Can you name the 120 South Jersey NFL draft picks since 1943? We can!

Can you name the 120 South Jersey NFL draft picks since 1943? We can!

They’ve come from tiny schools like Woodbury and Paulsboro and giant schools like Rancocas Valley and Millville.

They’ve come from as far south as Cape May and as far north as Florence.

They’ve even come from schools that don’t exist anymore, like Kennedy and Edgewood.

There was a Hall of Famer, a Heisman Trophy winner, a Super Bowl-winning quarterback and a bunch of Pro Bowlers.

There was a QB who set an NFL record for highest passer rating in a season, a running back who held the postseason career rushing record for 19 years and a receiver who set an NFL record for yards in a game.

They are among the 120 South Jersey football players who have been selected in the NFL draft going back 71 years, including six this year.

It’s an incredible list.

And it doesn’t even include dozens of undrafted South Jersey players, from Palmyra’s Deron Cherry to Timber Creek’s Damiere Byrd.

Before we get to the complete (we think) list of South Jersey draft picks, some stats:

--> The most positions represented are linebacker (19), running back (18), cornerback (12) and defensive end (11).

 --> Colleges with the most South Jersey draft picks are Penn State (19), Temple (9), Miami, North Carolina State and Ohio State (5) and Iowa, Virginia, Wisconsin and Michigan (4).

--> High schools represented the most are Camden, Pennsauken, Rancocas Valley and Woodrow Wilson (7), with Pemberton and Woodbury (5) next.

--> This past draft and the 1984 draft produced the most South Jersey draft picks, with six apiece. Four drafts in the span of six years produced four (1987, 1988, 1989 and 1992).

--> The longest streak of drafts with at least one South Jersey player getting taken is 13, from 1992 through 2004. 

--> More South Jersey football players have been taken in the first round (20) than any other round. The 4th and 6th rounds are the next-most popular (16 each). One was even drafted in the 29th round! 

--> The quarterback who led the NFL in passer rating was Milt Plum in 1960, the running back who set an NFL postseason rushing record was Franco Harris and the receiver who set an NFL record for receiving yards was Paulsboro’s Flipper Anderson.

Here is a look at the 119 South Jersey NFL draft picks. If you see anybody missing, let us know! 

(p.s. - We didn't include Bordentown Military Institute graduates such as Hall of Famer Floyd Little unless they grew up in South Jersey)

C Cesar Ruiz*, Camden [Michigan], 1st round, Saints
RB Jonathan Taylor, Salem [Wisconsin], 2nd round, Colts
CB John Reid, Mount Laurel / St. Joe’s Prep [Penn State], 4th round, Texans
CB Harrison Hand, Cherry Hill West [Temple], 5th round, Vikings
OL Jon Runyan, Moorestown / St. Joe’s Prep [Michigan], 6th round, Packers
LB Shaun Bradley, Rancocas Valley [Temple], 6th round, Eagles 


RB Ryquell Armstead, Millville [Temple], 5th round, Jaguars
CB Ka’dar Hollman, Burlington Twp. [Toledo], 6th round, Packers
WR Kelvin Harmon, Palmyra [North Carolina State], 6th round, Redskins

CB Anthony Averett, Woodbury [Alabama], 4th round, Ravens
OT Jamil Demby, Vineland [Maine], 6th round, Rams

OT Julie’n Davenport, Paulsboro [Bucknell], 4th round, Texans
LB Haasan Reddick, Haddon Heights [Temple], 1st round, Cards

CB Eli Apple, Eastern [Ohio State], 1st round, Giants
DT Austin Johnson, St. Augustine [Penn State], 2nd round, Titans

LB Gerald Hodges, Paulsboro [Penn State], 4th round, Vikings
CB Logan Ryan, Eastern [Rutgers], 3rd round, Patriots

DE Jack Crawford, St. Augustine [Penn State], 5th round, Raiders
DT Mike Daniels, Highland [Iowa], 4th round, Packers
G Johnnie Troutman, Pemberton [Penn State], 5th round, Chargers

OL Ben Ijalana, Rancocas Valley** [Villanova], 2nd round, Colts

FB Ryan D’Imperio, Washington Twp. [Rutgers], 7th round, Vikings

RB Shonn Greene, Winslow Twp. [Iowa], 3rd round, Jets

QB Joe Flacco, Audubon [Delaware], 1st round, Ravens

DT Turk McBride, Woodrow Wilson [Tennessee], 2nd round, Chiefs

RB Wali Lundy***, Holy Cross [Virginia], 6th round, Texans

LB Alex Lewis, Delran [Wisconsin], 5th round, Lions
DE Shaun Phillips, Willingboro [Purdue], 4th round, Chargers

