Vanderbilt middle linebacker Jonathan Goff, a two-time All-Southeastern Conference pick, was selected in the fifth round of the NFL Draft on Sunday by the Super Bowl champion New York Giants.
The 6-foot-2, 245-pound Goff led the Commodores with 113 tackles in 2007.
He was the third Vanderbilt player drafted over the weekend, the most the school has produced in one year since 2001. Earlier Sunday, wide receiver Earl Bennett was a third-round pick by the Chicago Bears. On Saturday, offensive tackle Chris Williams was grabbed in the first round by the Bears.
Also on Sunday, Vanderbilt defensive tackle Theo Horrocks, a native of Fayetteville, Tenn., signed a free-agent deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was a three-year starter for the Commodores and a team captain in 2007.
Outside linebackers Curtis Gatewood and Marcus Buggs, who had been projected to be picked in some mock drafts, were not drafted Sunday. Both are expected to sign as free agents this week. On Sunday, Buggs heard from Chicago, Jacksonville and the Buffalo Bills.
VU offensive tackle Brian Stamper is expected to sign a free-agent deal this week with the Cleveland Browns but first must pass a physical exam. He missed half of the 2006 season after undergoing back surgery.
Offensive guard Josh Eames had discussions Sunday with the Kansas City Chiefs and also could be on the verge of a free-agent offer.
Goff, who received his mechanical engineering degree from Vanderbilt in December, might have a chance to contribute immediately on special teams for the Giants.
He considered an early jump to the NFL Draft after the 2006 season but chose to return for his senior year in 2007. It was a move that seems to have paid off.
“He’s a very, very fine football player,” Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson said. “You know when he goes out there he’s going to play well. He does everything. He is good in his pass drops. He is good against the run. He’s the kind of guy who just goes out and makes plays for you.”
Philadelphia picked former Brentwood Academy star King Dunlap in the seventh round with the 230th pick. The 6-foot-9, 320-pounder played offensive tackle at Auburn. Ex-MBA star Tom Santi, a Virginia tight end, was taken in the sixth round by the Indianapolis Colts.