Six Huskers Taken On Day 3 Of Draft

For the 42nd straight year, Nebraska has had at least three players selected in the NFL Draft, with a total of seven players selected, including six off the board on Saturday.

Lincoln, NE – Washington Redskins bumper stickers, yard flags, t-shirts, and hats are sold out in Lincoln tonight, this after day three of the 2011 NFL Draft, where Mike Shanahan and crew drafted three Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Running back Roy Helu, safety Dejon Gomes, and wide receiver Niles Paul were all drafted by Washington, joining other day three draft picks from Nebraska: Alex Henery (Eagles), Keith Williams (Steelers), Eric Hagg (Browns).

"I'm ready to go and compete," Helu told reporters in a conference call after the draft when asked about the other running backs at Washington. "I respect them as players and I'm really looking forward to earning their respect on the field and their respect as veterans."

Gomes, 6-foot and 200 pounds could see immediately playing time, getting a chance to work at both cornerback and safety in the Redskins' system.

"[Redskins coaches] said I'm going to work similar to what I did at Nebraska, playing that nickel and dime spot," Gomes said. "I'll be playing a little free [safety], just to show my versatility."

Paul, who was a three-year starter for the Huskers, will have stiff competition right off the bat in Washington, as the Redskins elected to take three receivers in the draft.

"I'm a physical receiver who is not afraid to do the dirty work and block when I have to," Paul said after being drafted. "I can make plays...I do think I was one of the better receivers in the draft, it's just that from a production standpoint, I didn't have the numbers."

Henery, who is the NCAA's all-time most accurate kicker, didn't have to wait long on Saturday to hear his name called, going 23rd in the 4th round and 120th overall. Immediately it signaled the end of David Akers career in Philly. Kickers are not drafted unless thought to be an immediate starter.

"He's a very good kicker," Henery told Philadelphia Eagles.com in referring to Akers. "(I'm) not coming into to replace him, (I'm) coming in to do my job this upcoming year is really how I look at it. It's not, ‘Go in and replace someone.' This is the way it was once I was at Nebraska. There have been some good kickers. I wasn't trying to go in and be like them. I was going in to be myself and help the team anyway I could this year."

Williams, who started the last three seasons in Lincoln, will provide depth to the Pittsburgh Steelers line, which was viewed as a troublesome area last year.

"It's great, it's real great. I'm very, very, very happy and fortunate. It's been very amazing," said Williams in a conference call. "When I was visiting the Steelers I was very happy. The Steelers like to run the ball a lot and I was really happy about that. Being drafted by the Steelers is a really great thing."

Williams wasn't the only person happy he was heading to Pittsburgh.

"We had Keith in the building. We brought him up here because we wanted to get an even closer look at him. We liked what we saw on film," said Steelers offensive line coach Sean Kugler. "We wanted to get him on the board to see how he handles learning things and he was excellent. He is a smart kid, and I think he's going to be a quality guard for us. That is what we view him as is a guard."

One of the most versatile defenders in the country, Hagg was a fixture for the Blackshirt defense the past three seasons. He started 34 games in a nickel back role and his versatility was key in the success of the Nebraska defense.

As a senior, Hagg was a third-team All-American by the Associated Press and was a first-team All-Big 12 honoree. He made 49 tackles in his senior season, including three tackles for loss, and led the team with five interceptions. For his career, Hagg totaled 130 tackles, including 15 tackles for loss, and had 15 pass breakups.

2011 Nebraska NFL Draft Selections
1st Round--Prince Amukamara, CB, New York Giants (19th selection)
4th Round--Roy Helu Jr., RB, Washington Redskins (105th overall selection)
4th Round--Alex Henery, PK, Philadelphia Eagles (120th overall selection)
5th Round--Dejon Gomes, S, Washington Redskins (146th overall selection)
5th Round--Niles Paul, WR, Washington Redskins (155th overall selection)
6th Round--Keith Williams, OG, Pittsburgh Steelers (196th overall selection)
7th Round--Eric Hagg, S, Cleveland Browns (248th overall selection)

Other Nebraska Draft Notes
--The selection of three defensive backs (Amukamara, Gomes, Hagg) in this year's NFL Draft continues an impressive run of success at that position. Since 2000, Nebraska has had 10 defensive backs chosen in the NFL Draft, including 2011 first-round pick Prince Amukamara.

--Nebraska has had 31 defensive players selected in the National Football League Draft since 2000

*** Parts of this report came from the Nebraska Media Relations Department ***


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