DE Jamaal Green, Woodrow Wilson [Miami], 4th round, Eagles
DE Michael Haynes, Northern Burlington [Penn State], 1st round, Bears
LB Victor Hobson, Mount Laurel / St. Joe’s Prep [Michigan], 2nd round

RB William Green, Holy Spirit [Boston College], 1st round, Browns
CB Pete Hunter, Atlantic City [Virginia Union], 5th round, Cowboys
OT Bryant McKinnie, Woodbury [Miami], 1st round, Vikings 

S Cory Bird, Oakcrest [Virginia Tech], 3rd round, Colts
OT Kareem McKenzie, Willingboro [Penn State], 3rd round, Jets
OL Dennis Norman, Princeton [Cherokee], 7th round, Seahawks

RB Ron Dayne Overbrook [Wisconsin], 1st round, Giants
DT Tim Watson, Mainland Reg. [Howard], 6th round, Seahawks

DT Kevin Landolt [West Virginia], 4th round, Jaguars

S Donovin Darius, Highland/Woodrow Wilson [Syracuse], 1st round, Jaguars
LB Antony Jordan, Washington Twp. [Vanderbilt], 5th round, Colts

CB Chris Canty, Eastern [Kansas State], 1st round, Patriots
CB Tommy Knight, Cherokee [Iowa], 1st round, Cards

LB Doug Colman, Ocean City [Nebraska], 6th round, Giants

LB Damien Covington, Overbrook [North Carolina State], 3rd round, Bills
WR Lee DeRamus, Edgewood [Wisconsin], 6th round, Saints
TE Kevin Hickman, Holy Cross [Navy], 6th round, Lions

QB Glenn Foley, Cherry Hill East [Boston College], 7th round, Jets
OL George Hegamin, Camden [North Carolina State], 3rd round, Cowboys
DB Marvin Goodwin, Woodow Wilson [UCLA], 5th round, Eagles  
G Jason Winrow, Cumberland Regional [Ohio State], Giants, 6th round, Giants

OL Mike Devlin, Cherokee [Iowa], 5th round, Bills
TE Irv Smith, Pemberton [Notre Dame], 1st round, Saints

S Chris Hall, Pemberton [East Carolina], 9th round, Cowboys
CB Steve Israel, Haddon Heights [Pitt], 2nd round, Rams
QB Tony Sacca, Delran [Penn State], 2nd round, Cards
DE Alonzo Spellman, Rancocas Valley [Ohio State], 1st round, Bears

LB Andre Collins, Cinnaminson [Penn State], 2nd round, Redskins
DE Greg Mark, Pennsauken [Miami], 3rd round, Giants
LB Ricky Newbill, Clearview [Miami], 5th round, Oilers

RB A.B. Brown, Salem [West Virginia], 8th round, Jets
LB David Griggs, Pennsauken [Virginia], 7th round, Saints
CB David Holmes, Burlington City [Syracuse], 4th round, Dolphins
RB Todd McNair, Pennsauken [Temple], 8th round, Chiefs

WR Flipper Anderson, Paulsboro [UCLA], 2nd round, Rams
OT Stan Clayton, Cherry Hill East [Penn State], 10th round, Falcons
RB Gordie Lockbaum, Glassboro [Holy Cross], 9th round, Steelers
S Keith Taylor, Pennsauken [Illinois], 5th round, Saints

LB Chuck Faucette, Willingboro [Maryland], 10th round, Giants
DL Lorenzo Freeman, Woodrow Wilson [Pitt], 4th round, Packers
DB Nelson Jones, Woodbury [North Carolina State], 5th round, Chargers 
OL Gregg Rakoczy, Shawnee [Miami], 2nd round, Browns

RB Topper Clemons, Cinnaminson [Wake Forest], 8th round, Cowboys
WR John Taylor, Pennsauken [Delaware State], 3rd round, 49ers

WR Willie Drewery, Northern Burlington [West Virginia], 11th round, Oilers
RB Tony Mumford, Overbrook [Penn State], 12th round, Patriots       
S Anthony Young, Pemberton [Temple], 3rd round, Colts

WR Irving Fryar, Rancocas Valley [Nebraska], 1st round, Patriots
TE Billy Griggs, Pennsauken [Virginia], 8th round, Jets
LB George Jamison, Bridgeton [Cincinnati], 2nd round, Lions
WR Carl Lewis, Willingboro [Houston], 12th round, Cowboys
CB Kevin Ross, Paulsboro [Temple], 7th round, Chiefs 
RB Mike Rozier, Woodrow Wilson [Nebraska], 1st round [supp.] Oilers

