Draft picks up two of three Boilermakers

The Boilermakers represent only two out of 41 Big Ten players drafted to the NFL this year, but at least neither of them are going to the Packers.

A lifelong Vikings fan (which switches to the Saints when playoff hopes are crushed for Minnesota), I'm happy to see that the Eagles and Texans have claimed former Boilermaker tackles Dennis Kelly and Nick Mondek.

Kelly was picked up by the Eagles in the fifth round, the number 18 pick in the round and 153rd overall. The 6-foot-8, 306-pound Chicago Heights, Ill. native had 36 starts during his last three years at Purdue, the most in program history for an offensive player. As a three-year letter winner he was a captain and Most Valuable Player for the Boilers his last two years on the squad.

The blocking effort by Kelly last fall contributed to the Boilers' ability to push through the season and regain bowl game eligibility to make a successful trip to Detroit for the Little Caesar's Bowl.

Mondek's bid by the Texans came in round six. He was picked 25th in the round and 195th overall. The 6-foot-5, 307-pound Naperville, Ill. native is Houston-bound after two letter-winning seasons with the Boilermakers. In 2010 he was awarded the Most Improved offensive player on the squad.

The NFL gave Mondek a score of 45, and according to the organization, anything between 20 and 49 points indicates "A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body." AKA a free agent, but he beat the odds with the Texans.

Kicker Carson Wiggs entered the draft but was not picked up during the seven rounds. But then again, how often is a kicker? Wiggs owns the record for best field goal percentage (.715 on 37-of-51 attempts) and has made the four longest 3-point kicks in school history. Hopefully, his consistency will earn him a spot as a free agent somewhere... as long as it's not Green Bay.

Wiggs signed a free agent contract with Seattle (according to his own Twitter feed).

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