The LSU football team expanded its footprint on the NFL this weekend as nine Tigers were selected in the 2013 NFL Draft, breaking the program’s 65-year-old record for most selections in a single draft.
Defensive end Barkevious Mingo was the first Tiger selected Thursday night when he was chosen by the Cleveland Browns with the sixth overall pick in the draft.
“I am focused on the next chapter in my [life] and ready to get to work,” Mingo said in a news release. “The past week has been one to remember, especially having my family here. I would like to thank all of the LSU Tiger fans who cheered me on the last three years.”
Safety Eric Reid joined Mingo in the opening round when the San Francisco 49ers traded up to select him with the 18th pick in the draft.
Reid’s selection marked the seventh-straight draft in which an LSU defensive back has been selected.
“It’s a privilege to go to an organization as well-respected as San Francisco,” Reid said. “It’s definitely a dream come true. ... When I think of the 49ers, I think of great players. I have followed them for a long time.”
Linebacker Kevin Minter became the third-highest drafted linebacker in LSU history last Friday when he was selected in the second round by the Arizona Cardinals.
Defensive back Tyrann Mathieu will join Minter in Arizona as the Cardinals’ third round pick.
The 2011 Heisman finalist, who was dismissed from the LSU football team in August for a violation of team rules, spent much of his time before the draft working out with a multitude of teams.
“I was filled with joy,” Mathieu said. “It’s been a long road. I am proud to be a member of the Arizona Cardinals. To join Patrick [Peterson] and Larry Fitzgerald, I am looking forward to it. I am happy someone believed in me. You have to have faith through the ups and the downs.”
Defensive tackle Bennie Logan was selected two picks prior to Mathieu at the No. 67 spot by the Philadelphia Eagles, and defensive end Sam Montgomery rounded out Friday night for LSU when he was selected by the Houston Texans with the 95th overall pick in the Draft.
Three more Tigers found new homes Saturday. The Seattle Seahawks grabbed cornerback Tharold Simon and running back Spencer Ware with their fifth and sixth round picks, respectively, and defensive end Lavar Edwards was selected in the fifth round by the Tennessee Titans. Edwards was the only LSU senior to be selected in this year’s draft.
In addition to LSU’s nine draft picks, several notable Tigers signed free agent contracts late Saturday. Running back Michael Ford and center P.J. Lonergan joined the Chicago Bears, wide receiver Russell Shepard and punter Brad Wing were signed by the Philadelphia Eagles, and offensive tackle Chris Faulk joined Mingo in Cleveland.