LB Anthony Griggs, Kennedy [Ohio State], 4th round, Eagles

DL Pete Kugler, Cherry Hill East [Penn State], 6th round, 49ers
RB Calvin Murray, Millville [Ohio State], 4th round, Eagles
DT Bubba Green, Millville [North Carolina State], 6th round, Colts

LB Mike Curcio, Oakcrest [Temple], 8th round, Eagles

LB Al Harris****, Rancocas Valley [Arizona St.], 1st round, Bears

S Dwight Hicks, Pennsauken [Michigan], 6th round, Lions
TE Derrick Ramsey, Camden [Kentucky], 5th round, Raiders
DE Art Still, Camden [Kentucky], 1st round, Chiefs

LB Greg Buttle, Mainland Regional [Penn State], 3rd round, Jets

OL Joe Fields, Gloucester Catholic [Widener], 14th round, Jets
DE Brison Manor, Bridgeton [Arkansas], 15th round, Jets
OL John Roman, Holy Spirit [Idaho State], 13th round, Colts

LB Bill Singletary, Woodrow Wilson [Temple], 4th round, Chargers

G Ron Davis, Deptford [Virginia State], 16th round, 49ers
RB Franco Harris, Rancocas Valley [Penn State], 1st round, Steelers
RB Lydell Mitchell, Salem [Penn State], 2nd round, Colts

DL Mike McBath, Woodbury [Penn State], 5th round, Bills

RB Floyd Little, Bordentown Military Academy [Syracuse], 1st round, Broncos
DL David Rowe, Deptford [Penn State], 2nd round, Saints
DE Bo Wood, Haddon Heights [North Carolina], 6th round, Saints

RB Gene Foster, Pennsville [Arizona State], 10th round, Chargers

C Dave Crossin, Collingswood [Maryland], 3rd round, Eagles
LB Dave Robinson, Moorestown [Penn State], 1st round, Packers

DT Ron Gassert, Rancocas Valley/BMI [Virginia], 4th round, Packers

OT John Brown, Camden [Syraucse], 4th round, Browns

PK-DE John Aveni, Glassboro [Indiana], 27th round, Bears

QB Milt Plum, Woodbury [Penn State], 2nd round, Browns

DE Don McComb, Camden Catholic [Villanova], 21st round, Giants

E Cliff Anderson, Cape May [Indiana], 25th round, Cards

T-DT Roscoe Hansen, Holy Spirit [North Carolina], 29th round, Eagles

DT Tom Palmer, Collingswood [Wake Forest], 17th round, Cards
QB Steve Romanik, Millville [Villanova], 3rd round, Bears
DE Norm “Wildman” Willey, Pennsville [Marshall], 13th round, Eagles

OT George Savitsky, Camden [Penn], 5th round, Eagles

T-LB Harvey Johnson, Bridgeton [William and Mary], 6th round, Dodgers

* - Spent last two years at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

** - Spent two years at Florence

*** - Spent two years at Willingboro, graduate from Rancocas Valley

**** - Spent two years at Rancocas Valley, graduated from Leilehua (Hawaii)

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Is this the year Jordan Mailata goes from project to player?

Is this the year Jordan Mailata goes from project to player?

A couple years ago, when the Eagles drafted Jordan Mailata in the 7th round of the NFL draft, I asked him a question and he gave an answer that has followed him. 

How much did you know about American football just a few months before the Eagles drafted you? 

“Mate, as little as peanuts.” 

By the end of his first training camp, Mailata said he had reached a quarter of a bag of peanuts. And it’s clear he has made progress. But now, entering Year 3 in the NFL, it’s time to start asking if Mailata has finally filled that bag. 

In other words, is this the year Mailata goes from a project to a real NFL player? 

“Look, I’m always as honest as I can be. I don’t want to lead you down a garden path, OK,” offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland said last week on a Zoom call with reporters. “So I always try to tell you that absolute truth; you guys know that. … I can’t answer that question right now.” 

Hopefully, we get our answer soon enough. 

Stoutland said the reason he couldn’t answer that question is because he needs to see Mailata do it on the field. That might have hit a snag last week, when Mailata was one of three Eagles placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, meaning he either tested positive for COVID-19 or was exposed to somebody who did. Lane Johnson said publicly that he tested positive. 

