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CU@Game CU At The Game: CU at the NFL Draft

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    CU at the NFL Draft




    Three Buffs hope to have their named called in the 2016 NFL Draft

    Three Buffs – wide receiver Nelson Spruce, offensive tackle Stephane Nembot, and cornerback Kenneth Crawley – hope to hear their names called this upcoming weekend during the 2016 NFL Draft (April 28th – 30th).

    In mock drafts, Spruce is the Buff whose name comes up as the most likely candidate to be drafted, with DraftSite.com having Spruce going in the 5th round to Kansas City and NFLDraftGeek.com seeing Spruce as a 7th round pick by New England.

    At least one mock draft (nfl.com), however, as both Kenneth Crawley (5th round, Minnesota) and Stephane Nembot (6th round, San Francisco) being drafted.

    In the upcoming days leading up to the draft, check back under this headline for draft profiles of CU’s draft hopefuls





    Beware of draft years divisible by five …

    In the period from start of the common draft, in 1967, there have been only six drafts which have gone without a CU player being selected.

    When the 2015 draft came up empty for the Buffs, however, it marked the third time in the past 11 drafts without a Buff being picked, with CU finishing with no draft picks in 2005, 2010, and 2015.

    Or, to put it another way – In the 38 drafts between 1967 and 2004, there were only three empty drafts for the University of Colorado … but there have been three empty drafts since.





    Colorado has the 5th-most first round picks in the Pac-12

    Since the NFL and AFL began the common draft in 1967, Colorado has had 22 first round draft picks*. This is good enough for 5th in the annals of the Pac-12. Oregon State, with the fewest, picked up No. 3 in 2014 with Brandin Cooks.

    Washington State broke the longest drought without a first round pick, dating back to 2003, when Deone Bucannon went to Arizona with the 27th pick in 2015. The longest drought without a first round pick now belongs to Arizona, which last had a first round pick in 2008.

    The Pac-12 conference and the first round of the NFL draft (1967-present):

    USC – 70 … Most recent: 2015 – Leonard Williams, DE, 6th pick, New York Jets; Nelson Agholor, WR, 20th pick, Philadelphia

    UCLA – 24 … Most recent: 2014 – Anthony Barr, LB, 9th pick, Minnesota

    California – 23 … Most recent: 2011 – Cameron Jordan, DE, 24th pick, New Orleans

    Arizona State – 23 … Most recent: 2015 – Damarious Randall, 30th pick, S, Green Bay

    Colorado – 22 … Most recent: 2011 – Nate Solder, OT, 17th pick, New England; and Jimmy Smith, CB, 27th pick, Baltimore

    Washington – 20 … Most recent: 2015 – Danny Shelton, DT, 12th pick, Cleveland; Marcus Peters, CB, 18th pick, Kansas City; Shaq Thompson, LB, 25th pick, Carolina

    Stanford – 17 … Most recent: 2015 – Andres Peat, OT, 13th pick, New Orleans

    Oregon – 15 … Most recent: 2015 – Marcus Mariota, QB, 2nd pick, Tennessee; Arik Armstead, 17th pick, San Francisco

    Washington State – 9 … Most recent: 2014 – Deone Bucannon, S, 27th pick, Arizona

    Arizona – 9 … Most recent: 2008 – Antoine Cason, CB, 27th pick, San Diego

    Utah – 6 … Most recent: 2013 – Star Lotulelei, DT, 14th pick, Carolina

    Oregon State – 3 … Most recent: 2014 – Brandin Cooks, WR, 20th pick, New Orleans

    (And, in case you are wondering … Colorado State – 4 … Most recent: 1987 – Kelly Stouffer, QB, 6th pick, St. Louis)

    * Colorado actually has had 24 first round NFL first round picks overall, counting Byron White, the 4th overall pick in 1938 (Pittsburgh) and Jerry Hillebrand, TE, the 13th overall pick of the 1962 draft (New York Giants).



    … And CU is fourth in the Pac-12 in overall draft picks …

    USC is the nation’s leader in draft picks all-time, with 493. Only Notre Dame, with 486, is close to challenging the Trojans (Ohio State is third on the all-time list, with 418).

    In the Pac-12, USC is followed by UCLA, tied with Michigan State for 15th-place, with 303 draft picks, and Washington, in at No. 17 with 285 picks.

    Colorado is a solid 4th on the all-time Pac-12 list, with 266. That total is good enough for 22nd on the all-time list.

    Pac-12 teams catching up with the Buffs – but with still a ways to go – are No. 27 Stanford (249) and No. 30 Arizona State (239).

