Eight Hokies Drafted by NFL Squads
By Jimmy Robertson
April 22, 2002

BLACKSBURG - André Davis headlined a huge NFL Draft weekend for Virginia Tech players, going to the Cleveland Browns in the second round, with the 47th overall pick.

Tech players taken in the NFL Draft since 1990

2002 - André Davis, second round (47th overall), Cleveland; Ben Taylor, fourth round (111th overall), Cleveland; Kevin McCadam, fifth round (148th overall), Atlanta; David Pugh, sixth round (182nd overall), Indianapolis; Bob Slowikowski, sixth round (211th overall), Dallas; Chad Beasley, sixth round (218th overall), Minnesota; Derrius Monroe, seventh round (224th overall), New Orleans; Jarrett Ferguson, seventh round (251st overall), Buffalo.

2001 - Michael Vick, first round, Atlanta; Cory Bird, third round, Indianapolis; Matt Lehr, fifth round, Dallas.

2000 - John Engelberger, second round, San Francisco; Ike Charlton, second round, Seattle; Corey Moore, third round, Buffalo; Anthony Midget, fifth round, Atlanta; Shyrone Stith, seventh round, Jacksonville

1999 - Pierson Prioleau, fourth round, San Francisco; Derek Smith, fifth round, Washington

1998 - Todd Washington, fourth round, Tampa Bay; Gennaro DiNapoli, fourth round, Oakland; Ken Oxendine, seventh round, Atlanta; Marcus Parker, seventh round, Cincinnati

1997 - Jim Druckenmiller, first round, San Francisco; Torrian Gray, second round, Minnesota; Antonio Banks, fourth round, Minnesota; Cornell Brown, sixth round, Baltimore

1996 - Bryan Still, second round, San Diego; J.C. Price, third round, Carolina

1995 - Antonio Freeman, third round, Green Bay; Ken Brown, fourth round, Denver

1994 - Tyronne Drakeford, second round, San Francisco; John Burke, fourth round, New England; Jim Pyne, seventh round, Tampa Bay

1992 - Eugene Chung, first round, New England; Will Furrer, fourth round, Chicago; Damien Russell, sixth round, San Francisco; William Boatwright, seventh round, Philadelphia; John Granby, 12th round, Denver

1991 - Al Chamblee, 12th round, Tampa Bay

1990 - Roger Brown, eighth round, Green Bay
Davis' selection marks the ninth consecutive year that a Tech player has been drafted. In all, a record eight Tech players went in the NFL Draft - Davis, Ben Taylor, Kevin McCadam, David Pugh, Chad Beasley, Bob Slowikowski, Derrius Monroe and Jarrett Ferguson. That snaps the previous high of five set in 1992 and 2000.

"I think there's a reason why that senior class was the winningest in school history," Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. "They're great players and they're great people.

"I think Jarrett said it best when he was quoted as saying that people know how hard Virginia Tech players work. That goes back to our players, to Mike Gentry [Tech's assistant AD for athletic performance] and the work he does, and the way our coaches coach these kids. We've got a little bit of a reputation out there and it showed in the draft."

Davis, a first-team All-BIG EAST selection, led Tech in receiving last season with 39 catches for 623 yards (16 yards per catch) and seven touchdowns. Tech's most decorated receiver, the 6-foot-1, 195-pounder owns or shares several school records - including single-season records of receiving yards, yards per catch, touchdown catches and punt return average and the career record of punt returns for touchdowns. He gives Cleveland coach Butch Davis - who knows André Davis well from his days as the Miami head coach - a big-play threat both on offense and defense.

"The more I talk to Cleveland's coaching staff, the more excited I get," Davis said. "I think they plan on using me in the same way that Coach Beamer used me. They want me to challenge for the starting job as a receiver and they plan on using me as a kick returner and a punt returner."

Cleveland selected Taylor in the fourth round with the 111th overall pick, and gives the Browns depth at linebacker and also a standout on special teams. The 6-2, 235-pounder led the Hokies with 121 tackles this past season, including 18 for a loss. He also recorded four and a half sacks, two fumble recoveries and an interception. He finished his career with more than 300 career tackles.

McCadam, Tech's 6-1, 220-pound rover, projects as a safety for the Atlanta Falcons, who took him in the fifth round with the 148th overall pick. McCadam's stock soared during the workouts for the NFL scouts this past spring where he ran in the 4.3-4.4 range. McCadam finished third on the team this past season with 83 tackles, including eight for a loss. He also intercepted three passes.

Pugh, a first-team All-BIG EAST selection, was chosen by the Indianapolis Colts in the sixth round with the 182nd overall pick, giving Indy four Tech players (Waverly Jackson, Shyrone Stith and Cory Bird). Pugh, the Hokies' 6-3, 270-pound starting defensive tackle, finished with 50 tackles, including 14 for a loss this past season and three and a half sacks.

The Dallas Cowboys took Slowikowski in the sixth round with the 211th overall pick. Slowikowski, a 6-5, 255-pound tight end, caught four passes for 98 yards this past season while splitting time with Browning Wynn. Slowikowski, who caught just 12 passes in his career, also figures to help the Cowboys on special teams.

Pugh's sidekick, Beasley, went to the Minnesota Vikings, who drafted him in the seventh round with the 218th overall pick. The 6-5, 303-pound defensive tackle becomes a second generation NFL player, following in the footsteps of his father, who was part of the Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl dynasty. Beasley, a second-team All-BIG EAST selection, recorded 57 tackles, including four for a loss, and two sacks.

Monroe played both defensive tackle and end for the Hokies, but he projects at end for the New Orleans Saints, who chose him in the seventh round with the 224th overall pick. The 6-4, 270-pound Monroe recorded 44 tackles this past season, including three for a loss, and he added a sack.

And finally, Ferguson, the Hokies' fullback and most valuable player, went in the seventh round with the 251st overall pick to the Buffalo Bills. Ferguson, 5-9, 225, caught 25 passes for 256 yards and three touchdowns and he rushed for 156 yards and five touchdowns on 35 carries. More importantly, he paved the way for Kevin Jones and Keith Burnell to combine for 1,664 yards this past season.

Three Tech players so far have signed free-agent contracts with various teams. Wynn inked a deal with Indianapolis, while Larry Austin and Emmett Johnson signed with Houston and Washington, respectively.