was the appearance of first round draft pick Luis Castillo to help raise the bidding on his game picture from the halls of Nicolet.
Castillo was picked by the San Diego Chargers as the 23rd player in the
first round. One of NU's defensive leaders, he had sweated out the
early picks, but was beaming Saturday night when he was introduced at
the NGN Auction to a standing ovation.
Trai Essex - was picked late Saturday night in the 3rd round by the Pittsburgh Steelers - they liked his versatility and quickness.
Essex originally moved over to Tackle from Tight End on the
recommendation of NU coach Randy Walker's staff because they felt that
the O-Line was where he had more of a future than as a tight end.
At left guard, he was the man who protected QB Brett Basanez' back for
two years and in many of the zone blocking schemes, he had to take on
both DE's and Linebackers solo for the plays to work.
Noah Herron -the latest of NU's 1,000 yard club, was also selected as a fullback by Pittsburgh, in the 7th round.
Herron is a punishing north-south runner who can also catch passes and
can pick up blitzing linebackers on pass blocking. He's always been
considered "slow," but anyone who's watch game film wonders where that
comes from as he scoots through openings in the front.
John Pickens - signed a free agency contract with the New York Jets, joining fellow alum Barry Gardner on the linebacking corps.
Pickens wasn't able to play the entire 2004 season due to rehab from
shoulder surgery, but he was responsible for solidifying the NU
Linebacking unit during the Big 10 season.
Dominique Price - signed with the Dallas Cowboys - was one of
the big hitters in the NU defensive backfield. An honorable mention All
Big 10 selection, he's considered a hard hitting safety with excellent
Matt Ulrich - one of Center Trevor Rees' protectors in
2003 & 2004, is one of the Cats' most physical players and one of
the strongest signed a free agent contract wiht the Indianapolis Colts. Can also slide over and play center.
Still unsigned and undrafted is Offensive Guard Ikechuku Ndukwe,
who was the left guard on the NU front last year. He's listed among
Scout's best of the unsigned and may have a contract by May 1st.
There we go, a First round, 3rd round and 7th round draft pick for the Wildcats. One of the best pro drafts a long time...
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