    … If you are keeping score at home, the Buffs enter the 2016 draft two behind No. 21 Wisconsin (268), and four ahead of Auburn and Minnesota, tied for 23rd on the all-time list with 262.





    Some notes about the University of Colorado and the NFL draft …

    – Colorado has had 24 first round draft picks in NFL history. The highest-ever pick was Bo Matthews, taken as the No. 2 overall pick by San Diego in 1974. Colorado is one of only three schools in the Pac-12 (the Arizona schools being the others) to not have at least one No. 1 overall draft pick (USC has had five – the most by any school – while Stanford has had four. No other Pac-12 school has had more than one No. 1 overall pick).

    – The most recent first round draft picks for CU came in 2011, when Nate Solder was taken in the first round by New England (17th pick overall), followed shortly thereafter by Jimmy Smith, going to Baltimore with the No. 27 overall pick.

    – The first Buff to be chosen in an NFL draft was halfback Byron White, taken in the first round by the Pittsburgh Steelers (the No. 3 pick overall) in the 1938 NFL draft.

    – Paul Richardson, in 2014, became only the eighth player in CU history to declare early for the NFL draft. All eight have been drafted – defensive tackle Leonard Renfro (1st round, Philadelphia, 1993); running back Lamont Warren (sixth round, Indianapolis, 1994); running back Rashaan Salaam (first round, Chicago, 1995); defensive end Shannon Clavelle, sixth round, Buffalo, 1995); cornerback Ben Kelly (third round, Miami, 2000); running back Chris Brown (third round, Tennessee, 2003); David Bakhtiari (4th round, Green Bay, 2013); and Paul Richardson (2nd round, Seattle, 2014).

    – Since 1990, there have been only five drafts which have been conducted without at least one Buff having their name called. Those three drafts were 2001, 2005, 2010 and 2015. (An oddity – In April, 1989, the spring before CU went 11-0 in the regular season and climbed to No. 1 in the polls for the first time in school history, no Buffs were drafted).

    – Only once in school history has the Colorado program gone two seasons in a row without a player being drafted, and that was back in 1949 and 1950.

    – The most Buffs ever drafted in the same spring came in 1976, when 11 Buffs were drafted. The 1975 Buffs went 9-3, and produced three first round draft picks – center Pete Brock (New England, 12th overall pick), defensive tackle Troy Archer (New York Giants, 13th overall pick), and offensive tackle Mark Koncar (Green Bay, 23rd overall pick). That draft also had Buff great Dave Logan going to the Cleveland Browns in the third round (65th pick overall).

    – Twice in school history, ten Buffs were drafted in the same season. In 1974, ten Buffs were selected, led by fullback Bo Matthews and tight end J.V. Cain in the first round. In the 1995 draft, ten Buffs were chosen as well, with Michael Westbrook going to the Washington Redskins with the No. 4 overall pick. Westbrook was joined in the first round by Heisman trophy winner Rashaan Salaam, who went to the Chicago Bears at No. 21. Three other Buffs were chosen in the second round of that 1995 draft – tight end Christian Fauria (Seattle); linebacker Ted Johnson (New England); and quarterback Kordell Stewart (Pittsburgh).

    – In the 1974 draft, it took 16 rounds to get to ten Buffs. In 1995, ten Buffs were gone by the end of the sixth round.

    – The NFL team which has chosen the most Buffs? … The Green Bay Packers, with 18 Buffs, the most recent being Bakhtiari in 2013 and linebacker Brad Jones in the 7th round of the 2009 draft.

    – The NFL team which has chosen the fewest Buffs? There is a tie. The Jacksonville Jaguars have only selected one Buff through the draft, being cornerback Chris Hudson in the third round of the 1995 draft. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers also have only chosen one Buff, offensive tackle Steve Young, taken in the third round of the 1976 draft (perhaps the Bucs were thinking that they were drafting quarterback Steve Young, who also played for the Bucs, and that is why they have never again chosen a player from CU).

    – Jacksonville has only been around since 1995, with Tampa Bay coming into the league in 1976. I found it surprising that the Minnesota Vikings, who have been around since 1960, have only chosen two Buffs in their history – offensive tackle Jerry McClung in the 17th round of the 1964 draft, and fullback Jim Kelleher, in the 12th round of the 1977 draft.

    and, finally, a little trivia for Bronco fans … There have been 14 Buffs selected in the draft by the Denver Broncos, but none since 1980. Can you name the last Buff drafted by Denver? It was nose tackle Laval Short, taken in the 5th round of the 1980 draft (136th pick overall).

    —–

    Stuart
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