Five Trojans Picked On First Day Of 2009 NFL Draft

April 25, 2009

Five USC football players were selected in the first 2 rounds of the 2009 NFL draft on Saturday (April 25), including 3 in the first round.

Troy's 3 first round picks and 5 overall selections on the draft's first day were the most of any school this year.

The first Trojan taken was 2008 All-Pac-10 first team quarterback Mark Sanchez. He was the fifth pick of the draft, selected by the New York Jets (who traded up with the Cleveland Browns to get him). Sanchez­--who left USC after his junior season­--Completed 65.8% of his passes for 3,207 yards and 34 touchdowns in 2008 when he led the Pac-10 in passing efficiency (a school-record 164.6) and total offense.

Ten slots later, 2008 All-American linebacker Brian Cushing went to the Houston Texans as the 15th pick. He was a 3-year starter at USC who was a Butkus Award finalist in 2008.

Fellow linebacker Clay Matthews then was the 26th pick of the opening round, going to the Green Bay Packers.

That gave USC 74 first round NFL draft picks in history, the most of any school (Ohio State is next with 68).

In the second round, linebacker Rey Maualuga was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals as the draft's 38th pick. Maualuga was a unanimous All-American in 2008 when he was won the Bednarik Award as the nation's top defensive player and was named the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year. The 3-time All-Pac-10 first teamer had 273 career tackles.

Then later in the second round, defensive tackle Fili Moala, a 3-year starter and 2008 All-Pac-10 first team selection, was chosen by the Indianapolis Colts (the 79th overall pick).

In head coach Pete Carroll's 8 years at USC, he now has had 47 players drafted by the NFL, including 14 in the first round.

Rounds 3 through 7 of the 2009 NFL draft will be selected on Sunday (April 26).

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