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Three Tigers get first day call

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The recent success of the Missouri Tigers showed up in Saturday's NFL Draft. Three Tigers had their names called in the first two rounds. Only USC and Ohio State had more. Two of those players went in the first round, just the second time that has happened in school history.
Jeremy Maclin, as expected, was the first Tiger to go. He was taken 19th overall by the Philadelphia Eagles, who traded up two spots to grab the receiver and return man.
"Actually, we thought he was going to go quite a little bit higher than what he did so this was not who we had targeted," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "He just happened to be one of those guys that fell a little bit and kind of fell into our lap a little bit so we wanted to take advantage of it."
As for Maclin, he was projected to go in the top ten, but in slipping, now has a chance to go to a team that has made five of the last eight NFC championship games.
"You couldn't ask for a better situation," Maclin said. "You're going to catch passes from the league's best, a guy that's known for winning, a guy that's been winning for a while now. Just their whole offensive system is a good fit for me."
Maclin joins DeSean Jackson and Kevin Curtis in the Eagles' receiving corps.
"I would say we've got plenty of people there," said Reid, a former Mizzou assistant coach. "Now it's just a matter of all of them being on the same page with Donovan and working hard. We should have some flexibility and versatility and a little speed."
Maclin will be playing his pro football in the same state as one of his college teammates. The Pittsburgh Steelers made defensive tackle Ziggy Hood the 32nd overall selection, and the final pick of the first round.
"I had no feeling. I thought it was going to be earlier, Atlanta or even Detroit taking me at 20, but I had no clue," Hood told Steelers.com. "I'm just honored to be part of a Super Bowl team."
Hood is the first defensive lineman taken in the first round by Pittsburgh in the first three rounds of the draft since 2001. He will play defensive end in the Steelers' 3-4 attack.
"First, make the team," Hood said of his goals as a rookie. "Second, try to become a legitimate player, defensive line, special teams, anything."
The third Tiger had to wait a while to hear his name called, but safety William Moore went to the Atlanta Falcons with the 55th overall pick, the 23rd of the second round.
"When I slipped, my mom said everything happens for a reason, and there had to be a reason," Moore said on a conference call. "I'm ready to get down to Atlanta."
The Falcons were one of the teams Moore has long thought could take him in the draft. Atlanta has six safeties listed on the roster, but only one has more than three years of NFL experience and starter Lawyer Milloy left Atlanta as a free agent this off-season.
Besides making the team, Moore said he has one other goal as a Falcon. He hopes to wear #25 in honor of Aaron O'Neal.
"That was my teammate, he came in with me as a freshman," Moore said. "I'm just trying to keep his memory alive. That's who I'm playing for. I never stopped playing for him. Twenty-five, I'm really trying to get it. If I don't get it, hopefully I'll get it some day."
The number is currently worn by Von Hutchins, a fifth-year cornerback from Ole Miss.
All three teams that drafted a Missouri player were in the playoffs last season.
Chase Coffman is expected to be chosen when the draft resumes on Sunday. Numerous other Tigers could either be drafted or sign as free agents, including Stryker Sulak, Chase Daniel, Jeff Wolfert, Brock Christopher and Tommy Saunders. PowerMizzou.com will keep Tiger fans up to date on where the former Mizzou players land.
Nobody covers Missouri football and basketball like PowerMizzou.com. If you are not yet a member, just try out our free seven-day trial