NFL Draft 2011: Andy Dalton and the Top Prospects From The Houston Area
The Super Bowl is over. So now what? Let’s look forward to next year! We are now two-and-a-half months away from draft day. The state of Texas is often referred to as the hotbed of football. Many towns across the state are shut down on Friday nights once the high school stadium lights turn on. It’s a passion unsurpassed by any other place.
Let’s take a look at the best of this year’s draft out of the great area of Houston.
Stats and rankings taken from CBSSports.com.
1) Brandon Burton, Utah
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Pos. Rank: 8
Hometown/HS: Houston, Texas/ Clear Creek HS
Brandon Burton was redshirted his freshman season and primarily played on special teams in 2009. In 2010, he had a stellar season. In 13 games, he notched 47 total tackles (35 solo) and nabbed two interceptions. He was also part of the Utes’ Poinsettia Bowl victory over California.
2) Andy Dalton, TCU
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Pos Rank: 7
Hometown/HS: Katy, Texas/ Katy HS
Andy Dalton had a fantastic season this past year, throwing for 66 percent, 2,857 yards, 27 TDs and only 6 INTs, while leading the Horned Frogs to an unbeaten 13-0 record.
Not only did Dalton have a great year, he had a great career in Fort Worth. He threw for 10,314 yards, 71 TDs and 30 INTs (11 were in his freshman season). He played in a bowl game in each of his four years, going 3-1.
Dalton was also named Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Year in 2009 and 2010.
3) Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon State
Pos Rank: 8
Hometown/HS: Richmond, Texas/ Lamar Consolidated
Jacquizz Rodgers, who started each of his three seasons, had a tremendous career in which he ran for 3,875 yards and 46 touchdowns. His best season came in 2009, when he ran for 1,440 yards and 21 touchdowns, earning a selection as a first-team All-Pac-10. This followed a freshman season in which he earned Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year.
4) Terrence Toliver, LSU
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Pos Rank: 11
Hometown/HS: Hempstead, Texas/ Hempstead HS
Terrence Toliver spent all four college seasons with LSU, earning 31 starts (53 games), 126 catches for 1,820 yards and 12 touchdowns.
In the 2011 Cotton Bowl, Toliver shined brightest, catching five passes for 112 yards and three touchdowns, earning him Cotton Bowl Offensive MVP. He also earned a spot on the 2007 Freshman All-SEC Team.
5) Chykie Brown, Texas
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Pos Rank: 20
Hometown/HS: Houston, Texas/ North Shore HS
In 29 starts for the Longhorns (47 games), he made 106 tackles (71 solo), two interceptions, 24 PBU (passes broken up), four sacks and two forced fumbles.
Scouts consider Brown as “an athletic, physical corner with great tools with which NFL coaches can work.”
6) James Cleveland, Houston
Pos Rank: 34
Hometown/HS: Baytown, Texas/ Lee HS
After a down freshman year at Iowa, James Cleveland came back two seasons later for his hometown Cougars and put up some nice numbers. In those three seasons, Cleveland caught 197 passes for 2,478 yards and 20 touchdowns.
In 2009, he was named to the first-team All-Conference USA and was the C-USA Newcomer of the Year.
7) Loyce Means, Houston
Pos Rank: 27
Hometown/HS: Houston, Texas/ Madison HS
In four seasons with the Cougars, Loyce Means put together a solid resume. He made 85 tackles (53 solo), a forced fumble and eight interceptions, two of which got taken for touchdowns.
8) Jerrod Johnson, Texas A&M
Pos Rank: 17
Hometown/HS: Humble, Texas/ Humble HS
Jerrod Johnson came to Texas A&M as a Top 100 recruit. He fared pretty well in his three years as a starter. Johnson threw for 8,011 yards, 67 touchdowns and 27 interceptions.
Johnson was also named to the 2009 second-team All-Big 12 team.
9) Cory Grant, TCU
Pos Rank: 28
Hometown/HS: Houston, Texas/ Alief Elsik HS
In 2009, Cory Grant was named to the second-team All-Mountain West Conference this season, his first as a starter. In his four years at TCU, he made 58 tackles (35 solo) and four sacks. His large 6’2”, 305-pound frame could be a nice addition to a team’s front line.
10) Cheta Ozougwu, Rice
Pos Rank: 30
Hometown/HS: Houston, Texas/ Alief Taylor
Cheta Ozougwu spent all four years at Rice. He finished with 197 tackles (120 solo), 11 sacks and four forced fumbles.
Ozougwu was named to the All-Conference USA first-team in 2010, which is selected by the head coached of the 12 teams in the conference.
It should also be noted that he’s an active member and role model in the community. He serves as a mentor and youth coach, along with participating in numerous volunteer works.
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