The 2021 NFL Draft has come to a close and five North Carolina Tar Heels were selected during the three-day event in Cleveland, Ohio.
The 2021 draft was a success for Carolina and the most Tar Heels selected since six were chosen in 2017. That draft was also the most recent first round pick for UNC (Mitch Trubisky). Perhaps another quarterback will become the next to do so in the 2022 draft.
The most Tar Heels ever drafted is nine, in the 2011 draft.
Here's a listing of the number of Carolina draft picks by year, dating back to that record-breaking 2011 class:
- 2020 - 2
- 2019 - 1
- 2018 - 3
- 2017 - 6
- 2016 - 0
- 2015 - 0
- 2014 - 5
- 2013 - 5
- 2012 - 2
- 2011 - 9
Let's turn our attentions back to this year's draft, and particularly the two players selected on the final day.
Javonte Williams, Chazz Surratt, and Dyami Brown were each selected on Friday night as rounds two and three unfolded. Saturday brought with it rounds four through seven and the opportunity for running back Michael Carter and receiver Dazz Newsome to hear their names called.
Carter didn't have to wait long on Saturday. The New York Jets selected him with the second pick of the fourth round (107 overall). The Jets backfield is a great landing place for a draft pick. With Tevin Coleman currently sitting at the top of the depth chart, Carter should be able to complete for ample amounts of playing time right away.
In his summary of the Jets' draft, ESPN's Mel Kiper, Jr. said of Carter:
"Fourth-round pick Michael Carter (107) was my best available prospect headed into Round 3, so I love that pick. The 5-foot-8 back carried the ball 514 times in four years for the Tar Heels and averaged 6.6 yards per carry. He should be in the rotation as a rookie."
Newsome was in for a longer wait than Carter. The Chicago Bears took the Tar Heel receiver with the 37th pick of the sixth round (221 overall). It doesn't matter how long the wait is, or when your name is announced, or what team it is; the chance for a young man to hear his name called as part of the NFL Draft is the culmination of years of hard work and the fulfillment of boyhood dreams.
ESPN's Jeff Dickerson had this to say about the Newsome pick:
"The Bears want competition at wide receiver. Aside from Allen Robinson II (franchise tag) and last year's fifth-round steal Darnell Mooney, they have a bunch of question marks at wideout. Newsome has an opportunity, especially in the slot, where ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reports the team has been shopping former second-round pick Anthony Miller, Riley Ridley, Javon Wims, and Marquise Goodwin are also on the roster, but none are slam dunks. Newsome also returned punts at North Carolina which gives him an even greater chance to stick around based on special teams."
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