DRAFT: 7 Beavers selected in NFL Draft

SLADE NORRIS: Drafted in the 4th Round

PROGRAM HISTORY WAS made today, when seven Oregon State footballers were selected in the NFL Draft. The black and orange septet broke the previous mark of six OSU draftees in 1967 and 1947 -- back when the Draft lasted 17 and 30 rounds, respectively.

Andy Levitre was the first player taken on Saturday, going in Round 2 to the Buffalo Bills. Rounds 3-7 on Sunday saw a black and orange explosion and when it was all said and done, Oregon State had the second most members of the Pac-10 drafted behind Southern Cal.

In fact, the seven draft picks for Oregon State matched South Carolina and Ohio State for the second-highest total for any school in the 2009 draft.

As expected after Levitre, Keenan Lewis was next to be picked, the Pittsburgh Steelers picking the cornerback with the 32nd pick in Round 3 and 96th selection overall. What wasn't expected was what happened next.

Much of the pre-draft speculation said DE Victor Butler would likely be a 7th round or non-drafted free agent selection. Instead, he went with to the Cowboys with the 10th pick of the 4th round.

And there was another, bigger surprise to come in the 4th round.

With the 26th pick in the 4th, the Oakland Raiders snapped up Slade Norris. The Oregon State defensive end was widely projected to be a non-drafted free agent by publications, media and internet sites who cover the draft.

CB Brandon Hughes was picked with the 12th choice in the 5th round by the San Diego Chargers.

S Al Afalava, another Beaver whom most of the sites projecting the draft saw as going undrafted, was the 17th pick in the 6th round by the Chicago Bears.

Sammie Stroughter, the accomplished wide receiver and punt return man, was the 24th pick in the 7th round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Norris will try to make the move to strongside linebacker in Oakland. Butler is also expected to move to outside linebacker at Dallas.

As always, players drafted in later rounds can help their chances of sticking with the club significantly by performing well on special teams.

NOTABLE NOTES:
Oregon State has the second most players drafted with seven, Southern Cal has 11 players selected.

Safety Greg Laybourn, who had an outside shot to be drafted, is expected to ink a free agent contract after putting up good measurables and drawing a good amount of attention from pro scouts at Oregon State's pro day. The physical safety was particularly adept in run support for the Beavs during his senior campaign and earned more Pac-10 Player of the Week honors in '08 than any other player in the conference. OL Jeremy Perry, a gifted o-lineman who saw his OSU career devastated by injuries, could also be a free agent signing.

Oregon has six players picked, California had three, Arizona State and Arizona each had two and Washington State had one.

Washington, Stanford and UCLA had no players selected in the draft.

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