Seven Former Rebels Sign NFL Deals
Trae Elston (photo by Joshua McCoy)
May 5, 2016

OXFORD, Miss. - After a weekend that featured the program's most NFL Draft selections in over thirty years, Ole Miss continued to add to the pro ranks by having seven more Rebels signed to NFL teams this week.

The seven Rebels that have the opportunity to continue their football careers are Quintavius Burdette (tryout - New York Giants), Trae Elston (New Orleans Saints), Woodrow Hamilton (New England Patriots), Mike Hilton (Jacksonville Jaguars), C.J. Johnson (New England Patriots), Jaylen Walton (tryout - New Orleans Saints) and Channing Ward (Tampa Bay Buccaneers).

Last Thursday, Ole Miss had three first-round draft picks for the first time in school history in Laremy Tunsil (13th overall, Miami Dolphins), Laquon Treadwell (23rd overall, Minnesota Vikings) and Robert Nkemdiche (29th overall, Arizona Cardinals). Fellow Rebels Fahn Cooper (5th round, San Francisco 49ers) and Cody Core (6th round, Cincinnati Bengals) were selected two days later.



The five draft picks were the most for Ole Miss since having five in 1985 and the most since the NFL went to a seven-round format in 1994.

Quintavius Burdette - WR - New York Giants

Burdette was a four-year letterman for the Rebels, playing on both sides of the ball. Known for his blazing speed, he was also an honorable mention All-American in the 4x100-meter relay for the Rebel track team.

Trae Elston - S - New Orleans Saints

Elston was a four-year starter for the Rebels, including a first team All-America and All-SEC selection last season. Given his 44 career starts while amassing 252 tackles in his four years at Ole Miss, Elston was one of the more decorated players in college football to go undrafted.

Woodrow Hamilton - DT - New England Patriots

Hamilton was a four-year letterman and two-year starter for the Rebels. He started 23 games at nose tackle in his Rebel career while collecting 83 tackles with seven for a loss.

Mike Hilton - DB - Jacksonville Jaguars

Hilton was a jack-of-all-trades in his time in Oxford, as he started at every position in the Rebel defensive backfield. No matter where he was lined up, Hilton was effective. The Chucky Mullins Courage Award winner recorded 226 tackles, 25.5 tackles for loss and six interceptions in his career at Ole Miss.

C.J. Johnson - LB - New England Patriots

Johnson was a vocal leader for Ole Miss over the past five seasons with 38 career starts. He amassed 180 career tackles, 13.5 sacks and 27 tackles for loss while contributing at both linebacker and defensive line.

Jaylen Walton - RB - New Orleans Saints

Walton was one of the most versatile backs in school history as he finished his career second in school history in all-purpose yards (4,742), sixth in total touchdowns (23) and ninth in rushing yards (1,957). Walton was the leading rusher for Ole Miss in each of the last two seasons.

Channing Ward - DE - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Ward played in all 52 of the Rebels' games during his four-year career. He amassed 110 career tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. Given his extreme athleticism at his size, Ward was extremely valuable on the Rebels' special teams during his career.

All 12 former Rebels will be looking to earn a spot on each team's 53-man regular season roster.

Ole Miss has a great tradition of producing NFL talent, including 286 all-time draft picks and 22 first-round selections. Last year, there were 19 Rebels in the league, including Super Bowl 50 participant Michael Oher of the Carolina Panthers.

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