UO's Dixon, OSU's Schuening go in NFL draft's second day

The Pittsburgh Steelers were willing to take a chance on Dennis Dixon.

The quarterback went down with a torn ACL that required surgery toward the end of last season at Oregon, bringing an end to his Heisman hopes and Oregon's shot at a national championship.

The Steelers, however, have been encouraged by his recovery and believe he could be ready for training camp, said Kevin Culbert, the team's director of football operations.

The Steelers selected Dixon with the 156th overall pick in the NFL Draft on Sunday.

"He held a workout about a month ago. He's not 100 percent; we do expect him to be ready for training camp. So obviously we still have some physical mending to do, but we think this kid did some really exciting things this year," Culbert said.

Known as much for his scrambling ability as his passing, Dixon finished the season with 2,136 yards passing and 20 touchdown passes and ran for 583 yards and nine touchdowns.

Not long after Dixon was called, the St. Lois Rams selected offensive guard Roy Schuening out of Oregon State.

The pick came after a "ringing endorsement" from Rams running back Steven Jackson, who went to Oregon State.

"Steven did give a pretty good endorsement for the kid as far as the guy," Rams coach Scott Linehan said. "Steven knows what we're looking for. It's an organizational goal to get those kinds of guys in this program."

Schuening made a school-record 50 consecutive starts at Oregon State.

Others with ties to Oregon selected Sunday include offensive tackle Geoff Schwartz out of Oregon, who went with the 241st pick to Carolina. Linebacker Joey LaRocque, who played for Oregon State, went to Chicago with the 243rd pick.

Quarterback Erik Ainge, who is from Hillsboro and played for Tennessee, went to the New York Jets with the 162nd overall selection. Oregon native Kellen Clemens is already on the Jets' roster.

"Honestly, it sounds cliche to say that I didn't care what round I got drafted in," Ainge told reporters during a conference call. "Being as competitive as I am, I wanted to be the first pick in the draft that's just how it works. Round regardless, I couldn't be happier about going to the New York Jets."

Quarterback Alex Brink, who is from Eugene and played at Washington State, was taken with the 223rd pick by the Houston Texans.

"I want to get down there and show them what I can do," Brink said. "I feel like I'm a pretty sharp guy and pick up on things pretty well."

On Saturday, running back Jonathan Stewart out of Oregon went with the 13th overall pick to the Carolina Panthers.

As a junior, Stewart set the Ducks' single-season record with 1,722 yards rushing and 2,481 all-purpose yards. He had nine games with at least 100 yards rushing.

The 5-foot-11, 230-pound back had surgery to repair turf toe last month. He said his rehab is going according to schedule and he should be ready for training camp.

The Panthers got familiar with Stewart last month when he came to Charlotte to have the surgery, performed by Panthers team physician Dr. Robert Anderson.

"I'm just glad that the Carolina Panthers came along and had faith in me, had faith in my health," Stewart said. "And I'm going to be a good player for them."

Among the Ducks who were considered prospects that went undrafted were wide receivers Cameron Colvin and Bryan Paysinger. Players available from Oregon State included running back Yvenson Bernard, center Kyle DeVan, kicker Alexis Serna and linebacker Derrick Doggett.

Those players could still end up with an NFL team as undrafted free agents.

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