April 26, 2013
Rice senior tight end Vance McDonald capped steady climb up NFL draft boards by being selected by the NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft on Friday night.
McDonald was the 55th overall selection in this year's draft, the highest selection of an Owl since Bert Emanuel was taken by Atlanta with the 45th overall selection in 1994. McDonald is the 10th Owl to be selected in the second round of the draft, the most in any round.
He is the 10th Owl overall taken by San Francisco, and the last to be drafted and play for the team, Earl Cooper, was also a tight end. Cooper caught Joe Montana's first Super Bowl touchdown pass when the 49ers defeated Cincinnati in Super Bowl XVI.
McDonald was a consensus All C-USA selection after catching 36 passes for 458 yards and two touchdowns despite missing three games late in his senior season. He began to move up draft boards after becoming the first Rice player to play in the Senior Bowl since ND Kalu in 1997 and continued his ascent with a strong performance at the NFL Scouting Combine.
He ranks sixth all-time with 119 catches (David Houser is fifth with 152), seventh on the Rice career list with 1,504 receiving yards (Doug Cunningham is sixth with 1,522) and tied for fifth with 15 career touchdown receptions (Eric Henley is fourth with 16, James Casey is third with 17 and Houser is second with 18).
He returned from his midseason injury to catch 16 passes for 184 yards and a touchdown in the last two regular season games, including a career-high nine vs. UTEP as the Owls clinched a berth in the Armed Forces Bowl.
Five of McDonald's nine catches in that game came on third down conversions, sustaining all three of the Owls touchdown drives including a pair of conversions in each of the Owls two drives of 90 yards or more in the game.
Rice has now had five players drafted in the last five NFL drafts, including three players recruited by David Bailiff. The Owls only had five players drafted in a period of 11 years prior to James Casey and Jarett Dillard being taken in 2009.
Jackson Named to Campbell Tyler Rose Award...
08/19/2015 - Rice senior quarterback Driphus Jackson is among 39 players who have been named to the third annual Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Watch List which...
Football Holds First Scrimmage of the Fall
08/15/2015 - The Rice football team completed its first scrimmage of fall camp on Saturday practicing for two hours at Rice Stadium.
YSR 1560 Offers Expanded Football Media Day...
08/04/2015 - The Rice Owls and YSR 1560, the home of Rice Football since 2011, are combining resources to provide expanded coverage of the Owls annual media day...
Jackson Named to Unitas Golden Arm Award Watch ...
08/04/2015 - Rice senior Driphus Jackson is one of 30 quarterbacks who have been named to the 2015 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Watch List which was announced...
Fall Fan Fest Set for August 22
08/03/2015 - Rice Athletics will kick off an exciting fall season of football, soccer and volleyball on Saturday, August 22 when the Owls host their first...
FOX Completes 2015 Rice Football Scheduling
08/03/2015 - FOX Sports has announced two updates to the Owls 2015 home football schedule, including a network change and adjusted game time for the Owls’...
PHOTO GALLERY: Patterson Center Construction...
07/31/2015 - Work continues on the Brian Patterson Sports Performance Center as the foundation work begins to reveal the building's footprint.
Football single-game tickets now on sale
07/30/2015 - Single-game tickets for each of the six Rice Football home games in 2015 are now available for sale online.
- Top Videos /
- Online Store