There was no exhaling in the glare of TV floodlights inside the Radio City Music Hall green room or chaos in New York for Eric Pinkins and Terrance Mitchell during the NFL draft.
Instead, they were at home in Sacramento. The defensive backs were selected on the third day of the draft, as expected. Pinkins, from Inderkum High School and San Diego State, went in the sixth round to the Seattle Seahawks, and Mitchell, from Burbank and Oregon, in the seventh round to the Dallas Cowboys.
“Excited and proud,” Pinkins said.
And Mitchell: “Love it. It’s a dream.”
Pinkins played safety for the Aztecs, and the Seahawks plan to convert the 6-foot-3, 220-pounder to cornerback, where coach Pete Carroll likes big, physical players. Pinkins had impressed during his pro-day workout, clocking a 4.4-second 40-yard dash.
“He gives us great flexibility, and we think he’s a really cool pick because of that,” Carroll told Seattle media.
The 5-11, 195-pound Mitchell was disappointed that he lasted until the seventh round but was delighted to go to Dallas, where coaches were surprised he lasted so long. Team owner Jerry Jones made the call to Mitchell.
“He’s a player we had highly graded on our board,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said at a news conference. “Interviewed him at the combine, had a good visit with him there. You value bigger guys at the corner positions, particularly this late in the draft. You want guys who have some traits to develop. We feel like he does.”
Pinkins became the first Inderkum player to be drafted into the NFL. Former Inderkum and American River College wide receiver LaDon Hudson signed with the Carolina Panthers as an undrafted free agent on Monday.
Moala to Ravens – Vei Moala (Grant) gambled on leaving Cal, where he was scheduled to graduate on time, a year early to test his draft stock. The 6-3, 330-pound defensive tackle went undrafted but signed as a free agent with the Baltimore Ravens.
Westbrooks to Rams – Ethan Westbrooks (Franklin, Sacramento City College) went from obscurity as a defensive end at Division II West Texas A&M to the NFL radar when he earned Defensive MVP honors in the East-West Shrine Game. Westbrooks signed as an undrafted free agent with the St. Louis Rams, and the 6-3, 267-pounder will battle with seventh-round pick Michael Sam of Missouri for a roster spot.
Colfax scholar-athlete winner – Michael Wilson of Colfax was named the CIF State Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, beating out more than 500 candidates representing 1,500 schools. Wilson, a record-setting quarterback who also played basketball and is on the school’s Pioneer Valley League championship baseball team, became the first Placer County athlete to win the award. The state Capitol and Senate and Assembly floors will recognize Wilson next month.
Et cetera – The 2015 U.S. Army All-American football game, a national senior showcase held each January, has nominated 55 players from California, including Folsom quarterback Jake Browning , Folsom lineman Cody Creason , Cosumnes Oaks wide receiver L.J. Reed , Capital Christian cornerback-running back Justice Shelton-Mosley and Granite Bay linebacker Cameron Smith .• College football line coaches from Oregon, UCLA, Utah, San Diego State, Colorado, Cal, Fresno State and other West Coast colleges will break down trench technique and fundamentals at American River College on Friday and Saturday in the “Linemen Win Games Coaches Clinic.” Visit www.linemenwingames.com for information.
• Skip Albano , the interim head coach at Granite Bay High last season, has joined Ben Noonan ’s staff at Sierra College. Albano will coach the secondary, joking that it’s been more than 40 years since he taught coverage tricks.
• Retired De La Salle football coach Bob Ladouceur was inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame last weekend. He went 399-25-3 in 34 years at the Concord school, including going 5-0 against Sacramento-area teams and 34-0 against Sac-Joaquin Section foes. Ladouceur is now an assistant coach at De La Salle.