SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

April 22, 2010

FEELING THE DRAFT

Salem's Harrington may get the call from NFL team

Growing up in Salem, Kyle Harrington was a New England Patriots fan.

"Of course, they were my favorite (NFL) team," said Harrington, who played at Salem High and followed it up with an outstanding career at UMass.

Harrington, 23, doesn't like the Patriots any less these days, but beginning today you can say he's also a fan of 31 other NFL teams.

That's not being wishy-washy, it's being realistic. When you're a 6-foot-4, 295 pound defensive tackle and viewed as someone whose stock is rising in the NFL draft process, your allegiances can change very quickly.

"Any team that's willing to take me — that will be my favorite team," said Harrington.

This much seems a lock: Harrington won't be drafted in today's first round. It's also unlikely that he'll go in tomorrow's second or third round.

"I'm no (Ndamukong) Suh," Harrington said with self-deprecating humor while referring to the University of Nebraska superstar defensive tackle who could the No. 1 or No. 2 pick overall.

But on Saturday, when the draft unfolds with the fourth through seventh rounds, Harrington plans to be near a phone at home in Salem.

"That's going to be the biggest day for me, with the late rounds," said Harrington. "Even if nothing happens with the draft, I could get a call from a team that would want me as a free agent. If that happens, it could be somewhat beneficial because I could look at depth charts and see what kind of defense different teams play.

"But of course I would rather be drafted. If some teams wants to draft me, it would feel like a great achievement."

Based on his body of work at UMass, where he made 142 career tackles and was a CAA All-Conference Second Team All-Star last year, and his impressive showing on Pro Day on the Amherst campus on March 25, Harrington has evidently elevated himself onto the NFL radar screen.

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