AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn's Antonio Coleman, the SEC leader in sacks and tackles for a loss, was not among the 255 players selected in the NFL Draft's seven rounds this weekend.
The Tigers had two players taken running back Ben Tate to Houston in the second round and cornerback Walt McFadden to Oakland in the fifth. It was the fewest players Auburn has had selected in a draft since 2003, when none were picked.
Coleman, a first-team All-SEC selection, had a precipitous drop. Thought to be a second- or third-round pick before he elected to return for his senior season, his stock plummeted this offseason, despite leading the SEC in sacks (10) and tackles for a loss (16.5).
Questions persisted about what position the 6-foot-2, 255-pound Coleman would play in the NFL. Teams were concerned about his speed as an outside linebacker and size as a defensive end.
Coleman didn't help his cause during offseason workouts. A quad strain limited his activities during the NFL Combine in February. He did the bench press but managed to do only 18 reps at 225 pounds.
A total of 49 defensive ends or outside linebackers were taken in this year's draft.
Mississippi State's Willie Evans was the last SEC sacks leader not to get drafted in 2006. The last SEC leader in tackles for a loss not to be selected was Alabama's Wallace Gilberry in 2008.
Coleman, along with defensive tackle Jake Ricks and tight end/defensive end Gabe McKenzie, will try to latch on with teams as free agents