By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
Derek Sherrod had to sweat it out, but his NFL dream became reality late Thursday night.
The Mississippi State offensive tackle was selected by defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay with the 32nd and final pick of the first round of the NFL Draft.
Sherrod was the seventh tackle taken Thursday. Several mock drafts had him going 29th to Chicago, but the Bears took Wisconsin’s Gabe Carimi.
The Packers’ current left tackle is 11-year veteran Chad Clifton, a 2007 Pro Bowler. Sherrod could be his backup at first, or one of the two might move to right tackle, a spot some analysts think is a better fit for Sherrod.
The 6-foot-5, 321-pound Sherrod, a Caledonia High product, is the first Bulldog since 1996 to be picked in the first round. That year, defensive back Walt Harris went No. 13 to Chicago, and receiver Eric Moulds went No. 24 to Buffalo.
Sherrod was a two-time All-SEC pick and was named a second-team All-American by the Associated Press last season. He regularly recorded blocking grades of 90 percent or better and was a big reason MSU averaged 214.8 rushing yards per game in 2010.
Green Bay went 10-6 last season and entered the playoffs as the NFC’s No. 6 seed, but it rolled through the playoffs and beat Pittsburgh 31-25 for the franchise’s fourth Super Bowl title.
Sherrod could not be reached for comment before the Journal went to press Thursday night.
Three more Bulldogs could be picked this year: defensive end Pernell McPhee, outside linebacker K.J. Wright and inside linebacker Chris White. The second and third rounds will be held today, and rounds four through seven are Saturday.