Rutgers' emergence as a college football power is showing on the draft board as two Scarlet Knights were taken in the first round of the NFL draft on Thursday.
First, the San Francisco 49ers selected Rutgers offensive tackle Anthony Davis with the 11th pick, pulling off a trade with the Denver Broncos to move up two spots in order to secure one of the top lineman prospects.
Later, the New England Patriots took Rutgers cornerback Devin McCourty with the 27th selection.
Davis had a good feeling about the 49ers from the moment he visited team headquarters earlier this month. He had dinner with intense coach Mike Singletary, who went 8-8 last season in his first full year in charge and ended a franchise-worst stretch of six straight losing seasons.
"[It felt] a lot different. That's why I was so big on the 49ers going through the process," Davis said on a conference call. "But of course I had to keep it to myself. Great people, the whole staff, the team, a tight-knit group. I like what Singletary's building over there. I can't wait to be a part of it, win some games."
Davis was joined by some 20 family members, along with former coaches and teammates in a private room at a New Jersey restaurant. Singletary called him with the news just before the pick was made.
"Best feeling in my life, man, best feeling ever," Davis said.
McCourty continues the Patriots' recent history of drafting defensive backs early. The Patriots took Brandon Meriweather in the first round in 2007, Terrence Wheatley in the second round in 2008 and Pat Chung and Darius Butler in the second round in 2009.
The Patriots started the day with the 22nd pick but ended up with the 27th as a result of trades with Denver and Dallas.
New England had been expected to go for a pass rusher after getting just 31 sacks last year, fewer than two per game and more than just seven other teams.
The Niners weren't done upgrading their line after taking Davis. With the 17th pick, they chose Idaho offensive guard Mike Iupati.
In Iupati, the 49ers acquired a prospect widely considered the top offensive guard in the draft. He is one of the most physically dominant guards coming out of college.
San Francisco also traded its fourth-round pick, No. 113 overall, to the Broncos -- an aggressive move by new personnel chief Trent Baalke. He took the reins for the draft after the abrupt departure of general manager Scot McCloughan last month.
Davis, the 6-foot-5, 323-pounder, fills perhaps the team's biggest offseason need as a speedy run-blocker. The Niners' inconsistent offensive line has allowed an NFL-worst 150 sacks over the past three seasons.
With the 49ers moving up to get him, Davis suddenly knew exactly where he was headed: to the Bay Area. His pre-draft trip to Northern California was his first ever visit to the Golden State.
"It's a great feeling. I can't even talk right now," Davis said. "It's an honor. He's a man of his word. We talked about some things, and he made it happen."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.