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4 former Tigers join NFL ranks over the weekend | Here's where you'll see them play on Sundays

Two former Memphis Tigers were drafted over the weekend in the NFL Draft. Two more signed as undrafted free agents.
Credit: AP
Memphis wide receiver Calvin Austin III in action against Temple during an NCAA football game on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — In what was a big weekend for Memphis, especially Memphis sports, four former Memphis Tigers joined the ranks of the NFL. 

Guard Dylan Parham was the first of two Tigers to hear his name called during the NFL Draft, being selected in the third round by the Las Vegas Raiders, 90th overall. 

Parham received praise from draft analysts for his play and pass blocking ability, with ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. seeing high upside for the former Tiger. 

"Talk about fundamentally sound, technically sound, [Parham] understands how to play the game," Kiper said. "I think he could be a Pro Bowl-caliber guard in the NFL."

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Parham started all 50 games he played in for the Tigers from 2018 to 2021. 

Parham did not allow a sack in 2021. 

On the third and final day of the draft Saturday, Memphis' dynamic playmaker Calvin Austin III was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers 138th overall. 

Austin was the Tigers' top scoring threat in 2021, leading the team with nine total touchdowns, one rushing and eight receiving. He had 1,149 total receiving yards on 74 catches in 2021, second-most in the American Athletic Conference behind Houston's Nathaniel Dell.

Austin was widely considered one of the fastest players in college football in 2021. He recorded an official 4.32 second 40-yard dash in the NFL combine, a controversial figure after replays seemed to show Austin crossing the finish line after just 4.12 seconds, which would have been a Combine record by a full 10th of a second. 

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Cornerback Jacobi Francis signed with the Houston Texans as an unrestricted free agent Saturday. Francis recorded two interceptions and seven pass breakups for the Tigers in 2021.

Tigers linebacker JJ Russell also signed as an unrestricted free agent Saturday, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

Russell was the top tackler in the AAC in 2021, in both total tackles (123) and solo tackles (78). 

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