Four Cal Players Picked in NFL Draft
BERKELEY, Calif. - Four Cal football players were selected in the NFL Draft this past weekend, and for the fifth consecutive year, a Golden Bear offensive lineman was drafted by an NFL team.
Center Jeremy Newberry was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the second round, the 58th player picked in the draft and the first offensive lineman chosen from the Pac-10 Conference.
He was the only Cal player picked on the first day of the draft Saturday. However, three other players got calls on Sunday as Brandon Whiting was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles, where he'll join former Cal defensive lineman Rhett Hall. Whiting was the 112th player picked in the draft.
"The fourth round is about what I expected," said Whiting. "I was hoping to stay a little closer to home, but you really have no choice in these matters. Philly is fine."
Whitings agent Mike Sullivan believes his player has a good opportunity with the Eagles. "Like most teams, they liked his quickness and athleticism, his ability to pass rush from the inside tackle position" said Sullivan.
In the fifth round, the Seattle Seahawks chose wide receiver Bobby Shaw as the 169th player drafted. Shaw said he was relieved to finally be picked, but said he was pleased to be given an opportunity by Seattle.
"I was actually around a lot longer than I thought I'd be, especially considering the wide receivers who were drafted ahead of me," said Shaw. "But in the end, it doesn't matter. Seattle is a great situation for me."
Running back Tarik Smith went to the Dallas Cowboys in the seventh round as the No. 223 selection. He, likewise, was pleased with the pick. "I haven't seen my parents this happy since I got my scholarship to Berkeley," said Smith. "I knew I was going to get drafted, the fact that it was the Cowboys makes it that much sweeter. They're a quality franchise and they're Super Bowl contenders. I'm just thrilled to be in this situation."
Cal wide receiver Kofi Nartey signed a free agent contract with the Oakland Raiders, while defensive back Kato Serwanga is also fielding various free agent offers from NFL teams.
Recent Cal NFL Draft History
1998 Draft 4 selected (Jeremy Newberry, 2nd round; Brandon Whiting, 4th; Bobby Shaw, 5th; Tarik Smith, 4th)
1997 Draft 3 selected (Tony Gonzalez, 1st; Tarik Glenn, 1st; Pat Barnes, 4th)
1996 Draft 5 selected (Regan Upshaw, 1st; Duane Clemons, 1st; Je'Rod Cherry, 2nd; Iheanyi Uwaezuoke, 5th; Ben Lynch, 7th)
1995 Draft 3 selected (Dave Barr, 4th; Jerrott Willard, 5th; Brian Thure, 6th)
1994 Draft 5 selected (Todd Steussie, 1st; Eric Mahlum, 2nd; Doug Brien, 3rd; Eric Zomalt, 3rd; Issac Booth, 5th)
1993 Draft 3 selected (Sean Dawkins, 1st; Russell White, 3rd; Chidi Ahanotu, 6th)