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Gamecocks, Tigers, Bulldog Picked on Draft Day 3

8:28 PM, Apr 28, 2012   |    comments
Rokevious Watkins (Sam Sharpe-US PRESSWIRE)
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New York, NY (WLTX, AP) - Seven players from colleges in South Carolina were selected on the final day of the 2012 NFL Draft.

The Gamecocks led the group of schools with three selections. Clemson, South Carolina State, Coastal Carolina, and Presbyterian all had one player selected on Day Three.

In all, USC had six players taken in the 2012 Draft, tied for second all-time in school history. In 2009, seven Gamecocks were drafted.

The total this year included two first-round draft picks, which had happened only once before, in 1981.

The Tigers had four players picked, led by Andre Branch, who was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in Round Two.

Here's the full list of players drafted from South Carolina colleges:

USC:

Stephon Gilmore (Round 1 - Buffalo Bills)

Melvin Ingram (Round 1 - San Diego Chargers)

Alshon Jeffery (Round 2 - Chicago Bears)

Rokevious Watkins (Round 5 - St. Louis Rams)

Antonio Allen (Round 7 - New York Jets)

Travian Robertson (Round 7 - Atlanta Falcons)

Clemson:

Andre Branch (Round 2 - Jacksonville Jaguars)

Brandon Thompson (Round 3 - Cincinnati Bengals)

Dwayne Allen (Round 3 - Indianapolis Colts)

Coty Sensabaugh (Round 4 - Tennessee Titans)

South Carolina State:

Christian Thompson (Round 4 - Baltimore Ravens)

Coastal Carolina:

Josh Norman (Round 5 - Carolina Panthers)

Presbyterian College:

Justin Bethel (Round 6 - Phoenix Cardinals)

Day 3 Draft Headlines:

Titans pick Clemson CB Sensabaugh in 4th round

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Tennessee Titans have started the final day of the NFL draft by taking Clemson cornerback Coty Sensabaugh at No. 115 overall in the fourth round.

Sensabaugh is a native of Kingsport, Tenn. The 6-foot, 185-pound Sensabaugh had 87 tackles and four interceptions along with two quarterback pressures and 18 pass breakups over 52 career games. The cornerback graduated last May and had a team-high 13 pass breakups in 14 starts. He played a school record 993 snaps as a defensive player last season.

The Titans now have picked defense with three of their first four picks. But Sensabaugh will help in the secondary after Tennessee left cornerback Cortland Finnegan leave as a free agent for St. Louis.

Ravens pick SC State's Thompson in 4th round

The Baltimore Ravens have selected South Carolina State free safety Christian Thompson with the 130th overall pick in the NFL draft.

Thompson finished with three interceptions and 140 tackles over his four-year college career. He began as a reserve at Auburn.

The compensatory pick was awarded by the NFL to Baltimore because the Jacksonville Jaguars signed former Ravens safely Dawan Landry to a five-year contract last July.

Earlier in the fourth round, Baltimore selected Delaware offensive lineman Gino Gradkowski with the 98th overall pick.

Panthers draft CB Norman from Coastal Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The Carolina Panthers have drafted cornerback Josh Norman of Coastal Carolina with the 143rd overall selection in the fifth round of the NFL draft.

The 6-foot-3, 203-pound Norman gives the Panthers added depth at cornerback behind starters Chris Gamble and Captain Munnerlyn and top reserves Brandon Hogan and Darius Butler.

The Panthers have been looking for a reliable starter opposite Gamble for the past two seasons.

A three-time All-Big South selection, Norman had 13 career interceptions. He started 39 of 46 games, recording 196 tackles with seven stops for losses and four forced fumbles. He also blocked four kicks.

As a senior he was a finalist for the Buck Buchanan award given to the top defensive player in the Football Championship Subdivision after posting 62 tackles and two interceptions.

Rams select Watkins in fifth round

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The St. Louis Rams selected offensive guard Rokevious Watkins of South Carolina with their pick in the fifth round.

The Rams got the 152nd pick in the draft in their Thursday trade with Dallas that allowed the Cowboys to take the Rams' No. 6 slot in the first round while St. Louis dropped down to No. 14.

The 6-foot-4, 340-pound Watkins is versatile. He can play inside and outside on the offensive line. Watkins played both guard positions in his junior year at South Carolina. As a senior, Watkins played both tackle positions and one game as a guard. He started 27 games the past two seasons.

Watkins was medically excluded from the NFL combine with a right wrist injury.

Arizona tabs DB Bethel with sixth-round selection

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- The Arizona Cardinals have selected defensive back Justin Bethel of Presbyterian with the first of their two sixth-round draft picks.

Bethel, 6-feet and 200 pounds, played cornerback in college but could be moved to safety by the Cardinals. He is the second defensive back drafted by Arizona. The Cardinals chose cornerback Jamell Fleming of Oklahoma in the third round.

There is a YouTube video that shows Bethel making a 60-inch vertical leap -- that's five feet -- flat-footed. Bethel returned an interception for a touchdown against California.

He was the 177th player chosen in the draft. 

Jets select Allen in 7th round

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) -- The New York Jets have selected South Carolina safety Antonio Allen in the seventh round of the NFL draft.

Allen, taken 242nd overall on Saturday, is the second safety taken by the Jets on the draft's third day. They also took Wake Forest's Josh Bush in the sixth round. They'll both help fill one of New York's biggest needs as the Jets entered the draft with just two players -- LaRon Landry and Eric Smith -- with experience at the position.

Allen is a big-hitting safety who played effectively in zone coverage and inside as a run stuffer. He had 88 tackles, three interceptions and a sack in his senior season with the Gamecocks.

The Jets have one more pick -- No. 244 -- remaining in the draft.

Falcons draft South Carolina DT Travian Robertson

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) -- The Atlanta Falcons have selected South Carolina defensive tackle Travian Robertson late in the seventh round of the NFL draft.

Robertson, a compensatory pick, was the 242nd player chosen overall and sixth taken by the Falcons.

He will compete with Peria Jerry and Vance Walker for snaps behind starting defensive tackles Jonathan Babineaux and Corey Peters.

Robertson was the third defensive player drafted Saturday by the Falcons, who chose Troy pass rusher Jonathan Massaquoi in the fifth round and Mississippi State strong safety Charles Mitchell in the middle of the sixth.

Robertson, a fifth-year senior, helped South Carolina win 11 games last season for the first time in school history.

In a victory over Nebraska at the Capital One Bowl, Robertson's blocked extra-point attempt resulted in a 2-point defensive PAT.

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