Former Temple football players get shot at NFL

Former defensive linemen Jacob Martin and Jullian Taylor were selected by NFC West teams in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Jullian Taylor does a shuttle run exercise for scouts at Temple's annual Pro Day on March 19 at the STAR Complex. | SYDNEY SCHAEFER / TTN FILE PHOTO

Multiple Temple players were selected in the NFL Draft for the third straight season. It’s the first time the Owls have had players drafted in three straight seasons from 2001-03.  

The Seattle Seahawks selected former defensive end Jacob Martin in the sixth round with the 186th overall pick, and the San Francisco 49ers picked former defensive tackle Jullian Taylor in the seventh round with the 223rd overall pick.

Martin and Taylor supplement a group of six former Temple players who have been drafted in the past two seasons.

Former cornerback Tavon Young, former defensive tackle Matt Ioannidis and former linebacker Tyler Matakevich were selected in the 2016 NFL Draft. Former linebacker Haason Reddick, former offensive lineman Dion Dawkins and former cornerback Nate Hairston were selected in last year’s draft in Philadelphia.

Taylor and Martin combined for 21 tackles for loss and 84 tackles in the 2017 season. Martin also had eight sacks, which ranked second on the team.

Seven other former Owls have signed undrafted free agent deals with NFL teams.

Former defensive end Sharif Finch, who led the Owls in sacks last season with 8.5, signed with the Tennessee Titans.

Former defensive back Sean Chandler signed with the New York Giants. He was the lone Owl to compete at the NFL Scouting Combine in March.

Chandler started all four seasons at Temple. He made the switch from cornerback to safety during the 2016 season. He ranks 14th in program history with 265 career tackles. He made 79 tackles last season to rank third on the team.

Two of Temple’s top three wideouts from last season also landed on NFL teams. Keith Kirkwood signed with the New Orleans Saints, while Adonis Jennings signed with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Kirkwood and Jennings each recorded seven receiving touchdowns and more than 40 catches  in their final seasons.

Both of Temple’s starting tackles signed with NFL teams. Leon Johnson, who started nine of 13 games at left tackle, signed with the Denver Broncos. Cole Boozer, who started every game at right tackle, signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

Former fullback Nick Sharga signed with the Oakland Raiders. He finished his senior year with 53 rushing yards on 21 carries and one touchdown. He also played on every special teams unit and on defense during his career.

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