Defensive End Cameron Thomas got things started for San Diego State by getting drafted in the third round on Friday evening. Things continued in a big way for the Aztecs with three more players being selected on Saturday across rounds four through seven.
Tight End Daniel Bellinger kicked off the Saturday selections after the New York Giants used their fourth-round pick to take him (112th overall). Bellinger was a solid but under the radar player in college because he was mostly utilized as a run-blocker and was not frequently targetted in the passing game. However, he was a reliable receiver over the middle of the field. NFL teams were interested in him, as depicted by his mid-round status. Teams coveted his run-blocking ability, which is top-notch, as well as his huge size. Bellinger has all the makings of an NFL tight-end.
And the sixth tight end drafted is @bellinger_12! pic.twitter.com/GSkRiABZMs— San Diego State Football (@AztecFB) April 30, 2022
Matt Araiza had to wait for two other punters to get their names called prior to his own, but he found a good landing spot when the Buffalo Bills took him with the first pick in the sixth round (which was 180th overall). He should play immediately and finds himself on a playoff contender. His ability to flip the field and bury teams at their own goalline should pay instant dividends.
Hey @BuffaloBills, you’re going to love #OURGUY @matt_araiza! Get ready for some left-footed BOMBS! #PuntGod #BillsMafia pic.twitter.com/HSnxx0QztY— San Diego State Football (@AztecFB) April 30, 2022
Rounding out the group with offensive tackle Zach Thomas (brother of Cam). This Thomas was taking by the Chicago Bears, also in the sixth round (186th overall). He played mostly tackle in college but will make the transition to guard for his pro career. The Bears are in desperate need of offensive lineman who know how to actually block people, so the steady abilities of Thomas should be a welcome addition.
Both Thomas brothers have been drafted! @Zach_Thomas76 is on the @ChicagoBears! pic.twitter.com/GWwmQlP1sF— San Diego State Football (@AztecFB) April 30, 2022
With four players drafted this year, San Diego State easily tops the Mountain West Conference for most players drafted. They also were near the top of teams in the PAC-12, tying Washington and Arizona State and having more than every other school except for UCLA.