Several UNC players selected in NFL draft


Javonte Williams, Getty images

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — The NFL Draft has come to a close and the UNC-Chapel Hill players were once again well represented.

The first Tar Heel to get his name called was running back Javonte Williams in the second round with the 35th overall pick by the Denver Broncos. While at UNC, Williams rushed for 2,297 yards and scored 29 rushing touchdowns in 35 career games.

His 6.3 yards per carry average is second in program history. Williams also excelled out of the backfield, hauling in 50 receptions for 539 yards and four receiving touchdowns.

“I’m so excited to be a Denver Bronco,” Williams said. “Who would have thought that a kid from Wallace, N.C. would be drafted into the NFL? It’s been a dream of mine, and now that it’s a reality, I’m just soaking it all in. I want to thank God and everyone that supported me along the way; my family, Coach Fedora and his staff, Coach Brown, Coach G and the current staff at North Carolina. I also want to thank the running back room for helping me develop into the player I am now. I loved my time in Chapel Hill, but I’m ready to join the Broncos and get to work.”

The next Tar Heel to get the call was linebacker Chazz Surratt. He was taken in the third round with the 78th overall pick by the Minnesota Vikings. In two seasons at UNC linebacker, Surratt recorded 206 tackles, 22.5 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 24 games.

“First off, I want to thank the Minnesota Vikings for selecting me,” Surratt said. “I’ve dreamed of playing in the NFL since I was a little kid, and now I have that opportunity. Obviously, I took a different path than normal by changing positions during college, but it was the right decision and I’m glad it is paying off. I want to thank my family for their support and guidance throughout this journey. I wouldn’t be here without them. I also want to thank Coach Fedora and his staff for bringing me to North Carolina and Coach Brown and his staff for helping me as I worked through the position change. I can’t leave out my teammates. Those guys made my time in Chapel Hill so special and I feel really lucky to have so many brothers for life. This is an exciting time and I’m looking forward to joining the Vikings organization and getting to work.”

Just four picks later, his teammate Dyami Brown has picked up by the Washington Football Team with the 82nd overall selection. Brown was one of the most prolific wide receivers in UNC history. He ranks second at Carolina in receiving touchdowns (21), second in yards per reception (18.7) and seventh with 2,306 receiving yards spanning 34 career games.

Brown is the only player in Tar Heel history to record two 1,000-yard receiving seasons.

“This is such a great day and I’m really happy to be drafted by Washington,” said Brown. “All the hard work, all the sweat, all the obstacles to overcome have been worth it to get a chance to hear my name called during the NFL Draft. This is life-changing, not only for me, but for my family, and I’m so happy to be in position to take care of the people that have supported me. I need to thank all the coaches and staff at North Carolina, who helped me grow as a player and person. I also want to shout out my teammates. We have a strong brotherhood at Carolina and I’m proud to represent them. I can’t wait to get to work with Washington and look forward to my future in the NFL.”

The final Tar Heel get selected was wide receiver Dazz Newsome in the sixth round with the 221st overall pick by the Chicago Bears. Newsome was nothing short of prolific in his four-year Tar Heel career.

Newsome ranks among the all-time greats at his position at UNC with 188 receptions (third), 2,435 receiving yards (fifth) and 18 receiving touchdowns (seventh).

“I’m pretty much speechless right now,” said Newsome. “I’m thankful that the Chicago Bears decided to bring me into their organization and I’m going to do everything I can to show them they made the right choice. Being drafted has always been my dream, and now it’s real. I have a chance to provide for my family, so you know you’re going to get everything I’ve got. I want to thank everyone that helped me along the way, all of the coaches, the staff members, my teammates, just everyone at North Carolina that helped me get to where I am today. It’s been a great ride, but now it’s time to go to work and find a way to help the Bears.”

“I’m really excited for Dazz and his family,” said Mack Brown, UNC head coach. “Dazz gave our opponents fits every week. He’s tough, hard to tackle, and just finds ways to get open. He is a true competitor, who loves football and is always ready to play. I think the Chicago Bears will see those same attributes during his time with the organization.”

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