Multiple South Carolina Gamecocks players drafted in day two of 2023 NFL draft

Tennessee wide receiver Cedric Tillman (4) makes a catch over South Carolina defensive back Cam...
Tennessee wide receiver Cedric Tillman (4) makes a catch over South Carolina defensive back Cam Smith (9) for a 3-yard touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Artie Walker Jr.)(Artie Walker Jr. | AP)
Published: Apr. 29, 2023 at 12:29 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Two South Carolina natives who were also University of South Carolina football players were drafted in day two of the 2023 National Football League draft.

Blythewood, S.C. native, cornerback Cam Smith, was selected by the Miami Dolphins with the 20th pick in the second round and the 51st player taken overall. Anderson, S.C. native, defensive tackle Zacch Pickens, was selected by the Chicago Bears with the first pick in the third round and was the 64th player taken overall.

Smith was the first University of South Carolina defensive back selected in the draft since cornerback Jaycee Horn went to the Carolina Panthers and safety Israel Mukuamu was picked by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2021 draft.

Pickens comes to the Bears highly decorated, he was voted the team’s Most Outstanding Senior, the Joe Morrison Award winner as the MVP of the defense, the Steve Wadiak Team MVP Award winner, and was one of five players presented with the Rex Enright Team Captains’ Award following the 2022 season.

During his career in Garnet and Black, he had 131 career tackles including 11.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks.

Pickens was the first Gamecock defensive tackle drafted since Javon Kinlaw was drafted to the San Francisco 49ers in 2020 and the first South Carolina player selected by the Bears since Alshon Jeffery was taken in the second round of the 2012 draft.

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