- Travis L. Brown, ESPNDallas.com
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Fifteen players formerly of Metroplex colleges and high schools were drafted this weekend in the 2011 NFL Draft.
TCU led the area colleges in players picked with five, including the Cincinatti Bengals’ 35th overall pick of quarterback Andy Dalton in the second round. Dalton, a Katy, Texas, native, hold’s TCU’s record for most wins, going 42-7 in his four years as the Horned Frogs' starting QB.
Odessa native Marcus Cannon went in the fifth round to New England as the 138th pick in the draft. Just before the draft, Cannon was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but he told ESPN Dallas’ Richard Durrett he was thankful to be selected. Cannon, an offensive lineman, was a two-time first team All-Mountain West selection at TCU.
Following Cannon for the Frogs was wide receiver Jeremy Kerley at pick No. 153 to the New York Jets, where he will join former Frogs LaDainian Tomlinson and Drew Colman. Kerley was a first-team All-American return specialist and ranks ninth all time at TCU in career receptions. Kerley played his high school career for the Hutto Hippos.
Safety Colin Jones went to the San Fransico 49ers in the sixth round as the 190th pick overall. Jones was second on TCU during his senior season in tackles with 80 and tackles for loss with 11.5. He was a standout running back and four-year letterman at Bridgeport High School.
The Patriots dipped into the Fort Worth talent pool again in the seventh round, taking cornerback Malcom Williams No. 219 overall. Williams was a two-year letterman for the Frogs and played in high school at South Grand Prairie.
SMU sent a receiver to the NFL through the draft for the second straight year with Aldrick Robinson going to the Washington Redskins as the 178th pick overall, in the sixth round. He follows Emmanuel Sanders who went 82nd overall to the Pittsburg Stealers in the 2010 draft. Robinson, a Waxahachie native, set a school record at SMU with 14 touchdowns and finished second with 1,301 receiving yards in 2010.
Linebacker Von Miller formally of DeSoto went second overall to the Denver Broncos after recording 59 tackles and 1 INT in his 2010 season at Texas A&M.
Following Miller in the first round was Colleyville Heritage’s Christian Ponder as the 12th pick overall to the Minnesota Vikings. Ponder threw for 2,044 yards and 20 TDs in 2010 at Florida State.
In the fourth round, former Dallas St. Mark’s and Texas defensive end Sam Acho went to the Arizona Cardinals as the 103rd pick overall. In 2010, Acho made 60 tackles and forced two fumbles.
The Cowboys selected former Cedar Hill cornerback Josh Thomas in the fifth round, 143rd overall. Cedar Hill head coach Joey McGuire told ESPN Dallas’ Tim MacMahon that Thomas will be a very hard worker for the Cowboys.
Ten picks before Waxahachie’s Robinson was selected, offensive lineman Demarcus Love of Dallas Carter was selected by the Vikings in the sixth round.
Former Metroplex players flew off the board in a flurry in the seventh round, beginning with former Southlake Carroll quarterback Greg McElroy, 208th overall to the Jets. Along with winning a national championship at Alabama in 2009, McElroy threw for 2,987 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2010.
At pick 216, defensive back Mikail Baker, formally of Dallas Skyline and Baylor, went to the St. Louis Rams, three picks before South Grand Pairie’s Williams.
Bringing up the end of the draft were two players from the University of Oklahoma who had come from the Metroplex, Jonathan Nelson and Jeremy Beal. Nelson, a cornerback from Mansfield Summit, went to the Rams as the 229th pick. Beal, a defensive end from Carrollton Creekview, went to the Broncos as the 247th pick.