Blog – MSU has five players taken in first six rounds of NFL Draft

MSU Media Relations

CHICAGO – Three Mississippi State players were selected in the sixth round of the 2015 NFL Draft on Saturday afternoon, bringing the Bulldogs’ three-day draft total to five.

The five selections were the most through the first six rounds of a draft in school history and the most overall in a draft since a school-record five went in 1995.

Linebacker Matt Wells was the first off the board Saturday when the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots took the speedster with the second pick in the sixth round (No. 178 overall). Tight end Malcolm Johnson became the first Bulldog offensive player to be taken when the Cleveland Browns called him at No. 195 overall during the sixth round. All-Southeastern Conference running back Josh Robinson went 10 picks later at No. 205 overall to the Indianapolis Colts.

Wells capitalized on his MSU Pro Day workout in early March, clocking the fastest 40-yard dash (4.41) and vertical jump (35.5 inches). The Monticello, Miss., native was the first Bulldog selected by the Patriots since 1977, but he will join a squad that includes fellow former MSU linebackers Deontae Skinner and Chris White.

Johnson, a team captain in 2014, became the first Bulldog tight end to be chosen since Donald Lee went to the Miami Dolphins in 2003. Johnson started 23 games in his career accumulating 1,148 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.

Robinson, who declared following his junior year, joins an Indianapolis backfield that features former Bulldog Vick Ballard. He is the third MSU running back to be drafted since 2010. For his career, Robinson rushed for 1,997 yards on 323 carries with 15 touchdowns and added 493 yards receiving and one score through the air. He tied the school record for career yards per carry with 6.2.

With the five players selected this year, 18 Bulldogs have been chosen in the NFL Draft under head coach Dan Mullen’s watch since 2010.

A record number of Bulldogs are expected to sign free agent contracts. A complete list will be officially announced next week.

2015 NFL Draft MSU Selections
Round   Pick   Player                         Team

2          38        Preston Smith               Washington Redskins
2          43        Benardrick McKinney Houston Texans
6          178      Matt Wells                   New England Patriots
6          195      Malcolm Johnson        Cleveland Browns
6          205      Josh Robinson             Indianapolis Colts |

MSU Draft Notes
• The five draft choices this year are the most in the Dan Mullen era and the most overall since 1995.

  • Through six rounds, MSU tied for the most picks in the SEC West with five, joining Alabama, Arkansas and Auburn.
    • Malcolm Johnson was the first MSU player selected by the Browns since Larry Friday in 1981 (11th round). He is the highest drafted MSU player ever by the Browns.
    • For the fourth time in five years, MSU has had at least three players selected in the NFL Draft.
    • This is the third time in school history that the Bulldogs have multiple linebackers selected. It also happened in 2011 and 1977. Five MSU linebackers have been selected since 2010.
    • MSU has now had 185 NFL Draft picks in its history.
    • Of the five MSU players drafted, three earned “two stars” in high school, while two were “three-star” recruits.
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