ORONO – University of Maine defensive back Daren Stone was selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the sixth round of the 2007 NFL Draft Sunday afternoon.

“I’m incredibly excited for Daren, his family and the entire Maine football program,” said Black Bear head football coach Jack Cosgrove. “This is an exciting day for the young man, who is very deserving of this opportunity. The Falcons got a player whose best football is ahead of him.”

Stone earned 2006 all-conference honors recording 50 tackles which included four sacks. The senior also returned a blocked punt 21 yards for a touchdown in Maine’s 28-7 victory over then nationally ranked, No. 17 Towson.

It marks the first time in program history that Maine has had a draft pick in back to back years. Wide receiver Kevin McMahan was taken in the seventh round by Oakland last April. Stone’s pick (No. 203 overall), is the highest pick for a Maine player since Mike Buck was selected in the sixth round by New Orleans in 1990.

UNH’s Graham, Ball, headed to Chicago

DURHAM, N.H. – University of New Hampshire defensive back Corey Graham has been picked by the Chicago Bears in the National Football League draft and wide receiver David Ball has agreed to terms on a free-agent contract with the Bears.

Graham was picked Sunday in the fifth round. Ball was not drafted, but said several teams called afterward with offers.

The two plan to report to the Bears’ rookie mini-camp, which starts Friday and lasts three days.

At UNH, Graham recorded 12 interceptions and 302 tackles, which places him fourth on UNH’s all-time tackles list.

He also was an outstanding kick returner. Last season, he averaged 32.3 yards per return and scored one touchdown.

Ball came to national prominence when he placed in the top 10 in the country in nearly every receiving category this past fall. He scored 13 touchdowns last season.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.