Texas Longhorns and the NFL Draft

Most Longhorn fans know that every NFL draft for the last 71 years has produced a selection from the Forty Acres. Burnt Orange Beat goes beyond that and looks for trends and interesting stats about the Texas Longhorns and the NFL Draft as a primer to this weekend's draft in New York City.

This weekend's NFL Draft will change the lives of several hundred college football players, including a handful of Texas Longhorns like Brian Orakpo, Roy Miller, and Quan Cosby. (See story on all Longhorn draft hopefuls here.)

Today's NFL Draft looks nothing like drafts of bygone ears, but one thing that remains the same is the that the Texas Longhorns remain a fixture at the draft. The initial draft was held in 1936 in Philadelphia, but it took until the third draft (1938) before running back Hugh Wolfe was the first of 311 Longhorns selected by the NFL. And for the ensuing 70 drafts at least one Longhorn has been taken every year.

Did You Know about the Texas Longhorns and the NFL Draft?

The Longhorns have had 40 first round selections for #5 all-time. The other Big 12 schools with more than 20 first round selections are as follows: Oklahoma is #12 overall with 33, Nebraska is tied at #13 with 32, Texas A&M is tied at #18 with 25, and Colorado is tied at #21 with 22.

Best draft

The 1984 draft saw a record 17 Texas Longhorns drafted by the NFL. The group was headlined by sixth overall selection corner Mossy Cade and second round selection Doug Dawson. Also in that group was 9th round selection Adam Schreiber (Seattle, #243 overall), who played 16 years in the NFL but only accumulated 21 career starts in the NFL.

Several other drafts had groups of ten or more selected from the Longhorns including 1982 (Kenneth Sims, #1 overall, 11 total), 1952 (10 total), 1948 (Bobby Layne, 10 total), 1947 (Hub Bechtol, 11 total), 1944 (11 total), and 1942 (10 total including Noble Doss in the 11th round). Another notable Longhorn in the 1948 draft was better known for his later coaching – Tom Landry was selected in the 18th round by the New York Giants.

Since 1962, there have only been three drafts that had only one Longhorn selected. The 2000 draft saw DE Cedric Woodward selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the 6th round. He ended up playing four full seasons with the Ravens and one season with the New Orleans Saints. Chris Akins (6th, Philadelphia) and Lance Gunn (7th, Cincinnati) were the only Longhorns taken in the 1998 and 1993 drafts, respectively. Akins played just one season while Gunn played three.

Top Pick Overall

The Longhorns have had a player chosen #1 overall three times – Tommy Nobis 1966, Earl Cambell 1978, and Kenneth Sims 1982. Notre Dame and USC lead the way with five overall #1 picks each. All of Notre Dame's selections were before 1972 while all of USC's where since 1968, including back to back overall #1 selections in 1968 and '69 (Ron Yary and OJ Simpson). The other schools with three top picks are Auburn, Georgia, Nebraska, Ohio State, and Stanford.

Recent Success

In the last ten drafts, the Texas Longhorns have had 38 players selected and 32 are still playing in the NFL, and every player chosen since the 2005 draft (21 total) is still in the league.

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