FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas defensive end Jamaal Anderson and cornerback Chris Houston are on their way to the Atlanta Falcons while offensive tackle Tony Ugoh is headed to the Indianapolis Colts after the first day of the National Football League Draft on Saturday.
Anderson, a Little Rock, Ark., native, was selected with the eighth pick of the first round. Houston and Ugoh heard their names called back-to-back in the second round with the 41st and 42nd selections to the Falcons and Colts, respectively.
Anderson became the 19th Razorback to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft including the fourth Arkansas player in the Houston Nutt era to be taken in the initial round. He is the first Razorback since Matt Jones (2005) to be selected in the first round and the highest pick out of Arkansas since Billy Ray Smith Jr. was taken by the San Diego Chargers with the fifth pick of the 1983 draft.
Anderson was an honorable mention All-America and a consensus All-Southeastern Conference selection last season after racking up a league-leading 13.5 sacks (-95). He also registered 19.5 tackles for loss (-108)
Houston will join Anderson in Atlanta after the Falcons chose the honorable mention All-America cornerback with their third pick of the draft. Houston was a consensus second-team All-SEC selection racked up 45 tackles and three interceptions, including returning a pick for 87 yards and a touchdown in a win over Mississippi State.
Anderson and Houston became the first Razorbacks to be drafted by Atlanta since Randy Garner in 2000 and the first Arkansas duo to go to the same team in the draft since 1990 when the Chicago Bears selected James Rouse and Anthoney Cooney.
Ugoh was taken one pick after Houston by the Colts, the team that drafted former Razorback offensive guard Brandon Burlsworth in 1999. Ugoh was a second-team All-America selection and a first-team All-SEC performer in 2006 in helping the Razorbacks to a 10-4 campaign. The Houston, Texas native cleared the way for the SEC-leading and fourth ranked rushing offense in the nation with an average of 228.5 yards per game. The Razorback offensive line also finished second in the nation in fewest sacks allowed.