'Cats In The Draft

The NFL Draft is upon us, and Northwestern has had a list of players taken in the draft. Check out the group of Wildcats who were drafted in the past decade.

2000

Jay Tant (Fifth Round, 164 overall)- The lone Wildcat selected in the 2000 NFL Draft, Jay Tant played just five games and had one four-yard catch in his lone NFL season with the Arizona Cardinals

2001

Harold Blackmon (Seventh Round, 210 overall)- Blackmon was a seventh-round selection of the Seattle Seahawks He played in nine games during 2001 and 2002, recording three total tackles

Dwayne Missouri (Seventh Round, 231 overall)- A seventh-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens, Missouri spent one season with the Dallas Cowboys, playing just two NFL games

2002

Napoleon Harris (First Round, 23 overall)- Northwestern's first first-round selection since 1983, Harris played seven seasons in the NFL with the Raiders, Vikings, and Chiefs He finished with 481 total tackles, 8 5 sacks, and four interceptions

Kevin Bentley (Fourth Round, 101 overall)- Bentley was the second Wildcat linebacker to be drafted in the '02 draft (joining Harris) He played three seasons with the Cleveland Browns, three with the Seattle Seahawks, and just finished his third season with the Houston Texans In his nine seasons, Bentley has 412 total tackles

Sam Simmons (Fifth Round, 170 overall)- Simmons played in 11 games with the Miami Dolphins, but had just one season in the NFL

2003

Austin King (Fourth Round, 133 overall)- King was the only Wildcat drafted in the 2003 draft, and was taken by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers He finished his four-year NFL career with three seasons in Atlanta, where he started one game

2005

Luis Castillo (First Round, 28 overall)-Northwestern's most-recent first-round selection, Castillo has played six NFL seasons with the San Diego Chargers He has started all but three games of his 209-game career, and has recorded 150 total tackles and 19 sacks

Trai Essex (Third Round, 93 overall)- Essex has won two Super Bowl rings in his six years with the Pittsburgh Steelers The offensive tackle has started 25 games on the Steelers' offensive line

Noah Herron (Fifth Round, 164th overall)- The star in Northwestern's backfield turned into a productive NFL player He was a late selection by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2005, but was traded to Green Bay that season He would rush for two touchdowns that season, and would have three touchdowns in 2006, including two receiving touchdowns

2006

Barry Cofield- (Fourth Round, 124 overall)- The New York Giants made Cofield their fourth-round selection in 2006, and got a steal with that pick Cofield has started each game in his NFL career, while recording 210 total tackles and 10 5 sacks He won a Super Bowl ring in 2008 with the Giants' win over the New England Patriots

Zack Strief (Seventh Round, 210 overall)- Strief was a late pickup for the New Orleans Saints during the 2006 draft In his five seasons with the Saints, the offensive guard has been a key backup on the Saints' offensive line He has started seven games during his career

Tim McGarigle (Seventh Round, 221 overall)- Picked shortly after Strief, Tim McGarigle played 12 games with the St. Louis Rams in 2007

2010

Corey Wootton (Fourth Round, 109 overall)-The Chicago Bears made the former Wildcat defensive end a fourth-round pick In his rookie season, Wootton recorded one total sack—a memorable one on Monday Night Football against the Minnesota Vikings' Brett Favre, which was the last play of Favre's career

Mike Kafka (Fourth Round, 122 overall)- Kafka became the first Wildcat quarterback drafted since 1977, as he was taken by the Philadelphia Eagles Kafka did not play in his rookie season, but served as a backup to Michael Vick

Sherrick McManis (Fifth Round, 144 overall)- McManis joined former Wildcat Kevin Bentley on the Texans' defense, and recorded 13 total tackles and an interception during his rookie season


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