Hansen Goes in Fourth Round, Muhammad Seventh

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By David Bush, Staff Writer
Posted Apr 29, 2017
If by BearInsider Staff or Contributor, this article is Copyright © 2017 BearInsider.com


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Cal WR Chad Hansen
In their one year at Cal, quarterback Davis Webb and wide receiver Chad Hansen became one of the most prolific pass-catch combos in school history.
Now it seems the two will begin their professional careers playing in the same stadium. Not, however, on the same team.

One day after the New York Giants took Webb in the third round of the NFL draft, the Jets, who share Giants Stadium with their Big Apple counterparts, took Hansen in the fourth round at pick No. 171.

Several hours later as the draft was winding down, the Tennessee Titans used one of their three seventh-round selections to take running back Khalfani Muhammad. He was the 227th player chosen overall.

Hansen, who began his college career at Idaho State, transferred to Cal in 2014 as a walk-on. After sitting out a year because of transfer rules he played sparingly in 2015 as the Bears were loaded with experienced wide receivers. But in 2016 he earned a scholarship and had a breakout season, catching 92 passes (12th best nationally) for 1,246 yards (17th) and 11 touchdowns (11). He compiled those numbers despite missing two games with an injury.

He chose to enter the draft this year, bypassing his last season of eligibility. The Jets' taking him where they did showed he made a wise decision.

Although the Jets took Alabama wide receiver ArDarius Stewart in Friday's third round, Hansen has an excellent chance to make the New York roster. The Jets do have an unworkable number of 13 wide receivers, but new offensive coordinator John Morton must not like what he sees there. Brandon Marshall, who ironically signed with the Giants has already been released. Oft-injured Devin Smith and underperforming Eric Decker might not make it to training camp, and others are on the bubble. There should be plenty of room for Hansen and Stewart.

With good size (6-2, 205), Hansen has the ability to be a short-yardage receiver, plus he is excellent on deep patterns with his 4.53 speed in the 40-yard dash. He was an All Pac-12 selection.

"I'd say it was just a huge relief and just overall excitement with my family and everything," Hansen told Jets reporters
about finally hearing he had been selected. "Just having all your hard work become a reality, it's just an amazing
feeling. You really can't put it into words."

Muhammad's attraction is his speed, he won the California State 100 meter and 200 meter dashes as a high school junior and senior. He was an effective kick returner at Cal, and is second in Cal history in number of returns (87) and kick return yards (1,931). Although fearless as a running back and not afraid of contact, at 5-9, 175, Muhammad is a little undersized to take on heavy duty as an NFL running back.

Through the Cal athletic department Muhammad issued a statement. "I am excited about this new chapter in my life and looking forward to being a productive player in the NFL. I appreciate the opportunity Tennessee is giving me and will make the most out of it."
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