Three more Huskers were taken on the
final day of the 2012 NFL Draft on Saturday. Defensive tackle Jared Crick was
selected by the Houston Texans with the 126th overall pick in the fourth round,
cornerback Alfonzo Dennard was the 224th pick of the seventh round and went to
the New England Patriots, while offensive tackle Marcel Jones was selected by
the New Orleans Saints with the 234th pick of the seventh round. Nebraska had
at least three draft picks for the 43rd straight year.
Crick was the first Husker taken on Saturday and joined teammate Lavonte David who was picked by Tampa Bay in the second round on Friday. Crick's selection marks the 15th Nebraska defensive lineman who has been drafted since 1998.
The 6-6, 285-pound Crick had one of the most productive
careers in Nebraska history before an injury prematurely ended his career last
Crick was a two-time All-Big 12 pick in 2009 and 2010 and finished his career with 167 career tackles, 35 tackles for loss and 20 sacks. Crick finished in the top 10 on Nebraska's career sacks list and just outside the top 10 in tackles for loss. His overall tackle total ranked among the top 10 among interior defensive lineman.
Crick registered 9.5 sacks in both 2009 and 2010, including a Nebraska record five sacks and seven tackles for loss against Baylor in 2009. In addition to his on-field success, Crick was one of 11 FBS Division players named to the 2011 Allstate Good Works Team.
Dennard was the third Husker defender taken in the 2012 Draft, with the New England Patriots selecting Dennard with the 224th overall pick in the seventh round.
Dennard continues a long line of Nebraska defensive back success in the NFL Draft. The Huskers have had at least one defensive back selected in 16 of the past 20 drafts, and Dennard is the 11th Nebraska defensive back taken in the draft since 2000.
The 5-10, 205-pound Dennard has been a contributor for the Blackshirts the past four seasons, including being a key member of one of the nation's top pass defenses each of the past three seasons. As a senior, Dennard was named the Tatum-Woodson Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year. In 2011, Dennard had 31 tackles and six pass breakups.
Dennard was a second-team All-Big 12 choice in 2010, when he made 30 tackles, broke up seven passes and had four interceptions, helping Nebraska feature one of the nation's top defenses. He broke into the starting lineup in 2009 and had eight pass breakups to help the Huskers lead the nation in pass efficiency defense.
Jones was the fourth and final Husker selected in the draft, going 234th overall in the seventh round to the New Orleans Saints. Jones battled a number of injuries throughout his Husker career. He was once again slowed at the start of the 2011 season, but he went on to start the final eight games of the season at right tackle, and he helped Nebraska rank among the nation's top rushing teams.
Jones and the Nebraska offensive line have helped pave the way for All-Big Ten running back Rex Burkhead, who rushed for 1,357 yards on the ground. Jones was honored for his work on the line, receiving honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors from both the conference media and coaches. Jones made 21 career starts in his Nebraska career and he played in 40 career games.
Nebraska NFL Draft Notes
- This marks the third straight year Nebraska has had at least three defensive players drafted.
- Nebraska has had a defensive player taken in the first 3 rounds of the draft in 23 of last 28 years.
- Alfonzo Dennard is the 11th Nebraska defensive back drafted since 2000.
- Nebraska has had at least three players selected in the NFL Draft for 43 straight years (four this season).
- NU has had 34 (including David, Crick, Dennard) defensive players drafted since 2000.