UofM’s Dustin Woodard picked up by the Patriots in the NFL Draft

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Dustin Woodard was drafted by the New England Patriots in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Saturday, with the 230th overall pick. He becomes the first Memphis offensive lineman to be drafted since Wade Smith was selected by the Miami Dolphins in the third round of the 2003 draft.

Woodard appeared in every game during his career at Memphis. After playing in, but not starting, the first two games of his true freshman season, he started 52 consecutive games, including three AAC Championship games and four bowl games, ending with Memphis’ Goodyear Cotton Bowl in 2019.

A native of Chandler, Arizona, Woodard was a CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree as a senior and was a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation’s Campbell Trophy. He was also a finalist for the 2019 Senior CLASS Award.

As a freshman, Woodard appeared in all 13 games and was named a 247Sports.com True Freshman All-America honoree. As a sophomore, Woodard again appeared in all 13 games, playing at left guard. He moved to right guard as a junior, earning all-conference honors.

He moved to center in 2019, anchoring a Tiger offense that rushed for 2,614 yards (186.7/game) and passed for 4,177 yards (298.4/game).

With Woodard in the trenches, Memphis’ offenses have been some of the best in program history. The four teams are all in the top five in school history and amassed more than 27,000 yards. He has blocked for multiple All-Americans in his time at Memphis, including Darrell Henderson (Los Angeles Rams) in 2018, Anthony Miller (Chicago Bears) in 2017 and FWAA Freshman of the Year Kenneth Gainwell in 2019.

Woodard is the third Tiger to be drafted by the Patriots, following place-kicker Stephen Gostkowski (2006, 4th round) and defensive back Judson Flint (1979, 7th round).

His selection gives Memphis multiple draftees for a third straight season and marks the first time since 2001 that Memphis has had three players drafted (DB Idrees Bashir, DB Michael Stone, NT Marcus Bell).

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