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Three Aztecs Selected In Final Day Of NFL Draft

Jerome Long became the first Aztec defensive lineman drafted since 1996.
Jerome Long became the first Aztec defensive lineman drafted since 1996.

April 28, 2012

SDSU NFL DRAFT CENTRAL

San Diego State had three more players selected in the 2012 NFL Draft on Saturday, as linebacker Miles Burris was taken in the fourth round by the Oakland Raiders, quarterback Ryan Lindley was picked in the sixth round by the Arizona Cardinals and defensive lineman Jerome Long was tabbed in the seventh round by the Kansas City Chiefs. Along with running back Ronnie Hillman, who went in the third round to the Denver Broncos, the four Draft picks are the Aztecs' most since 2008, and marks the fifth time in the last eight years SDSU has had multiple selections.

A two-time first-team all-conference honoree, Burris was the 34th pick of the fourth round (129th overall) and the second by the Raiders in the 2012 Draft. The Granite Bay, Calif., native is the fourth SDSU linebacker drafted in the last eight years with all of those going in the top four rounds. Burris had 235 career tackles in his 50 outings on The Mesa, including 47 stops for a loss, which rank third in school history. He also tallied 19 sacks, four forced fumbles and three recovered fumbles.

The 6-foot-3 linebacker led the Mountain West Conference in tackles for loss in both 2010 and 2011, and was named to national watch lists for the Butkus, Lombardi and Nagurski Awards as a senior. Burris also excelled in the classroom where he was a four-time all-league academic pick as a business management major and was chosen as the 2010 San Diego State Student-Athlete of the Year.

The school's all-time leading passer, Lindley heard his named called with the 15th pick (185th overall) of the sixth round. He was a four-year starter for the Aztecs, setting SDSU career records for passing yards (12,690), touchdown passes (90), total offense (12,415) and completions (961). The Alpine, Calif., native also holds the program record for most quarterback starts with 49 and most consecutive starts by a QB with 45. Lindley threw for over 2,500 yards in each of his four campaigns, including three-straight 3,000-yard seasons, which is a first for an Aztec. The El Capitan High graduate had 14 career 300-yard passing games, highlighted by a 528-yard effort against then No. 25 Utah in 2010.

Lindley is the second consecutive Aztec starting quarterback to be tabbed in the NFL Draft, joining Kevin O'Connell, who was picked in the third round by the New England Patriots in 2008. This is the also the second season in a row the Cardinals have drafted an SDSU player with wideout DeMarco Sampson going in the seventh round.

A second-team all-Mountain West honoree as a senior, Long was the 11th selection of the seventh round (218th overall) and the third Aztec to go to an AFC West squad. The Los Osos, Calif., native played in 49 total outings at both defensive tackle and end, starting 30 times, including all 13 in 2011. Long was the team's second-leading tackler last season with a career-high 73 stops, including eight for a loss and five sacks. He is first SDSU defensive lineman taken in the NFL Draft since Aztec Hall of Famer La'Roi Glover (Oakland Raiders) in 1996.

Burris, Lindley, Long and Hillman combined to lead San Diego State to a 17-9 overall record over the last two seasons, including back-to-back postseason bowl game appearances for the first time in the school's Division I history.

2012 NFL Draft (San Diego State selections)

Name, Pos.		Round (Pick)	Overall		Team
Ronnie Hillman, RB	3rd (4)		67		Denver Broncos
Miles Burris, LB	4th (34)	129		Oakland Raiders
Ryan Lindley, QB	6th (15)	185		Arizona Cardinals
Jerome Long, DT	        7th (11)	218		Kansas City Chiefs