Advertisement

Mason McCormick to Steelers as four South Dakotans taken in NFL Draft

Apr. 27—SIOUX FALLS — Mason McCormick is headed to the Steel City.

The South Dakota State guard and former Roosevelt Rough Rider was drafted in the fourth round Saturday by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 119th overall pick.

McCormick was the second Sioux Falls product taken in this draft, following former O'Gorman tight end Tip Reiman, who was taken Friday in the third round by the Arizona Cardinals.

Two more players with South Dakota ties were selected after McCormick, in SDSU running back Isaiah Davis and USD cornerback Myles Harden, while another half-dozen former Jackrabbits signed as undrafted free agents after the draft.

A two-time All-American for the Jackrabbits, McCormick played 70 games in a six-year college career, including 57 consecutive starts to finish it. The Jacks won 29 consecutive games and two national championships in McCormick's final two seasons, and the 6-foot-4, 309-pounder was a major contributor.

McCormick was the Steelers' first pick on Saturday and the third offensive lineman they took. Pittsburgh picked Washington tackle Troy Fautanu with the 20th overall pick on Thursday night and West Virginia center Zach Frazier in the second round on Friday. The Steelers had sent coaches out to Brookings before the draft to put McCormick through an individual workout, so it's not surprising they called him.

Pittsburgh went 10-7 last year, making the playoffs before losing to Buffalo in the Wild Card round. They recently acquired former All-Pro quarterback Russell Wilson, who sent McCormick a congratulatory tweet moments after his selection was announced.

With Davis going a round later, SDSU had multiple draft picks for the second time in three years. They've had five players picked in the last three drafts and seven players taken since 2018.

SDSU's third all-time leading rusher, Davis was the second running back taken by the Jets on Saturday, along with Braelon Allen, a Wisconsin Badger who was taken in the fourth.

Davis rushed for 1,578 yards and 18 touchdowns last year, earning co-offensive player of the year in the Missouri Valley Football Conference and carrying the Jacks to a second straight national championship.

USD's Harden became the third Coyote in their Division I era to be drafted and the first in 10 years, after the cornerback was taken in the 7th round by the Cleveland Browns.

An All-American talent at the FCS level, Harden battled injuries throughout his career but was productive when healthy. The 5-11, 195-pounder had a solid performance at the Combine in February that ultimately led to him becoming the first Coyote selected since Tyler Starr in 2014.

Harden was the 34th cornerback taken on the weekend. As a 7th-round pick, he will likely need to prove himself on special teams to have a shot at making the team in Cleveland.

Once the draft ended, SDSU left tackle Garret Greenfield signed with the Seahawks for a deal that includes a $20,000 signing bonus and nearly $200,000 in guaranteed money, per reporting from NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. Greenfield, a two-time All-American, had been projected to be an early third-day selection in the draft, so Seattle paid a premium to get him as a free agent.

Other Jackrabbits to sign as undrafted rookie free agents were tight end Zach Heins (a Sioux Falls Washington alum) with the Chargers, cornerback DyShawn Gales with the Browns and linebacker Isaiah Stalbird with the Saints, while the Janke twins — Jadon and Jaxon — both signed with the Houston Texans.

USD linebacker Brock Mogensen signed with the Cowboys, while a pair of Augustana standouts are headed to L.A. Offensive tackle Blake Larson, a Brandon native, signed with the Rams, while quarterback Casey Bauman signed with the Chargers. That pair helped lead the Division II Vikings to the NSIC title in 2023.

Additionally, USD linebacker Stephen Hillis accepted an invitation to the Buffalo Bills rookie minicamp, while offensive lineman Isaac Erbes is headed to the Titans camp.

That brings the total number of players with South Dakota ties to land an agreement with an NFL team this weekend to 15.