Canadians Leonard, Luketa selected in seventh round of the 2022 NFL draft

Cornerback Deane Leonard is the latest reason why the Los Angeles Chargers are Canada’s team in the NFL.

The Chargers took the Calgary native in the seventh round of the NFL draft Saturday. The former Ole Miss star joins a team that already boasts five Canadians — defensive back Tevaughn Campbell (Toronto), defensive lineman Christian Covington (Vancouver), offensive lineman Ryan Hunter (North Bay, Ont.), linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga (Calgary) and receiver Josh Palmer (Brampton, Ont.) — on its roster.

And it’s the second straight year the Chargers have drafted a Canadian. The club selected Palmer in the third round, No. 77 overall, in 2021 out of Tennessee.

Palmer was one of a record-tying four Canadians selected in last year’s NFL draft.

The Chargers took the six-foot-one, 194-pound Leonard with the 15th selection of the final round, No. 236 overall. Twenty picks later, the Arizona Cardinals took Penn State linebacker Jesse Luketa, an Ottawa native.

In 1990, tight end Shannon Sharpe began his Hall of Fame NFL career as a seventh-round selection of the Denver Broncos. When he retired after 14 pro seasons, the three-time Super Bowl champion was the league’s all-time leader in catches, yards and touchdowns at his position.

(The Canadian Press)

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