Former Vineland High School football star Isaih Pacheco was drafted into the NFL on April 30 by the Kansas City Chiefs. He was chosen on the third and final day of the draft in the seventh and last round as the 251st overall pick
Pacheco is a 5’10”, 216-pound running back from Rutgers. He ran an impressive 4.37-second 40-yard sprint time at the NFL scouting combine in April, where all teams scout prospects. The Vineland native’s time tied him for first place nationally.
Pacheco earned All Big Ten honorable mention in both the coaches’ and media vote following the college season.
Starting all 12 games, Pacheco led the Rutgers Scarlet Knights with 647 rushing yards on 167 carries with five touchdowns. He posted a season-best 107 yards on the ground at Michigan, recording multiple-score games versus Indiana and Delaware. He finishes the season with 2,442 career rushing yards to rank seventh in program history, and, with his 563 carries, sixth.
Several other teams, including the Denver Broncos, were interested in Pacheco. The Broncos gave him a personal workout in April.
In his junior and senior seasons at Vineland High, Pacheco, as a running back and quarterback, led the Fighting Clan to its first back-to-back winning seasons since 1990. Vineland finished 8-2 in both 2016 and 2017. In the star’s senior year, VHS outscored its opponents 374-132.
Pacheco finished his high school career with more than 3,150 rushing yards and 1,420 passing yards.
The confident young man had decided late last year to forgo his final year of college eligibility and enter the draft.
He wrote on Twitter at the time, “I am beyond grateful for my experiences at Rutgers University. To be able to stay home and represent my home state was truly a dream come true. … It is time for me to begin a new chapter.”
Another local high school star, former Bridgeton Bulldogs safety Markquese Bell was given a contract as an undrafted free agent by the Dallas Cowboys soon after the draft ended.
The 6-foot-2, 212-pound Bell finished his Florida A&M career with 158 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, ten pass breakups, six interceptions, six forced fumbles, and two sacks. He was named to the first team All Southwest Athletic Conference.