Bitonio drafted No. 35 overall by Cleveland

Joel Bitonio was selected 35th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft by Cleveland.

May 9, 2014

RENO, Nev. – Offensive lineman Joel Bitonio became Nevada’s second-highest pick in the modern era of the NFL Draft on Friday as the Cleveland Browns selected him with the third pick of the second round, No. 35 overall.

One of the best offensive linemen to play at Nevada, Bitonio was a first-team All-Mountain West selection in 2013 and a three-year starter on the offensive line for the Wolf Pack. He is the 10th Nevada player selected in the last four years and 44th Pack player to ever by drafted in the NFL.

“I am thrilled for Joel Bitonio and his family for being selected with the 35th pick in the NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns,” Nevada coach Brian Polian said. “Joel is everything we want a Nevada Wolf Pack football player to be and I have no doubt that he will represent our University in a first-class manner for years to come.

“Having spent a great deal of time in Cleveland and knowing the passion that the community has for the Browns, I don’t think they could have found a better fit for their organization.  Joel epitomizes everything that Cleveland and Northern Ohio stand for – humility, work ethic, loyalty and toughness.  This a great fit for both Joel and the Browns. Congrats to them both!”

Bitonio is second Nevada player ever picked by Cleveland. The other was James-Michael Johnson, who went two years ago and is now in Kansas City.

Bitonio is first Nevada offensive lineman drafted since Tony Moll went in the fifth round in 2006 to the Green Bay Packers.

Immediately after the selection, ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said: "This guy is going to bring a tone-setting mentality.”

A native of Huntington Beach, Calif., Bitonio graduated from Long Beach Wilson High School. He redshirted the 2009 season and played every game of the 2010 “Dream Team” season as key reserve on the offensive line. He made his first career start in the 2011 opener at Oregon and went on to start 38 games in a row for the Wolf Pack.

He graduated in December with a degree in economics and was a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation’s Scholar-Athlete Award. He was a multi-year selection to the academic all-conference team and just last month was named to the National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society – one of just five players from the Mountain West conference to earn that distinction.

While Nevada has never had a first-round pick in modern era, it now has three second-rounder. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick went No. 36 overall in 2011. Wideout Alex Van Dyke remains the highest draft pick in the modern era at No. 31 overall by the New York Jets in 1996.

Here's Nevada's NFL Draft history:
Year    Rd.    Pick    Player    Pos.    Team
2014    2     35    Joel Bitonio     OL     Cleveland Browns
2013    4    105   Duke Williams    S     Buffalo Bills
2013    6    202    Khalid Wooten   CB    Tennessee Titans
2012    4    120    James-Michael Johnson    LB    Cleveland Browns
2012    5    142    Brandon Marshall    LB    Jacksonville Jaguars
2012    6    184    Isaiah Frey    DB    Chicago Bears
2012    7    227    Rishard Matthews    WR    Miami Dolphins
2011    2    36    Colin Kaepernick    QB    San Francisco 49ers
2011    3    66    Dontay Moch    LB    Cincinnati Bengals
2011    7    204    Virgil Green    TE    Denver Broncos
2009    7    243    Marko Mitchell    WR    Washington Redskins
2007    5    151    Jeff Rowe    QB    Cincinnati Bengals
2006    5    165    Tony Moll    G    Green Bay Packers
2004    3    86    Jorge Cordova    LB    Jacksonville Jaguars
2004    5    149    Maurice Mann    WR    Cincinnati Bengals
2003    3    71    Nate Burleson    WR    Minnesota Vikings
1998    4    108    DeShone Myles    MLB    Seattle Seahawks
1998    6    172    John Dutton    QB    Miami Dolphins
1998    6    175    James Cannida    DT    Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1996    2    31    Alex Van Dyke    WR    New York Jets
1993    5    117    Forey Duckett    CB    Cincinnati Bengals
1993    7    196    Brock Marion    DB    Dallas Cowboys
1991    7    189    Bernard Ellison    CB    Kansas City Chiefs
1991    9    233    Treamelle Taylor    WR    Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1990    12    331    Demetrius Davis    TE    Los Angeles Raiders
1989    8    196    Charvez Foger    RB    Dallas Cowboys
1989    9    230    Patrick Egu    RB    Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1987    5    135    Henry Rolling    LB    Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1986    3    68    Patrick Hunter    DB    Seattle Seahawks
1984    2-supp.    45    Derek Kennard    G    St. Louis Cardinals
1984    1-supp.    27    Tony Zendejas    K    Washington Redskins
1984    1-supp.    20    Al Williams    WR    Detroit Lions
1983    3    84    Charles Mann    DE    Washington Redskins
1981    5    136    Eric Sanders    T    Atlanta Falcons
1981    10    276    Frank Hawkins    RB    Oakland Raiders
1978    6    163    Doug Betters    DE    Miami Dolphins
1952    13        Pat Brady    QB    New York Giants
1951    16        Dick Afflis    OT    Green Bay Packers
1949    1        Stan Heath    QB    Green Bay Packers
1949    8        Dan Orlich    DE    Green Bay Packers
1947    2        Bill Mackrides    QB    Philadelphia Eagles
1947    23        Tom Kalmanir    HB    Pittsburgh Steelers
1946    3        Bob McClure    G    Boston Yanks
1945    24        Don Talcott    T    Philadelphia Eagles



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