Green, Salas, Pilares Chosen in NFL Draft

April 30, 2011, 9:36 AM HST · Updated April 30, 9:36 AM
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By Fred Guzman

Coming into the NFL Draft, two – maybe three — former University of Hawaii players were projected as likely selections.

Receiver Greg Salas in the middle rounds and running back Alex Green in the late rounds. Receiver Kealoha Pilares was given an outside chance of being chosen.  As things turned out, all three were gone from the big boards by early in the fifth round.

Green was the first of the former UH standots to hear his named called. He was claimed by the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers with the next-to-last pick –96th overall — in Friday’s third round. Green goes to a team seeking to improve its run game and his pass-catching skills may earn him playing time in third-down situations.

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Salas was taken 112th overall midway through the fourth round b the St. Louis Rams, who are seeking to upgrade the targets of talented young quarterback Sam Bradford.

And Pilares was picked 132nd overall with the first pick of the fifth round by Carolina, who kicked off the draft on Thursday by selecting Auburn quarterback Cam Newton.

Playing in a pass-happy offense, Green rushed for 1,1199 yards, and averge of 8.2 yards per carry, and 18 touchdowns. He also caught 27 passes for 363 yard and a touchdown.

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He should do okay financially. Last year’s 96th pick — cornerback Brandon Ghee, by Cincinnati — signed a four-year contract that included a signing bonus of $648,000.

The Rams loaded up on new targets for Bradford, earlier selecting Wisconsin tight end Lance Kendricks in the second round and receiver Austin Pettis in the third.

Pilares is coming off a knee injury. He doesn’t have great size or super quickness, but he runs good routes and isn’t afraid to work the middle of the field. In short, he’s a likely slotback in three-receiver sets.

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