Blog – 7 former Bulldogs sign free agent deals

Mississippi State had five players taken in the National Football League Draft, but there were six to sign with teams as free agents when the selections ended Saturday.

Ben Beckwith, Blaine Clausell, Dillon Day, Kaleb Eulls, Jay Hughes, Justin Cox and P.J. Jones all signed free agent deals.

Offensive linemen Beckwith, Clausell and Day signed with the San Diego Chargers, Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos respectively.

Defensive lineman Eulls, who was projected by some to be drafted, signed with the New Orleans Saints. Fellow defensive lineman Jones signed with the Miami Dolphins Safeties Hughes and Cox inked with the St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs respectively.

MSU had five players taken in the first six rounds – most in program history.

Defensive lineman Preston Smith was the first Bulldog taken. The Washington Redskins, who plan to move him to linebacker, took him in the second round with the 38th overall pick.

“I feel like it’ll go well because we had a lot of different looks from college, playing stand-up and doing a lot of drops, doing a lot of different defensive looks from standing up,” Smith said in a school release. “I feel like it’ll be a great transition. It’s something I’m used to, something I’m familiar with, and it won’t be hard for me to adjust.”

Linebacker Benardrick McKinney was taken five picks later by the Houston Texans.

MSU had a trio of players taken in the sixth round. Linebacker Matt Wells was taken by the New England Patriots, tight end Malcolm Johnson by the Cleveland Browns and running back Josh Robinson by the Indianapolis Colts.

This is the fourth time in five years that the Bulldogs have had at least three players taken in the draft.

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