NFL Draft Day 3: 32 Pac-12 alums selected in 2016 NFL Draft
Twenty-two Pac-12 players were selected on the third and final day of the 2016 NFL Draft, bringing the total to 32 Pac-12 alums overall being selected in the draft. Here's a more in-depth look at who heard their name get called on Saturday:
It took a while to get going on Saturday, but Stanford linebacker Blake Martinez was the first Pac-12er off the board Saturday when the Green Bay Packers took him with the 131st overall pick in the fourth round (a compensatory selection). A first team all-Pac-12 LB, Martinez led the Pac-12 and Rose Bowl champs with 141 tackles as a senior, including 14 in two separate games (at Northwestern, at USC). As these numbers would suggest, Martinez is pretty good in coverage. How good? Pro Football Focus to the rescue:
The highest 2015 coverage grade in among linebackers in this draft class belongs to Stanford's Blake Martinez, +10.9.
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 30, 2016
Martinez is the third Cardinal to go in 2016, following Joshua Garnett (28th) and Austin Hooper (81st).
The patience paid off for Devontae Booker -- deciding to return to the SLC for the 2015 season and get his degree, the Utah running back heard his name called by the Denver Broncos at No. 136 in the fourth round. The two-time all-Pac-12 back is one of just two Utes to record back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons (his only two at Utah) and was 11th in the NCAA last year in rushing yards per game (126.1).
— Utah Football (@Utah_Football) April 30, 2016
Booker is the first RB from Utah to get drafted since 2006 (Quinton Ganther, seventh round) and his selection extends the Utes' streak of having at least one player drafted to eight consecutive years.
It was back-to-back Bruins to start the fifth round for the Pac-12. First, offensive tackle Caleb Benenoch was the No. 148 selection of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Going by projections, the Bucs got themselves a steal in the fifth round with Benenoch, who was projected to go in the third round by some. He started playing football by accident, when his mom signed him up for what she thought was soccer. Not a bad accident. Immediately after Benenoch was taken off the board, running back Paul Perkins went 149th to the New York Giants. The Pac-12's leading rushing in 2014 backed it up with a 1,300-yard season in 2015, including a career-high 219-yard performance against BYU.
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) April 30, 2016
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) April 30, 2016
Benenoch and Perkins become the third and fourth Bruins selected in 2016 following Kenny Clark (27th) and Myles Jack (36th).
Washington State has now had at least one guy selected in four straight years now that offensive lineman Joe Dahl is off the board. The Detroit Lions took the 2015 first team all-Pac-12 guard with the 151st overall pick. Dahl helped anchor a turnaround in Pullman that saw the Cougs go 9-4 and win their first bowl game since 2003. His presence in the Motor City will certainly be welcomed, as the Lions have had trouble protecting Matthew Stafford and creating holes for their running backs:
Guard Joe Dahl is third OL that Lions GM Bob Quinn has selected thus far to protect Matthew Stafford and improve NFL's worst rush offense.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 30, 2016
Dahl is the first Cougar O-lineman to get drafted since 2005, when the Philadelphia Eagles took Calvin Armstrong in the sixth round.
Make it three Bruins in seven selections now, as Jordan Payton went 154th to the Cleveland Browns. He never received a lot of accolades, but Payton was a major-league producer at UCLA, becoming the Bruins' all-time leading receiver when all was said and done (201 grabs). As expected, Payton was pretty excited about the pick:
#Browns WR Jordan Payton: Definitely the greatest day of my life.
— Scott Petrak ct (@ScottPetrak) April 30, 2016
It's the second time in three years now that the Bruins have had at least five guys taken in the draft.
The wait is over for Arizona State offensive lineman Christian Westerman -- he is off the board at No. 161 to the Cincinnati Bengals. ESPN had Westerman as one of the top available guys for the first three hours of the Saturday broadcast and many thought he would have been taken long before 161st, so the Bengals are getting what many consider to be very good value here. The Auburn transfer started 25 games at left guard over the last two seasons and was named to the All-Pac-12 second team in 2015.
A player from an Arizona university finally selected. Christian Westerman gets to practice against Vontaze Burfict https://t.co/aWoW8xNKkF
— Paola Boivin (@PaolaBoivin) April 30, 2016
Westerman is the first Sun Devil to be selected in 2016.
