Several local players who either played high school or college football in South Florida were picked at the 2016 NFL Draft held in Chicago over this past weekend. There was not a bevy of players with local roots as there had been in previous years.
The first round on Thursday night saw former St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders and Ohio State University defensive end Joey Bosa selected third overall by the San Diego Chargers. He captured two FHSAA Class 7A state titles with STA in 2010 and 2012 along with one national championship with the Buckeyes in 2014. The University of Miami had one player selected as cornerback Artie Burns went to the Pittsburgh Steelers as the 25th overall pick.
The second and third rounds of the NFL Draft on Friday night had just one local player selected. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett was picked in the third round as the 91st overall pick by the New England Patriots. Brissett played high school football with the Dwyer Panthers and helped them capture their first FHSAA state tile in 2009 with the Class 4A crown. He began with the University of Florida for two years then transferred to North Carolina State where he participated in his final two years.
Saturday saw more local talent taken in the final four rounds. University of Miami Hurricanes strong safety Deon Bush was selected in the fourth round and 124th overall by the Chicago Bears. He played for Christopher Columbus and helped them get to a FHSAA Class 8A state semifinal in 2011. An overlooked local player who was also picked in the fourth round was former Blanche Ely Tigers and LSU Tigers defensive back Rashard Robinson by the San Francisco 49ers as the 133rd overall pick.
The fifth round brought another local talent selected as the Seattle Seahawks got running back Alex Collins as the 171st overall pick. Collins played with the South Plantation Paladins then attended the University of Arkansas for three years.
Quarterback Jake Rudock was taken in the sixth round of the NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions as the 191st overall pick. Rudock was at St. Thomas Aquinas where he led the Raiders to two FHSAA state championships and two national high school championships in 2008 and 2010. He went to the University of Iowa for four years with the Hawkeyes and then transferred to the University of Michigan for his final year of college football in 2015.