By CODY WORSHAM
Tiger Rag Editor
LSU’s pipeline to the pros continued in 2016, as five Tigers were taken in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Deion Jones was the first ex-LSU player selected, going in the second round with the No. 52 overall selection to the Atlanta Falcons. Jones was a Butkus Award finalist in 2015 as a senior, leading LSU in tackles in his first year as a starter.
“He adds speed,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. “He adds tenacity to our defense. You see the theme that we’re going for here. Obviously that’s what Dan Quinn is about. That’s what this defense is about. Ability to cover, that’s going to be an important part of it; ability to have range. He scrapes very well. He has a really nice feel to scrape inside and step up and make plays. So all in all, we just think he’s just another versatile, well-rounded defensive player.”
Two Tigers went in the fourth round, led by tackle Jerald Hawkins, the 123rd overall pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Former Tiger Rashard Robinson, who missed the 2015 season after being dismissed from the team in the offseason, went to San Francisco with the No. 133 pick. Hawkins was LSU’s lone early entrant into this year’s draft from the 2015 roster.
Jalen Mills (No. 233, Philadelphia) and Vadal Alexander (No. 234, Oakland) went with consecutive picks in the seventh round to cap off LSU’s selections.
Round, Pick, Player, Position, NFL Team
2, 52, Deion Jones, LB, Atlanta
4, 123, Jerald Hawkins, OT, Pittsburgh
4, 133, Rashard Robinson, CB, San Francisco
7, 233, Jalen Mills, FS, Philadelphia
7, 234, Vadal Alexander, OG, Oakland [/table]