The NFL draft wrapped up Saturday night with the Denver Broncos selection of Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly at 253rd overall, earning him the distinction of Mr. Irrelevant. Throughout the three day process, several noteworthy selections took place on the famous “Rocky Steps” in Philadelphia.
USC becomes first school with 500 draft picks:
When the Kansas City Chiefs selected safety Leon McQuay III at 218th overall in the sixth round, Southern California became the first program to have 500 players selected in the NFL Draft. Their total then rose to 501 as defensive tackle Steve Tu’ikolovatu was taken 223rd overall in the seventh round by Tampa Bay.
Cornerback Adoree’ Jackson’s selection at 18th overall by Tennessee also extended a USC-draft record, as he became the 80th Trojan taken to be taken in the first round, three more than second place Ohio State.
USC is also tied for the most first-overall picks with Notre Dame, at five (Ron Yary, ’68; OJ Simpson, ’69; Ricky Bell, ’77; Keyshawn Johnson, ’96; Carson Palmer, ’03), with their eyes set on possibly breaking that record next year, if quarterback Sam Darnold has the season experts are projecting.
11 Wolverines drafted this week:
The Michigan’s draft woes have seemingly come to an end after eleven different Wolverines heard there name called in this year’s draft, the largest in school history, and the first time since 2008 more than three players were taken from the school.
Jabrill Peppers (25th, Cleveland) was the first Wolverine to hear his name called on Thursday night, much later than originally anticipated thanks to a diluted urine sample. Peppers, who plans to play safety at the NFL level, played 11 positions for Michigan during the 2016 season and was named the Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year, Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year and the Rodgers-White Return Specialist of the Year, as well as being a unanimous All-American.
Tight end Jake Butt was taken 145th overall by the Denver Broncos and has perhaps become the poster boy for skipping bowl games, as his torn ACL suffered during the Orange Bowl dropped him from a likely first or second round selection, costing him as much as $2 million in guaranteed money. On the other side of the debate sit Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey, who opted to skip their schools’ bowl games and kept their draft stock in tact, being selected 4th and 8th overall respectively.
Players with legal trouble seemingly at an all-time high:
It may just be me, but it seemed that every time my phone lit up with a draft alert, it read “(insert team) selects (insert player), accused of assault”.
The Oakland Raiders’ selection of Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley at 24th overall came despite ongoing sexual assault accusations stemming from the night of April 9th. The investigation is ongoing, as Conley is scheduled to meet with Cleveland police on Monday to provide a DNA sample.
The Cincinnati Bengals later selected running back Joe Mixon from Oklahoma at 48th overall, despite being caught on video punching a young woman in the face two years ago at the age of 18. Mixon saw his draft stock fall immediately out of the first round when the story first broke into the news.
Florida’s Caleb Brantley, like the men mentioned before him, saw his draft stock slide from the late first or early second round all the way to 185th overall when he was taken by the Cleveland Browns. Brantley has been charged with striking a woman in the face on April 13th. It has since been reported that the Browns may rescind their selection of Brantley and cut him before the start of training camp.