Schofield, Graham taken in 4th round

first_imgUW\’s O\’Brien Schofield was drafted 130th overall by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2010 NFL Draft.[/media-credit]Former Wisconsin captain O’Brien Schofield knew his torn ACL during senior bowl practices greatly affected his draft stock. He went from a first- or second-round pick in mock drafts to a potential undrafted free agent when his cleat got caught and his left knee turned the wrong way.But after a stellar senior season where he recorded 12 sacks and was second in the nation in tackles for loss, Schofield also knew it only took one team to take a chance on him.And in the fourth round, with the 130th selection in the 2010 NFL draft, the Arizona Cardinals took that chance.“It’s a privilege to get picked this high by a team,” Schofield said in a conference call with reporters. “The Arizona Cardinals taking a chance on me, knowing the person that I am, know that I’ll work hard to get back and produce on the field.”Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt thinks the organization got “first-round talent” with its fourth round selection and Schofield’s accomplishments could not be ignored.“It comes to a point that you can’t ignore the grade that we had on him, and you can’t ignore the production,” Whisenhunt said at the post-draft press conference.The Cardinals appear to be a great fit for Schofield who projects as an outside linebacker at the next level. But before he finds a spot in their 3-4 scheme, Schofield must rehab his knee injury.Scouts believed the torn ACL would rule Schofield out for the 2010 season, but the ex-Badger is determined to make an early impact.“I was told midway through camp I should be able to start doing some things with contact,” Schofield said in the conference call. ” I’m really planning on trying to play this year; I want to go real hard on my rehab to get ready for the 2010 season.”Arizona general manager Rod Graves knew the risks accompanying Schofield’s injured knee, but the Cardinals’ staff is confident he will return with no limitations.“We certainly discussed his injury,” Graves said at the post-draft press conference. “When you look back at the ACLs that we’ve had and the progress we’ve had bringing those players back, we felt like the risk is not like it used to be in respect to those types of injuries.”It’s been a long and stressful few months for Schofield, who thought his career was over after his injury. But behind strong faith and the support of his collegiate family, Schofield remained focused on his NFL dream.“I just had to stay positive. My faith in God really helped me out. I felt like my career was over,” Schofield said in the conference call. “I went back to school and my coaches, teammates, other players in the Big Ten were calling and encouraging me to keep working.”Graham joins Daniels in HoustonYears ago, Owen Daniels took high school senior Garrett Graham on a tour of the Wisconsin campus on his recruiting visit.Now, six years later, Daniels once again will serve as Graham’s tour guide — this time in Houston.“I know quite a bit about Owen Daniels. I was a freshman when he was a senior at Wisconsin. I followed him quite a bit,” Graham said in a conference call with reporters. “He is a great guy to watch and definitely be a great guy to learn under.”The first Badger picked in the draft, Graham was selected in the fourth round by the Houston Texans, and the former UW captain will get a chance to learn behind the 2008 pro bowl tight end, who was also a fourth round pick after graduating from Wisconsin.Texans head coach Gary Kubiak now hopes to have similar success with another Badger tight end.“We think [Graham] is a fine player. We had a little luck catching a fourth-round tight end out of Wisconsin a few years ago so this kid kind of reminds us of Owen,” Kubiak said in a post-draft press conference. “Owen knows the young man and spoke very highly of him. He does a lot of things well. He’s been a captain and been very respected; he is the type of kid we’re looking for.”Graham joins an explosive Texans offense led by quarterback Matt Schaub, wide receiver Andre Johnson and Daniels, who is recovering from a knee injury, and the New Jersey native is excited about his future in Houston.“I’m just grateful to get the opportunity to play in the NFL and have a great opportunity to go to a franchise like the Texans,” Graham said in a conference call with reporters. “I’m just really looking forward to it.”Maragos and Stehle sign free agent dealsSchofield and Graham may have been the only Badgers drafted, but several other Badgers will get a chance to make an NFL roster.Former UW captain, Chris Maragos, signed as an undrafted free agent with the San Francisco 49ers.Defensive tackle Jeff Stehle signed with the Denver Broncos and linebacker Jaevery McFadden will work out for the Minnesota Vikings and Washington Redskins over the next two weeks.–Editor’s Note: The original printed version of this story had Jaevery McFadden having signed with the Washington Redskins on Sunday based on several sources posting such information. We have since confirmed that he has only scheduled workouts with the Redskins as well as the Minnesota Vikings. We regret the error.last_img read more