BOONE — Three days, seven rounds and 252 players of NFL draft passed without picking one player from Appalachian State.
The Mountaineers were shut out of the draft when ended shortly after 6:30 p.m. on April 27 Eastern Daylight Time. Several Mountaineers were eligible for the draft, but the general feeling was that running back Jalin Moore and cornerback Clifton Duck were the most likely App State players to be picked.
Duck agreed to a free agent contract with the Chicago Bears after the draft. Former App State defensive back Austin Exford also agreed to a deal with the Houston Texans.
Defensive back Tae Hayes signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars and MyQuon Stout signed with the Jets.
Exford excelled as both a hard-hitting standout on several special teams units as well as a safety who was named first-team All-Sun Belt by the PFF College site last fall. The Snellville, Ga., native played in 41 career games and totaled 102 tackles, three fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, one interception, one sack and a defensive touchdown.
Hayes, from Decatur, Ala., was a three-year starter at cornerback with 33 career passes defended, including nine interceptions. He earned All-Sun Belt honors as both a junior and senior. In his four seasons, App State’s 73 interceptions tied San Diego State for the national lead during that span.
Fellow Mountaineers Anthony Flory, Dominique Heath and Elias McMurry were also eligible for the draft. They are free to sign with any NFL team.
Moore, the Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year in 2016, is coming off a dislocated ankle injury suffered in the fifth week of the 2018 season at Arkansas State. He rehabilitated his injury and was invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, but could not participate in any drills except the bench press, which he pressed 225 pounds 27 times.
Moore did not run the 40-yard dash at the Appalachian State Pro Day, but he showed a vertical leap of 33 inches and ran several pass-catching drills. After the drills, Moore met with several scouts for nearly two hours.
Moore, who prepped at Crest High School in Shelby, worked out for several teams, including the Carolina Panthers, New Orleans, Kansas City, Chicago, Houston, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Detroit.
Duck, who stands 5-foot-10 and weighs 180 pounds, chose to forgo his senior season with the Mountaineers to be eligible for the draft. He brings a solid resume to the NFL, including 12 total interceptions, 11 of them combined in his first two seasons at Appalachian State.
Duck’s work ethic is also on his resume. He entered Appalachian State weighing 140 pounds, but hit the weight room to bulk himself up. He proved his upper-body strength by bench pressing 225 pounds 16 times at the Appalachian State Pro Day.