Defense ruling among FCS draft picks
(STATS) - North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz may have been the second pick of the 2016 NFL draft, but as the saying goes - defense wins championships.
On Saturday - the third and final day of the draft - NFL teams continued to look to defenses across the FCS to build their futures. The breakdown among 20 selections from FCS schools was 13 defensive players, six offensive players and one special teamer.
In a strong season for defensive backs, the first three FCS selections in the fourth round were North Carolina Central cornerback Ryan Smith (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 108th overall selection), Southern Utah strong safety Miles Killebrew (Detroit Lions, 111) and Northern Iowa free safety Deiondre' Hall (Chicago Bears, 127).
That meant the next six FCS selections after Wentz went to the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night were defensive players. Friday night's picks were Eastern Kentucky defensive end/outside linebacker Noah Spence (Tampa Bay, 39) and Samford cornerback James Bradberry (Carolina Panthers, 62) in the second round and South Carolina State defensive tackle Javon Hargrave (Pittsburgh Steelers, 89) in the third round.
Also in the fourth round, the Cleveland Browns selected Princeton wide receiver-turned-tight end Seth Devalve (138).
Joe Haeg, Wentz's left tackle at North Dakota State, went to the Indianapolis Colts with the 155th pick in the fifth round. Two picks later at 157, the Tennessee Titans selected Southern Utah cornerback LeShaun Sims. Also, the Arizona Cardinals selected Harvard offensive tackle Cole Toner with the 170th pick.
The sixth round brought the most selections with five, starting with South Carolina State tight end Temarrick Hemingway going to the Los Angeles Rams at No. 177. Montana defensive end-turned-outside linebacker Tyrone Holmes, the 2015 STATS FCS Defensive Player of the Year, then went to the Jacksonville Jaguars at 181.
Also, William & Mary free safety DeAndre Houston-Carson was the 185th overall pick by the Bears, Southeastern Louisiana cornerback Harlan Miller went to the Cardinals at 205 and the New England Patriots grabbed Eastern Illinois outside linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hall at 208.
In the seventh round, the FCS selections were Central Arkansas defensive end Jonathan Woodard to the Jaguars (226), Sam Houston State punter Lachlan Edwards to the New York Jets (235), Maine defensive end-turned-linebacker Trevor Bates to the Colts (239) and Montana State tight end Beau Sandland to the Panthers (252).