April 28, 2012
NEW YORK (SMU) - Mustangs Kelvin Beachum, Richard Crawford and Taylor Thompson were selected in the 2012 NFL Draft on Saturday, April 28. Thompson was chosen by the Tennessee Titans with the 10th pick of the fifth round (145th overall), Crawford was selected by the Washington Redskins with the sixth pick of the seventh round (213th overall) and Beachum was taken by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 41st pick of the seventh round (248th overall). Beachum, Crawford and Thompson join teammate Josh LeRibeus, who was chosen with the eighth pick of the third round (71st overall), as 2012 Draftees. The four selections are the most for SMU since 1985, when Reggie Phillips, Dale Hellestrae, Ron Anderson and Chris Jackson were chosen.
Beachum was a four-year starter at left tackle for one of the country's most prolific passing offenses. SMU's offense amassed more than 5,000 yards of total offense during each of Beachum's final three seasons in which he never missed a start. The Mexia, Texas native was a three-time All-Conference USA selection, earning first team honors during his final two years as a Mustang. As a senior, Beachum was selected to both the Lombard Award and Outland Award watch lists.
Crawford nabbed six interceptions during his two seasons in the Mustang defensive backfield while recording 101 tackles. The 2011 First Team All-Conference USA selection was a punt return specialist for SMU, finishing 14th in the country this year with an average of 11.8 yards a return. Against UCF, the Oceanside, Calif., native tied the SMU record for the longest punt return with a 92-yard touchdown. Crawford totaled 141 return yards for the game which ranked second in SMU history.
During his four years as a Mustang, Thompson competed in 49 games, finishing his career with 43 straight starts at defensive end. The Prosper, Texas, native amassed 139 tackles, including 22.5 for loss, to go along with his 18 sacks. The three-time All-Conference USA selection and two-time first-team player had a team-high eight sacks during his final season to go with his six forced fumbles which was second in the conference. Prior to the season, Thompson was selected to the Lombardi Award, Nagurski Award and Pony Express Award watch lists.
LeRibeus, Thompson, Crawford and Beachum are the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh Mustangs to be drafted in last four years, respectively, joining current New Orleans Saint punter Thomas Morstead (2009), current Pittsburgh Steeler wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (2010) and current Redskins wideout Aldrick Robinson (2011).