STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's 2011 captains Vick Ballard and Charles Mitchell joined Fletcher Cox in the ranks of players hearing their name called at the 2012 National Football Draft on Saturday. Ballard, selected in the 5th round by the Indianapolis Colts, and Mitchell, taken in the 6th by the Atlanta Falcons join first-round selection Cox.
Ballard finished his two-year career as the Bulldogs' starting running back with 2,157 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns. Despite spending only two falls in the Maroon and White, Ballard leaves Mississippi State ranked second all-time in rushing touchdowns and 10th in rushing yardage. He was selected with the 35th pick in the fifth round, the 107th overall by the Colts.
Playing in a school-record 50 career games, Mitchell recorded 293 career tackles during his four-year career, including 95 as a senior. He pulled down four interceptions and posted 7.5 tackles for loss from his free safety position, and started all 38 games over the last three seasons. The Atlanta Falcons chose Mitchell with the 22nd pick in the sixth round, 192nd overall.
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Mississippi state has had seven players drafted over the last two years, the most in a two-year stretch since eight players were chosen in 2000 and 2001.