Darling is a Raven

WASHINGTON STATE wide receiver <b>Devard Darling</b> became the first Cougar selected in the 2004 NFL draft when the Baltimore Ravens selected him in the third round today. He was pick No. 82 overall on the first day of the two day draft.

Darling opted to forgo his senior season at WSU following two productive campaigns that saw the Cougs go 20-5 and the Houston, Texas native catch 104 passes for 1,630 yards. He earned All Pac-10 honorable mention both seasons.
His 18 touchdown catches are tied for second on WSU's career list with Deron Pointer (1991-93) and Nian Taylor (1996-99). (Hugh Campbell set the record of 22 from 1960-62.)

He tied the Cougar record for most touchdowns in a season (11) in 2002. Darling shares the record with Chris Jackson (1997) and Kevin McKenzie (1997). He scored one rushing TD that same year.

Darling transferred to WSU from Florida State following the death of his twin brother, Devaughn.

Although Darling was the lone Coug chosen on day one of the draft, several of his WSU teammates are likely to be selected on Sunday when rounds four through seven are held.

Erik Coleman, the 2003 Pac-10 interception leader and honorable mention All-American, is widely considered the No. 13 best prospect at free safety, which could see him go anywhere from the fourth round on down. He had an outstanding NFL combine performance in February.

Defensive tackles Tai Tupai and Jeremey Williams are variously rated among the top 45 DTs available, which would likely earmark them to be drafted in the low rounds.

Strong safety Virgil Williams also had a strong NFL combine and could sneak into the seventh round. The same goes for first-team All-Pac-10 cornerback Jason David, as well as D.D. Acholonu and Isaac Brown, the swift defensive ends forecast as an outside linebackers.

The likely group of Cougar free agents include quarterback Matt Kegel, kicker Drew Dunning, offensive tackle Josh Parrish, receiver/returner Sammy Moore, linebacker Don Jackson and running back Jonathan Smith.

Check back later this weekend on CF.C for further coverage of Cougs in the NFL draft.

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