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NFL Draft: Shamar Stephen first Husky picked in Seventh Round

The Redshirt Senior was an absolute rock for the Huskies defense these past few years. He is the first UConn player off the board.

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

UConn Defensive Tackle Shamar Stephen has had the opposite experience of UConn's other likely draftee, Yawin Smallwood. Stephen's stock has gradually risen between now and the end of the season. He was ranked 107 overall by Todd McShay but fell all the way to pick #220 in the sixth round of the NFL Draft today. McShay gave him a third round grade.

A strong run defender with a high motor, Stephen has been on the field consistently for the Huskies following his redshirt season. After a reasonably productive senior season (60 tackles, 10TFL, 3 sacks, Team MVP) Shamar has hit the gym hard to get ready for competition at the next level.

With prototypical size (6-foot-5, 310lbs) for a defensive tackle, Stephen will fit in nicely for a team looking to add D-line depth. He is pretty athletic for his size with a high motor and strong leadership traits (was team captain last year). From what I've read he seems to be likely to fit well in 3-4 or 4-3 schemes. New Head Coach Mike Zimmer, who comes from a 3-4 background, plans on having his defense fit his personnel so we'll see how it goes.