, Holliday’s gamebreaking abilities – and a 4.34 at February’s NFL Combine – remain the talk behind the selection.
“I think we got a returner that can change the field for us,” said Texans coach Gary Kubiak on the team’s website. “We think he can do wonders for our football team.”
Holliday finished his LSU career ranked second in kickoff return yards with 1,806.
The final Tiger to be taken, Charles Scott, was selected three picks later at No. 31 to the Philadelphia Eagles. After a junior season in 2008 where he carried the ball 217 times for 1,174 yards and 18 touchdowns, a broken collarbone cut Scott’s senior campaign short. The consequences, come draft day, were evident.
“I kind of fell off the grid, and people didn't see me, and it's out of sight, out of mind,” said Scott, taken with the 200th overall pick.
Rahim Alem, Charles Alexander, Ciron Black, Harry Coleman, Chris Hawkins and Richard Dickson all went undrafted.