Right after Westernman was selected, Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan went 162nd to the Kansas City Chiefs. This dude is all about winning -- his 36 Ws as a starting QB are the most all-time for a Stanford signal caller. Adam Schefter had high praise for the Chiefs selecting him on the ESPN broadcast, saying Hogan might be the smartest quarterback groom in the NFL.
Kevin Hogan: highest standardized comp pct (adjusts for distance thrown) of any QB prospect in 2016 draft. pic.twitter.com/Fg4D9HKK1t
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 30, 2016
Remember the dude who returned two kickoff returns for touchdowns in the same quarter against Washington State back in 2014? Yeah, he's an NFL player now -- Cal wide receiver Trevor Davis went 163rd to the Green Bay Packers. In addition to his returning prowess, Davis also amassed more than 1,000 receiving yards over two seasons after transferring from Hawai'i. Want speed? Green Bay's got it in this guy:
Elliot Wolf said #Packers clocked Trevor Davis in the mid-4.3-second range on his 40-yard dash. Speed is his big plus.
— Ryan Wood (@ByRyanWood) April 30, 2016
Yeah, dude is fast like a NASCAR.
Huge lull between picks, but Stanford offensive tackle Kyle Murphy was the next to go, being selected at the No. 200 spot on the dot by the Green Bay Packers. Known for its stellar offensive line play, Stanford has now produced two offensive line draft picks in 2016 and seven since 2012. Murphy, a first-team all-Pac-12 lineman in 2015, will have plenty of Cardinal company in Wisconsin, as fellow Card Blake Martinez was chosen by Green Bay earlier in the day and wide receiver Ty Montgomery is also a cheese head.
Kyle Murphy gets picked by Green Bay with the 200th overall pick in the sixth round of the draft. Stanford party in Lambeau.
— Do-Hyoung Park (@dohyoungpark) April 30, 2016
Murphy becomes the fifth Cardinal player to be drafted in 2016 and the third on the third and final day of the draft.
Kevon Seymour became the fourth Trojan taken in 2016 when the Buffalo Bills selected the USC defensive back with the 218th pick late in the sixth round. He also started a string of three consecutive Pac-12 players selected near the end of the penultimate round.
— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) April 30, 2016
It's the third time in the last four years that at least four USC players have been chosen.
Next up was Arizona safety Will Parks, who went 219th to the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos. The workout fiend was an All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention honoree in 2015 and played in all 53 games in the winningest four-year stretch in Arizona football history. It's a good thing the Broncos drafted someone who knows how to play football, seeing as though that's the sport the team plays:
New Broncos safety Will Parks "may not check a lot of athletic boxes, but he knows how to play football": https://t.co/BHSrr4lXnL
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) April 30, 2016
Parks' selection breaks a one-year drought of a Wildcat not being taken in the NFL Draft.
Travis Feeney and the Washington defense wanted to shut people up in 2015, and they did just that by leading the Dawgs to a pleasant surprise of a 7-6 season. For his individual efforts, Feeney heard his named called at the No. 220 spot by the Pittsburgh Steelers, a great spot for a hard-hitting linebacker.
Travis Feeney, YOU SIR are now a Yinzer!
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) April 30, 2016
UCLA linebacker Aaron Wallace was the first player selected in the seventh round, going 222nd overall to the Tennessee Titans. The San Diego native led the Bruins in tackles for loss in his fifth and final year in college, earning him All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention accolades.
New #Titans OLB Aaron Wallace has Lou Spanos as his defensive coordinator in his 2012-13. Spanos is TEN's LB coach now.
— Paul Kuharsky (@PaulKuharskyNFL) April 30, 2016
Devin Lucien, a former teammate of Wallace at UCLA, didn't go much later at No. 225 to the New England Patriots, who have seemingly made a living off wide receivers who weren't high draft picks. The Bruin-turned-Sun Devil led Arizona State with 1,075 reception yards in his only season in Tempe.
