More to come, but I didn't want to leave you guys hanging here. For the 29th straight year, Virginia had at least one player selected in the NFL Draft. This year, the only Hoo to receive that phone call was DE Cam Johnson, a 7th round pick by the San Francisco 49ers as the 237th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Most places projected Johnson as a Day 2 pick, somewhere in the third or fourth rounds. But as the picks, hours, and eventually days went by, it was baffling to me that Johnson was nearly left on the board altogether.
That's more than the All-American Chase Minnifield can say. Minnifield -- also projected as a Day 2 pick, and in some cases, ahead of Johnson -- saw his draft stock plummet when his knee injuries forced him out of the NFL Scouting Combine. Ultimately, he was left on the board. (As of the time of this post, no word yet on whether he's been picked up as a free agent.) Kris Burd, Matt Conrath, Austin Pasztor, Max Milien, Nick Jenkins, Corey Mosley, and a whole slew of others were also left behind.
Though 6'3, 235 lbs Johnson was a defensive end this past year, he'll likely play as outside linebacker with the 49ers, which is where his college career had started. As previously mentioned here, he's suffered through some injury and health issues in his career, including a sickle-cell trait that keeps him from staying on the field for an extended time, but this has all been well-known for quite some time. Query how he went from a projected third-rounder to nearly Mr. Irrelevant. In any event, he'll be joining former Wahoo Ahmad Brooks on the 49ers' LB corps.
Safety Rodney McLeod was picked up by the St. Louis Rams as a free agent.
I'm officially a St Louis Ram..can't wait #blessed— Rodney McLeod (@Rodney_McLeod4) April 29, 2012
We'll update this throughout the evening as we hear more about where the free agents are signing.
[Update: 8:52 p.m. - Matt Conrath] According to VirginiaSports, Matt Conrath has also signed with the Rams.
According to his agent, DE Matt Conrath will be joining Rodney McLeod. Conrath also signed a free agent contract with NFL's St. Louis Rams.— Virginia Cavaliers (@VirginiaSports) April 29, 2012
[Update: 9:03 p.m. - Chase Minnifield] Chase Minnifield has also checked in, and has signed with the Redskins.
@JimDaves redskins— Chase Minnifield (@ChaseMinnifield) April 29, 2012
[Update: 10:05 p.m. - Austin Pasztor] Various media sources have reported that Austin Pasztor is among the 15 free agents that the Minnesota Vikings have signed.
[Update: 10:36 p.m. - Dom Joseph] Dom Joseph tweets that he has been invited to the Green Bay Packers' mini camp.
@TheUVAFool invite to mini camp— dom Joseph (@Dom_Jo23) April 29, 2012