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Cardinal once again sends six prospects to the NFL

Andrus Peat will start his NFL career looking to protect Drew Brees' blind side in New Orleans. (JEFFREY D. ALLRED/isiphotos.com)

For the second straight year, six former Stanford football players were selected in the NFL Draft.

Andrus Peat, Jordan Richards, Alex Carter, Henry Anderson, Ty Montgomery and David Parry made up the Cardinal’s 2015 draft class, as Stanford tied for the sixth-most draftees of any school in the nation.

On Thursday night, offensive tackle Andrus Peat became the Cardinal’s first draftee of the 2015 NFL Draft when the New Orleans Saints picked him in the first round with the 13th overall pick. He was the school’s highest pick since Andrew Luck was taken first overall in 2012.

“That’s such a huge honor to play for the Saints and block for Drew Brees,” Peat said. “I grew up watching the Saints and him, and it’s pretty special to be playing with them. I’m excited to come in, work, and just get better as a football player.”

Peat was the third offensive lineman taken in the draft following the Washington Redskins’ selection of Iowa tackle Brandon Scherff and the New York Giants’ selection of Miami tackle Ereck Flowers.

Jordan Richards reunites with his former Cardinal teammates Cameron Fleming and Tyler Gaffney in New England. (TRI NGUYEN/The Stanford Daily)
Jordan Richards reunites with his former Cardinal teammates Cameron Fleming and Tyler Gaffney in New England. (TRI NGUYEN/The Stanford Daily)

In the second and third rounds on Friday, the Cardinal saw four players drafted – three more than were taken in the same rounds last year – including three on defense. Safety Jordan Richards was the Cardinal’s first draftee on Friday after the defending champion New England Patriots made him their second round draft choice with the 64th overall pick. Though the pick came as a surprise to many, New England head coach Bill Belichick had high praise for Richards.

“[He] has been a good player at Stanford,” Belichick said at a press conference at Gillette Stadium. “He kind of plays both strong safety and free safety. [He’s] been a real productive guy for them. I think he’s a guy we’ll like [and] you’ll like having around here.

On his phone call with Richards after the Patriots drafted him, Belichick said, “Congratulations, you’re a New England Patriot. You’ll be here with your boys Cam Fleming and Tyler Gaffney. We’ll have a big Cardinal reunion here.”

Sixteen picks later, the Detroit Lions took cornerback Alex Carter in the third round with the 80th overall pick.

“He will come in and be tried out at different positions and on special teams and on defense,” Lions’ general manager Martin Mayhew said. “We will see how he does. He certainly has the ability and he is a sharp guy. He will learn very fast.”

Along with Peat, Carter was one of the two Stanford players who forfeited a final year of eligibility to enter the draft.

Henry Anderson, who production over four years in the Stanford defensive line was incredibly consistent, was chosen in the 3rd round by Indy. (TRI NGUYEN/The Stanford Daily)
Henry Anderson, who production over four years in the Stanford defensive line was incredibly consistent, was chosen in the 3rd round by Indy. (TRI NGUYEN/The Stanford Daily)

Later in the third round, the Indianapolis Colts and the Green Bay Packers selected Cardinal players with subsequent picks. The Colts took defensive end Henry Anderson with the 93rd overall pick, and the Packers took wide receiver Ty Montgomery with the 94th pick.

Anderson should challenge immediately for a starting spot on the Colts defensive line – a position of need for the team – while Montgomery will almost assuredly factor into the Packers’ return game right away. He may even see time on offense as a weapon at the disposal of last season’s MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

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David Parry joins five other Cardinal alums, including former No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck, on the Indianapolis Colts. (DAVID BERNAL/isiphotos.com)

On the final day of the draft, the Colts drafted defensive tackle David Parry in the fifth round with the 151st overall pick. With the selection, the Colts now have five former Cardinal on their roster – along with Anderson, Parry and Luck, Griff Whalen and Coby Fleener also play for the Colts – which is the highest number of former Cardinal players on any NFL team.

In the aftermath of the draft, the Buffalo Bills signed linebacker A.J. Tarpley as an undrafted free agent, while the Packers also signed linebacker James Vaughters as an undrafted free agent.

Contact Michael Peterson at mrpeters ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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