It took 233 picks, but Northwestern finally had someone called off the board.
Drake Dunsmore created a ton of memories at Raymond James Stadium during the 2010 Outback Bowl when he caught nine passes for 109 yards and a ridiculous run and catch for a touchdown in Northwestern’s loss to Auburn. Dunsmore might be about to make a lot more memories on the Florida Gulf Coast.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted Dunsmore in the seventh round of the NFL Draft on Saturday, the first Northwestern player taken in the three-day event. It did not take long for the next Wildcat to go off the board. The Patriots selected Jeremy Ebert two picks later, adding him to their cavalcade of receivers in a pass-heavy offense.
Both seem to have found really good fits, but, as seventh round picks, have their work cut out for them to make the roster. A little hard work though is not anything Northwestern players shy away from.
Dunsmore completed his fantastic career at Northwestern last year with 45 catches for 522 yards and a career-high six touchdowns as one of Dan Persa’s favorite targets. That included a four-touchdown game against Indiana. And his career was full of spectacular grabs and big plays throughout his career at Northwestern.
The Buccaneers currently have four tight ends on their roster, including Kellen Winslow. However, Dunsmore was projected as a multipositional player and was rated by ESPN as the seventh best player in the draft at fullback. The Buccaneers only have Erik Lorig to play fullback on the roster.
Similarly, Jeremy Ebert had a very consistent career at Northwestern, finishing his career off with 75 receptions for 1,060 yards and 11 touchdowns, all career bests. Ebert was never particularly flashy with his play, but was always a safe outlet for Mike Kafka and then Dan Persa throughout his career. I am sure Tom Brady will find out the same thing.
Ebert, the only offensive player the Patriots drafted this year, will be fighting for playing time with the eight other receiver on the roster. Seems like Ebert will have his chance to make the roster and fight for playing time.
There will be lots of time to break down how Ebert and Dunsmore will fit in with their new teams in the coming weeks. But today is a time to congratulate Northwestern’s latest pros who get to continue their dreams at the next level.