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April 28, 2012After Nebraska's top three NFL prospects finally went off the board later Saturday afternoon, there was some assumption that they would be the only former Huskers to have their named called during the 2012 NFL Draft.
With less than 20 picks remaining in the seventh round, offensive tackle Marcel Jones became the fourth and final Nebraska player to be drafted, as the New Orleans Saints took him with the 234th overall selection.
Despite an injury-plagued career that saw him miss significant playing time the past two seasons, Jones size (6-6, 320), experience and potential proved to be enough for the Saints to give him a chance and bring him on board.
After not starting the first five games of last season due to lingering injuries, including a back issue that forced him to miss 10 games in 2010, Jones bounced back and went on to start NU's the final eight games of the year at right tackle.
He helped the Huskers rank among the nation's top rushing teams and led the way for All-Big Ten running back Rex Burkhead, who rushed for 1,357 yards.
Jones ended up earning honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors from both the conference media and coaches. Even with his injury issues, he ended his Nebraska career playing in 40 career games with 21 starts.
Along with Jones, Nebraska linebacker Lavonte David (Buccaneers, second round), defensive tackle Jared Crick (Texans, fourth round) and cornerback Alfonzo Dennard (Patriots, seventh round) were all drafted over the weekend.
The four drafted players marks the 43rd straight year the Huskers have had at least three players selected in the NFL Draft.