Several Duke players get called for NFL draft on final day of event


Chris Rumph II, Getty Images

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May 09 2021 03:00 pm

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — The first two days of the NFL draft were quiet for the Duke Blue Devils but they more than made up for it on the final day with roughly half a dozen players either drafted or signed by NFL teams.

The first player to get a phone call was defensive end Chris Rumph II who was selected in the fourth round by the San Diego Chargers with the 118th overall pick. A two-time All-ACC selection for the Blue Devils in 2019 and 2020, Rumph played in 36 games and totaled 125 tackles (34 for loss), 17.5 sacks and 18 quarterback pressures.

Rumph will join a group that includes Pro Bowl veteran Joey Bosa, Kyler Fackrell, and Uchenna Nwosu.

Rumph is Duke’s first draft pick since quarterback Daniel Jones went sixth overall to the New York Giants in 2019.

The next Blue Devil to hear his name called was defensive back Michael Carter II. Taken by the Jets in the in the fifth round with the 154th overall pick Carter was a third-team All-ACC selection as a senior. In 46 career games, he made 36 starts, had 135 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss.

A few picks later Noah Gray was taken by the Kansas City Chiefs with the 162nd overall pick. A 2019 All-America pick by The Walter Camp Football Foundation and a 2019 second-team All-ACC honoree, Gray broke a 57-year-old program record when he surpassed Stan Crisson to become Duke’s career leader in receptions by a tight end.

Gray missed only one game during his Blue Devil tenure (48 games), making 21 starts, and recorded 105 receptions for 948 yards and eight touchdowns.

The last Blue Devil to be selected by the NFL was defensive end Victor Dimukeje who was chosen in the sixth round with the 210th pick by the Arizona Cardinals. A 2017 first-team Freshman All-America selection by and two-time All-ACC honoree, Dimukeje finished one sack shy of breaking Duke’s career sacks record.

Dimukeje started every game during his Blue Devil tenure (49 games) and had 166 tackles, 36.0 tackles for loss and 21.5 sacks. Dimukeje is the ninth NFL Draft pick to have played at Duke under head coach David Cutcliffe.

He might not have had his name called on TV but as soon as the draft ended cornerback Mark Gilbert agreed to terms with the Pittsburgh Steelers to join them as an undrafted free agent. The Fayetteville native graduated as Duke’s single-season record holder for total passes defended with 21 (six interceptions and 15 pass breakups) in 2017.

Gilbert is the only player in Duke history to record five-plus interceptions and 15-plus pass breakups in a single campaign.

Right behind him was running back Deon Jackson, who was signed as a free agent by the Indianapolis Colts. Jackson earned 18 rushing attempts of 20-plus yards, including a career-long 75-yard touchdown jaunt versus Miami in 2018. Jackson posted 15 games with two-plus pass receptions, including a career-high seven catches against Wake Forest in 2018. He also had six games with 30-plus receiving yards, including a career-best 89 yards at Pittsburgh in 2018.

Finally offensive tackle Devery Hamilton signed a free-agent deal with the Las Vegas Raiders. Hamilton joined the Blue Devil program for one season after a successful four-year career at Stanford.

In 38 career games (21 starts), Hamilton registered 1,823 total snaps. He was a three-time academic selection (Pac-12 All-Academic x2 and Academic All-ACC) and participated in three bowl games (2016 & 2018 Hyundai Sun Bowl and the 2017 Valero Alamo Bowl) while at Stanford.

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