COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WDVM) – Maryland tight end Chig Okonkwo is going to the National Football League.
Okonkwo heard his name called in the fourth round of the draft. The Tennessee Titans selected Okonkwo with the 143rd overall pick, the final selection of the fourth round.
Okonkwo is the first Maryland tight end to be drafted to the NFL since Dan Gronkowski in 2009. He’s the highest drafted Terps tight end since Vernon Davis was selected sixth overall in 2006.
Okonkwo was somewhat of a secret weapon for Maryland last season and stepped into a larger role in the passing game when several key starting wide receivers went down with serious injuries. Okonkwo was tied for the team lead with five receiving touchdowns and served as a key blocker.
“He’s a guy that’s proven. He can block and he can run the route tree and he’s dynamic with the ball in his hands,” Maryland co-offensive coordinator and tight ends coach Mike Miller said leading up to the draft. “I think he’s gonna have a really good professional career. And when football’s over for him, he’s a guy that’s gonna excel. He’s a guy that’s fun to be around and he lights up the room.”
The Titans were one of the teams that Okonkwo said he had spoken to during the NFL draft process during his pro day. At the NFL combine, Okonkwo posted the fastest time for a tight end.