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UM's Ingram, Navy's Hickman are picked, but not overjoyed


There were some unexpected reactions by two state college players selected in yesterday's NFL draft.

Navy tight end Kevin Hickman was surprised after being picked by the Detroit Lions in the sixth round, and Maryland offensive tackle Steve Ingram seemed confused after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers picked him in the seventh and final round.

As one of the best offensive linemen to play at Maryland, Ingram anticipated going in the first three rounds. He even had a party on Saturday, when the NFL held its first three rounds.

But Ingram had to wait. And wait. Maryland's first All-American in nine years, he was the 215th of 249 players taken. He watched 20 offensive linemen get drafted before him.

"I guess I'm disappointed," said Ingram, who had been projected by experts to go from the first to third round. "I know I'm a lot better than those other offensive linemen picked ahead of me."

On the other hand, Hickman said he expected to be taken in the later rounds, and was the 186th player selected. But an unemotional Hickman said it was a shock to be drafted by the Lions.

Hickman, who set a Navy career record for tight ends with 107 receptions for 1,178 yards, had been contacted by the New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns within the past month. The Lions hadn't seen Hickman since the NFL combine two months ago.

"I'm relieved, but I had different ideas where and who would take me," Hickman said. "I really didn't think it was going to be Detroit."

Hickman will attend minicamp with Detroit, but is committed to a five-year service obligation after graduation. Former New York Giants wide receiver Phil McConkey (Class of 1979) and former Los Angeles Raiders running back Napoleon McCallum (1985) were the last two Midshipmen successful in keeping an NFL career going while fulfilling their obligations.

Another local player, Virginia Tech wide receiver Antonio Freeman (Poly), was selected late in the third round by the Green Bay Packers.

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