Rodriguez, Whitehead drafted

Former Temple players, tight end Evan Rodriguez and linebacker Tahir Whitehead, were drafted by the Chicago Bears and the Detroit Lions, respectively, on the third day of the NFL Draft.

Rodriguez was drafted 111th overall in the fourth round and Whitehead was selected 138th overall in the fifth round. Rodriguez and Whitehead join former Temple running back Bernard Pierce, who was drafted 84th overall by the Baltimore Ravens, to become the second and third players drafted.

Rodriguez led the Owls with 35 receptions and 479 yards, adding two touchdowns, in the 2011-12 season. Whitehead finished third on the team with 70 tackles, including 11 in the 2011 Gildan New Mexico Bowl in which he was named the game’s defensive most valuable player.

Coach Steve Addazio said Wednesday that he expected three Temple players to get drafted, and another four to sign as free agents. Former Temple offensive lineman Derek Dennis is reportedly receiving looks from NFL teams and could be the fourth Owl drafted.