It took longer than they probably hoped, but four more Irish football players went off the board in the late rounds of the NFL Draft.
Safety Jamoris Slaughter, whose season was cut short after an Achilles tendon tear, was selected in the sixth round by the Cleveland Browns. Later in that round, Theo Riddick went to the Detroit Lions and Kapron Lewis-Moore was selected with the very next pick by the Baltimore Ravens. Safety Zeke Motta was taken by the Atlanta Falcons in the seventh round.
Joining Tyler Eifert in the first round and Manti Te’o in the second, the six Irish players drafted were the most since 2007, when seven Irish players were selected.
Many expected two more names to be called in the draft, with running back Cierre Wood and center Braxston Cave both going undrafted. Wood signed a free agent contract with the Houston Texans while Cave will join Slaughter in Cleveland. Offensive lineman Mike Golic also signed a free agent contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Interestingly, both Slaughter and Lewis-Moore were selected even though injuries suffered during their senior season will likely hamper them early. For Baltimore, general manager Ozzie Newsome used a baseball reference to talk about his sixth round pick, comparing Lewis-Moore to an extra arm in the bullpen, if he’s recovered by midseason. Slaughter called himself “90 percent” healthy and aims to be ready for training camp.