Thursday Newsbits - Track Em Tigers
Auburn had a pair of players drafted last weekend by the NFL, Ben Tate and Walter McFadden. There was one surprising omission from the draft, SEC sack leader Antonio Coleman. Tate went in the 2nd round to the Houston Texans, in a bit of a surprise pick. The Texans had needs elsewhere, but apparently liked what they saw from Tate. It will be a challenge for Tate to get carries in a crowded Houston backfield that includes former Vols Chris Henry and Arian Foster, as well as the electric Mountaineer Steve Slaton, and veteran Louisiana Tech alum Ryan Moats.
Walter McFadden was selected in the 5th round by the Oakland Raiders. McFadden joins a team with problems across the board, including the secondary. One side of the Raider D sports All-Pro California product Nnamdi Asomugha. There is opportunity on the other side, as McFadden will compete with veteran journeyman Chris Johnson, and rookie Jeremy Ware for playing time. McFadden may well start this season. He joins a number of former Auburn players in Oakland, including Jason Campbell and Quentin Groves. The Raiders can only get better with 3 Auburn guys playing major roles!
Despite not being drafted, Antonio Coleman should have the opportunity to play early in the NFL. Coleman signed a free-agent contract with the Buffalo Bills, and should add some pass-rushing muscle to a team that managed only 32 sacks in 16 games in 2009. Jake Ricks signed with the Indianapolis Colts, which is also a great opportunity. Aside from star Dwight Freeney, the Colts always seem to be having issues on the D-line.