Northwestern’s Drake Dunsmore, Jeremy Ebert picked in NFL draft
BY TINA AKOURIS firstname.lastname@example.org April 28, 2012 9:44PM
Updated: May 30, 2012 8:34AM
Northwestern tight end Drake Dunsmore and wide receiver Jeremy Ebert were selected in the seventh (and final) round of the NFL draft Saturday.
Dunsmore, the 233rd pick overall, was chosen by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Ebert, the 235th pick overall, by the New England Patriots.
The 6-3, 245-pound
Dunsmore was the only Wildcats player invited to the NFL combine after making 45 catches for 522 yards and six touchdowns last season.
NU coach Pat Fitzgerald said Dunsmore will be in an interesting situation with the Bucs because they have a new coach in Greg Schiano. Fitzgerald said he thinks Dunsmore has a chance to make an impact and can be valuable on special teams, where he played early in his NU career.
The 6-0, 195-pound Ebert
has drawn comparisons to Patriots receiver Wes Welker. But Ebert might have a difficult time making the final cut because the Patriots already have seven
receivers — Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Deion Branch, Chad Ochocinco, Donte Stallworth, Anthony Gonzalez and Tiquan Underwood — on their roster.
‘‘Jeremy’s skill set is that he can run every route, and he is tough and physical,’’ Fitzgerald said. ‘‘He can return kicks, but he hasn’t done that for us.’’
Ebert became the first NU receiver since D’Wayne Bates in 1998 to have more than 1,000 yards receiving in a season, finishing 2011 with 1,060. Ebert ranks third on the Wildcats’ all-time list for receiving yardage with 2,400.
NIU’s Harnish last taken
The Indianapolis Colts chose Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish with the 253rd and final pick of the draft. He didn’t just get the title of Mr. Irrelevant, though; he got a chance to play for his favorite NFL team and potentially be a backup for Andrew Luck.
‘‘I’m happy to be wanted by a team, and I’m happy to be an Indianapolis Colt because that’s been my favorite team all the way through,’’ said Harnish, a native of Indiana.
For the Colts and the NFL, it was a first.
The Colts opened the draft by taking Luck and ended it by taking Harnish. It was the first time since 1967 — and only the third time in league history — a non-expansion team had the first and last picks in the draft.
ND’s Fleming a 49er
Notre Dame linebacker Darius Fleming, a St. Rita graduate, was taken by the San Francisco 49ers in the fifth round. The 49ers have perhaps the NFL’s best linebacker corps — with Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman and Aldon Smith, among others — so Fleming likely will land on special teams if he hopes to make the final roster.