Former ASU WR Devin Lucien says to judge him when he was healthy last year. The Patriots get him in the 7th round. https://t.co/sLNs7PyHtK
— Doug Haller (@DougHaller) April 30, 2016
Thomas Duarte was next off the board, going 231st to the Miami Dolphins. The Bruin wide receiver made a lot of big grabs in his day and led the team with 10 touchdown receptions in his final collegiate campaign in 2015. He's going to have to make more adjustments than your typical rookie heading to the NFL, as the Dolphins drafted him as a tight end. He is listed at 231 pounds, so he'll need to bulk up a bit.
Thomas Duarte averaged 1.99 yards per route run in 2015, the 3rd-best rate among TEs in the NFL draft
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 30, 2016
The most fittingly-named running back in the history of Washington football, Dwayne Washington went 236th overall to the Detroit Lions to become the second Husky drafted on Saturday. Deciding to forgo his senior season to turn pro, Washington played in nine games for the Dawgs before suffering a season-ending injury in 2015 and averaged 6.0 yards per carry. His overall numbers were down a bit as opposed to 2014 (282 rushing yards in 2015, 697 in 2014), but that's what happens when Myles Gaskin comes on the scene.
— UW Football (@UW_Football) April 30, 2016
Another Pac-12 RB went right after Washington, as Cal's Daniel Lasco found himself going 237th to the New Orleans Saints. Playing in a pass-heavy Bear Raid attack, Lasco still found a way to amass 1,872 rushing yards over his collegiate career and averaged 5.4 yards per touch on the ground in Berkeley. Injuries hampered him in 2015, but he still put up 331 rushing yards (5.1 per carry) over the course of nine games. He had some very good measurables at the NFL combine as well.
— Ryan Gorcey (@RGBearTerritory) April 30, 2016
Back to the Pac-12 South, as UCLA wide receiver Devin Fuller went 238th overall to the Atlanta Falcons. If he makes the team, Fuller won't be the only Pac-12 rookie catching passes from Matty Ice in the ATL, as Stanford tight end Austin Hooper was selected by the Dirty Birds in the third round. One way he can get a roster spot is on special teams, and Fuller might have a leg up there as he was a very solid returner (kick and punt) for the Bruins.
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) April 30, 2016
Another Cal receiver was taken off the board when the Seattle Seahawks chose Kenny Lawler 243rd overall. Despite playing just three years in Berkeley, Lawler finished tied for second in the Cal record books for career touchdown receptions. And boy oh boy, did he have some nice grabs in a Golden Bear uniform.
— Cal Football (@CalFootball) April 30, 2016
FINALLY, Scooby Wright III went 250th overall to the Cleveland Browns. It was starting to look like Two-Star Scoob might have to change his Twitter handle to @UndraftedScoob, but the guy who was projected to go in the fifth or sixth round by NFL.com was the fourth-to-last selection of the 2016 NFL Draft. A torn meniscus and foot injury sidelined him for much of 2015, but when he was on the field, he was productive -- the 2014 national defensive player of the year had a mind-blowing 163 tackles and 29 for loss in 2014, and had a team-high 15 tackles in Arizona's bowl-game victory against New Mexico, his first game back from the foot injury.
That moment when you wait 3 days and are drafted with one of the final picks. Scooby Wright to the Browns. pic.twitter.com/qwm5Q4XqNF
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 30, 2016
Remember that crazy play in the Oregon-Utah game in 2014 where Kaelin Clay dropped the ball at the 1-yard line on an apparent Utah touchdown, only for it to be returned 100 yards for an Oregon score? Joe Walker was the guy who made the heads-up play, and he was chosen 251st overall by the Philadelphia Eagles. Beyond that one play, Walker led the Ducks with 87 tackles in 2015.
— Andy McNamara (@McNamaraUO) April 30, 2016
Here's how the Pac-12 draft class stacks up against other conferences. The Pac-12 had the third-most selections of any conference (eight Division-I independents and 25 players from non-FBS schools were drafted):
- SEC- 51
- Big Ten- 47
- Pac-12- 32
- ACC- 26
- Big 12- 26
- American- 10
- Conference USA- 10
- Mountain West- 9
- MAC- 6
- Sun Belt- 3
Here's how the Pac-12 draft class breaks down by school:
- UCLA- 8
- Stanford- 5
- Cal- 4
- USC- 4
- Arizona- 2
- Arizona State- 2
- Oregon- 2
- Washington- 2
- Oregon State- 1
- Utah- 1
- Washington State- 1
- Colorado- 0
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