Former Maryland cornerback Dexter McDougle was drafted Friday night by the New York Jets with the 16th pick of the third round, 80th overall, becoming the highest drafted Terrapins player since Torrey Smith, his old friend from back home, in 2011.
McDougle had previously visited the Jets this spring, making the rounds after a fractured collarbone ended his senior season short during the third week at Connecticut. The senior had rebounded strong, participating in drills at Pro Day and attending the NFL combine on a non-workout basis.
“I’ve seen a lot of guys go and just not do anything, stay away, have the attitude of woe-is-me,” Maryland Coach Randy Edsall said in mid-February. “He was completely the opposite.”
A resident of nearby Stafford, Va., McDougle contributed enough while injured and relegated to a sling to have an annual honor named after him, the Dexter McDougle Ultimate Team Player Award. At Maryland’s Pro Day, McDougle ran a 4.57 40-yard dash against the wind, according to one scout’s measurement, and a 4.47 40-yard dash with the wind.
Shortly after Pro Day, McDougle flew to Oakland to meet with the Raiders, then traveled to New York to meet the Jets and Giants. In the wake of his selection, he did not immediately return a text message request for comment.
NFL.com had projected McDougle as a sixth-to-seventh-round pick, citing his height (5 feet 10) and durability as possible issues. But the Jets deemed him worthy enough to select on the second day, one pick after fellow ACC defensive back Terrence Brooks, of Florida State.