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NFL Draft Ends as Texans Choose Rice’s Cheta Ozougwu as ‘Mr. Irrelevant’

The National Football League draft came to an end yesterday in New York, with Rice University defensive end Cheta Ozougwu being taken by Houston with the 254th and final pick.

When the Texans selected the 6-foot-1, 247-pound Ozougwu, he became the 36th “Mr. Irrelevant,” a title created in 1976 by former NFL wide receiver Paul Salata. While he might never make it to the NFL, Ozougwu will be celebrated with a party, a roast and a regatta during a weeklong celebration in Newport Beach, California.

Several hours before Ozougwu’s name was called at New York’s Radio City Music Hall in New York, the Carolina Panthers selected West Virginia University cornerback Brandon Hogan with the first pick on the final day of the draft, which was held amid a labor struggle between the league and its players.

Earlier this week, a federal judge ordered an end to the league’s month-old lockout. A federal appeals court granted the NFL a temporary stay to that order on March 29, which will keep the lockout in place as the league appeals the decision.

After Carolina took Auburn University quarterback Cam Newton with the first overall pick on March 28, the second and third rounds were completed two days ago. The fourth through seventh rounds were held yesterday.

Cecil Shorts, a wide receiver from Mount Union, became the first Division III player taken in the draft when the Jacksonville Jaguars selected him with the 17th pick in the fourth round.

Quarterback

Ricky Stanzi of the University of Iowa was the first quarterback taken yesterday, going to the Kansas City Chiefs with the fourth pick of the fifth round. Houston chose North Carolina’s Taylor Yates and Nathan Enderle of Idaho went to the Chicago Bears later in the round.

The Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers chose New Mexico State defensive back Davon House with their fourth-round pick and Arkansas tight end D.J. Williams in the fifth round.

The New York Giants took offensive lineman James Brewer from Indiana with their first pick of the day, then added linebackers Greg Jones from Michigan State and Jacquin Williams from South Florida, safety Tyler Sash from Iowa, and Maryland running back Da’Rel Scott.

The New York Jets selected Louisville running back Bilal Powell in the fourth round and added wide receiver Jeremy Kerley from Texas Christian University, Alabama Quarterback Greg McElroy and Colorado wide receiver Scotty McKnight.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Buteau in Atlanta at mbuteau@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net.

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