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Friday, April 25, 2008
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2007-08 Year in Review

2008 NFL Draft hits Minnesota

By Ryan Phelps
New York, NY

Litchfield's John Carlson will take his skills from South Bend to the Great Northwest as a member of the Seattle Seahawks. (photo courtesy of Irish Eyes)

Two Minnesotans, John Carlson and Trevor Laws, were drafted in round two in Saturday's 2008 NFL Draft.  Both played high school football in Minnesota, went on to have great college careers at Notre Dame and were chosen only nine picks apart.  A third Minnesotan, Dominique Barber, was selected in the sixth round.  The draft concluded Sunday night.
Carlson picked by Seahawks - 2nd Round (38th overall)
John Carlson, a native of Litchfield, played his college football at Notre Dame.  While he struggled last year (and what Irish didn't?), Carlson is expected to become a starter for the Seahawks.  There are four tight ends listed on Seattle's depth chart, but none make even the most devout football fan get tingles.
Will Heller, listed as the starter, filled out the stat sheet to the tune of 13 receptions, 82 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Recently signed backup Jeb Putzier had 6 rec., 39 yds. and 1 TD in 8 games with the Texans last season.  The other two TE's listed, Joe Newton and Zac Alcorn, have no offensive stats of any kind.  In fact, the only marks to be found are Alcorn's 3 tackles from 2006 when he was in Green Bay.
Carlson's senior year was a point of contention among the draft experts, but he still managed to lead the Fighting Irish with 40 receptions for 372 yards and was second on the team with 3 TD's.  Not bad for a team that managed three wins last season.
Laws picked by Eagles - 2nd Round (47th overall)
Apple Valley native Trevor Laws was the fourth defensive tackle taken in the 2008 NFL draft on Saturday.  Laws will head northeast to Philadelphia from South Bend, Ind. after a stellar senior season with the Fighting Irish.
Laws compiled 112 tackles for Notre Dame last season, but at 6'1", 304 lbs. he is shorter than the ideal DT.  Even though Laws in undersized (really?), his all-out style earned him high praise among the draft experts.
Brodrick Bunkley and  Mike Patterson are listed as the starters in Philly's 4-3 defense, but a high-intensity and a non-stop motor could get Laws onto the field as long as he stays healthy.
Barber picked by Texans - 6th Round (173rd overall)
Former Golden Gopher and Wayzata Trojan Dominique Barber was chosen with the seventh pick of the sixth round by the Houston Texans.  The safety will have to fight for playing time since he does not possess the top-end speed needed to dominate in the NFL defensive backfield.  Barber does play the run quite well using his 210 lbs. as a battering ram.
Circle Friday, Aug. 22 on your calenders.  On that day the Texans and the Cowboys will meet in a week 3 preseason game in Dallas.  Maybe, just maybe, there will be a collision among brothers when Marion III hosts Dominique and Houston.
NFL Draft Countdown.com links
Click here for Trevor Laws from Apple Valley
Click here for John Carlson from Litchfield
Audio Features
Ryan Phelps sat down to chat with some local coaches about the draft
Click here for Jon Johnson, Litchfield football coach
Click here for John Carlson Sr, John's father
Click here for Ron Stolski, Exec. Dir. of the MFCA
Click here for Craig Schlichting, Triton asst coach and 1990 Vikings draft pick
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