Former Missouri linebacker Gachkar taken in NFL Draft

Saturday, April 30, 2011 | 9:10 p.m. CDT
Senior linebacker Andrew Gachkar celebrates during the second half of the 2010 Insight Bowl.

Former Missouri linebacker Andrew Gachkar was chosen by the San Diego Chargers with the 31st pick of the seventh round (234th overall) in Saturday's portion of the NFL Draft.

Gachkar, 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, played a major role in the Tigers' defense his senior season as a strongside linebacker in the Tigers' 4-3 scheme. He made 84 tackles, 8 1/2 for a loss and had two forced fumbles, two interceptions and a sack to earn first-team All Big 12 Conference honors.

Gachkar is likely to be put at inside linebacker for the Chargers and will see time on special teams, according to Chargers director of college scouting John Spanos.

"He's a great special teams player," Spanos said.

Poor special teams ailed the Chargers (9-7) last year, and coach Norv Turner said several of the players drafted could help those units. Connecticut running back Jordan Todman, who San Diego took with the 183rd overall pick, has kick return ability.

In the spring of 2008, after his freshman season, Gachkar was diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and underwent four surgeries to remove one of his right ribs that was forcing a blood clot. He lost 40 pounds but eventually returned to the team and made three sacks during the 2009 season.

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel has praised the intelligence of Gachkar, who will complete an engineering degree at MU despite his coaches' suggestions to chose a less-demanding major.

Missouri draft hopefuls Kevin Rutland and Carl Gettis, both cornerbacks, Tim Barnes, a center, and Jarrell Harrison, a safety, were not chosen but could sign as undrafted free agents.

But the current NFL lockout will prevent them from signing with a team immediately, as undrafted free agents usually do.

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Mark Fifty July 2, 2011 | 4:36 p.m.

Congrats to Gachkar. Too bad he didnt go one pick later in the Draft. He would have got to go to the Mr. Irrelevant celebration.

Check here for the info on the Mr. Irrelevant celebration:

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