Blalock, Crowder Selected in Second Round

Justin Blalock was the third Longhorn selected, and 39th pick overall, in the 2007 NFL Draft when the Atlanta Falcons chose the consensus First-Team All-American in the Second Round Saturday. In addition, Tim Crowder was the Second Round pick of the Denver Broncos.

It has been 25 years since Texas had as many as four players selected during the first two Rounds of the NFL Draft. FS/SS Michael Griffin (Tennessee Titans) and CB Aaron Ross (New York Giants) were selected in the opening round.

A four-year starter at RT, Blalock was projected as late-First Round or an early-Second Round selection in most mock Drafts. Blalock finished his career at RG following Cedric Dockery's season-ending injury against Oklahoma and is expected to be an interior lineman in the NFL. It marked the fifth time in seven years that Longhorn offensive lineman has drafted.

Pro scouts are particularly impressed with Blalock's durability, lateral movements and ability to drive-block. But there were also reports that some scouts believed Blalock might be slightly undersized (at 6-3); others said he should have been more dominant during his collegiate career. Yet, Blalock did not give up a sack during his final two seasons. The 2006 Outland Trophy finalist (honoring the nation's top interior lineman) posted a school-record 51 consecutive starts (the longest current Division-I streak).

Crowder was projected as a mid-Second Rounder and was the 56th player selected Saturday. Among Texas' defensive linemen, only DT Marcus Tubbs (2003 First Round) and DT Casey Hampton (2001 First Round) have been picked higher on NFL Draft Day than Crowder during head coach Mack Brown's tenure.

Crowder (6-4, 270) was the first member of the 2003 signing class to start for Texas and logged 47 straight starts in his career. The second-team All-American led the Horns in TFLs (19 - 80 yards) and was Texas' sack-leader (10.5) in 2006. The First-Team All-Big 12 honoree was also the leading tackler (59 stops) as a Texas defensive lineman, and No. 6 overall, during his senior year.

Texas is the only program to have had at least one player selected in each of the past 70 Drafts.

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