NFL Draft picks do well academically

May 4, 2006 at 6:04 PM

NEW YORK, May 4 (UPI) -- The National Football League Thursday said the league's 2006 draft class had a very good overall academic record and has several college graduates.

Defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka from Boston College, a first-round pick of the New York Giants, is pursuing a master's degree in English.

Missouri quarterback Brad Smith, a fourth-round choice by the New York Jets as wide receiver, is working on a masters in economics; offensive tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson, a first-round pick by the Jets, graduated from Virginia; and linebacker DeMeco Ryans from Alabama, a second-round choice by the Houston Texans, graduated with a 3.5 grade point average in business management.

"It means everything to me because I know football isn't going to last forever," Ryans said. "You have to have a degree to fall back on. Anything I receive with academics shows what the real college athlete is about -- being a scholar and an athlete."

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