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UAB OT Matt McCants says goodbye Birmingham, hello New York Giants
The NFL draft took place this weekend in New York as juniors and seniors from across the nation sat in hopes to be drafted and live out their big league dreams. Fans nationwide waited in anticipation for their favorite college players’ names to be called, or for their favorite team to have the perfect pick.
For UAB’s Matt McCants that big league dream just became a reality, as he was drafted in the 6th round by the NY Giants.
McCants still has to make it through training camp, but the 6’6 300-pound offensive tackle has the right tools to start at the next level.
McCants was a major reason why the Blazers surrendered just 1.5 sacks per game this season. Over the past two years, McCants and his offensive linemates yielded just 30 sacks in 24 games. McCants was also on the watch list for this season’s Rotary Lombardi Award.
A few other Blazers were hopeful but didn’t hear their names called, but they can still be picked up in the free agency market. Plenty of talented players have gone undrafted before, such as Dallas Cowboy quarterback Tony Romo.
Alabama had a big day, with four players drafted in the first round, another in the second and two more getting picked up in the fifth, and the eighth and final Crimson Tide player being picked in the seventh round.
Trent Richardson, Heisman finalist, was taken with the third overall pick with three defensive men: Mark Barron, Dre Kirkpatrick, and Dont’a Hightower were picked 7, 17, and 25 respectively.
Auburn saw the same fate as UAB with only player, OT Brandon Mosely, getting picked up. He managed to be snagged off the board in the fourth round and will be joining McCants in NY to play for the defending champions.
Jonathan Massaquoi was drafted in the fifth round by the Atlanta Falcons. Massaquoi was the lone Troy Trojan drafted.
That totals to eleven players drafted from schools inside Alabama, reiterating its football prowess. Who of those 11 will make a name for themselves in the pros is yet to be seen, but other seniors who were not drafted will look to help teams fill out their training camp rosters this summer.
In addition to his contribution to the Blazers’ low number of sacks per game this season, McCants was also on the watch list for this season’s Rotary Lombardi Award.