So, obviously, everyone is hoping Mailata is healthy; that’s more important. But he also can’t afford to miss any grass time, especially in a training camp that won’t have preseason games. With such limited game experience in his life, those preseason games were more important for Mailata than any other player on the roster. And now he’ll have only training camp practices and that will only happen once he’s off the Reserve/COVID-19 list. 

The good news is that Stoutland is very optimistic. 

“I can say this: In the meetings that we have, the virtual meetings, he was a completely different guy in the meetings,” Stoutland said. “And, you’re going to say, ‘What do you mean by that?’ His confidence level. Because we require these guys to know a lot and to be able to convert blocking schemes and calls. Completely, completely different in the meeting. 

“Now, will that carry over to the field? Every morning when I come here I pray that’s what will happen. Do I think that will happen? Absolutely. But I can’t guarantee that. We’re going to find out, though. That’s what this is all about. And if it does carry over then we got action. We’re going to be in good shape.”

This offseason, Halapoulivaati Vaitai left in free agency and got a big contract with the Detroit Lions, which means the Eagles’ depth at offensive tackle took a big hit. But then they drafted two players with tackle experience and brought back Jason Peters to play guard and also be insurance at tackle. 

So the Eagles have options if Mailata doesn’t work out or if he isn’t ready. But in Year 3, it’s probably time to get past the project phase. 

Mailata is still just 23 but in his first two NFL seasons he still hasn’t played in a single regular-season game. And he has ended both years on Injured Reserve with back injuries. 

But all the traits the Eagles saw in Mailata when they drafted for former rugby player to play offensive tackle are still there. 

Mailata is 6-foot-8, 346 pounds, incredibly strong, athletic and willing to learn. And in last year’s preseason, he looked good. We saw progress. Really, we’ve seen progress every time Mailata steps foot on a football field. 

But is he ready to be an NFL player and not just the guy trying to become an NFL player? 

We’ll find out soon enough. 

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Eagles coaches 'never felt more safe' at NovaCare Complex

Eagles coaches 'never felt more safe' at NovaCare Complex

On Friday, two days before Eagles head coach Doug Pederson tested positive for COVID-19, several of his assistant coaches spoke about how effective they believe the Eagles’ safety protocols are inside the NovaCare Complex and how safe they consider the facility.

The Eagles, under the direction of vice president of football operations and compliance Jon Ferrari, reconfigured the South Philadelphia facility over the last several weeks to comply with NFL safety measures once the players arrived.

On Monday, the Eagles' so-called IDER plan – that stands for Infectious Disease Emergency Response plan – was approved by the league, meaning the team's plan to deal with the virus in the facility met the safety standards required by the league and the players' association.

Yet here we are.

Without knowing how or where Pederson contracted the virus, it’s impossible to determine whether the safety measures are working. 

If nobody else in the building contracts it, they’re working. If it turns out there are additional positive tests within the building in the coming days, it’s possible that even the strictest adherence to the safety measures isn’t enough.

We’ll know more in the coming days, but offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, running backs coach and assistant head coach (and interim head coach) Duce Staley and special teams coach Dave Fipp all spoke on Friday about how effective the measures the Eagles took to create a safe working environment appeared to be.

Stoutland: “Coming through the front door, going through the gate, getting tested each morning, I gotta tell you guys, I’ve never felt more safe in my life. I told my wife that, I told my kids that. Mr. (Jeff) Lurie, he cares about his team, his coaches, and just proves it once again with the group of people that he’s put together to organize this whole operation. It’s all different, it’s all new, (team president) Don Smolenski, Jon Ferrari, it’s unbelievable. Every little detail that’s going on right now, the door handles, everything that I notice, I’m like, ‘Oh my goodness, they think of everything to keep us safe.’ That part of it is great I think for all of us because it kind of lets you (know), ‘OK, let me just focus on my job and detail what I have to do and the other stuff, we’re good. We’re going to be in good hands.’”

Staley: “We have to be careful, that’s something that all coaches are being redundant with. We’re talking with our players, we’re talking amongst ourselves. We’re all reminding each other how serious this is, reminding ourselves as coaches and reminding the players. This is a different time for us and as a team we must make the adjustments so we can be successful down the road. We must make the adjustments. I think the Eagles, this organization, Howie, Jeffery, along with Jon Ferrari, they’ve got a great plan here for us while we’re in the building, so we feel 100 percent safe in the building. Now, we understand everything going on, how it can be contracted, but we feel safe.”

Fipp: “I think common sense is the biggest thing. Gotta be smart, obviously. There’s definitely an issue going on out there. I think we feel good about it as long as we wear masks and take care of our responsibility outside the building. I feel great about being inside the building.”

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More on the Eagles