Joe Dahl poised to be highest WSU OL draft pick since Scott Sanderson in 1997

JOE DAHL MAY BE on the verge of Washington State offensive line history. In the last 30 years, just five Cougar hosses have been taken in the NFL draft and none higher than the third round. This week, when the NFL convenes for its annual talent chase, Dahl most certainly will become the sixth WSU O-lineman drafted in the last three decades and, if the most optimistic pundits are to be believed, he could go as high as the low-second- or high-third rounds.

And that would put him in elite crimson company, right alongside former Cougar All-Americans Scott Sanderson (above right) and Mike Utley (above left)

Sanderson and Utley both were third rounders -- Sanderson by Houston (now Tennessee) in 1997 with the 81st overall and Utley by Detroit in 1988 with the 59th overall pick. Only one other Cougar lineman in the last 50 years has been in that territory: center Geoff Reece, who was taken by the Rams in the third round (61st overall) in 1975.

The forecasts on Dahl tend to center around the third and fourth rounds, with CBS Sports pegging him as the 70th overall pick, to Baltimore, with the seventh choice of the third. Pro Football Weekly recently dubbed him the second-best guard prospect in the draft, which would suggest him going in the second round. 

We'll know soon. The draft runs from Thursday through Saturday. Receiver Dom Williams and defensive lineman Destiny Vaeao are two other Cougs who could hear their names called.

WSU's O-line history in the NFL draft since 1970:

2012 - Zack Williams, 6th round Carolina (203rd overall)

2005 - Calvin Armstrong, 6th round Philadelphia (211th overall)

1998 - Jason McEndoo, 7th round Seattle (197th overall)

1997 - Scott Sanderson, 3rd round Houston (81sth overall)

1989 - Mike Utley, 3rd round Detroit (59th overall)

1989 - Chris Dyko, 8th round Chicago (221st overall)

1985 - Dan Lynch, 12th round Denver (334th overall)

1984 - Charlie Flager, 11th round New England (292nd overall)

1983 - Steve Sebahar, 11th round Philadelphia (285th overall)

1982 - Allan Kennedy, 10th round San Francisco (267th overall)

1976 - Robin Ross, 10th round, San Francisco (275th overall)

1976 - Mark Young13th round, Oakland (370th overall)

1976 - Dan Smith15th round, Seattle (405th overall)

1975 - Geoff Reece, 3rd round Los Angeles (61st overall)

1974 - Tom Wickert, 8th round Miami (212th overall)


  • Kennedy went on to win two Super Bowl rings with the 49ers.
  • McEndoo is now the offensive line coach at Oklahoma State.
  • Utley recently was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. He and Lynch are both in the WSU Hall of Fame.
  • Kay Bell, a Cougar lineman taken in the 10th round (91st overall) of the 1937 draft by the Lions, played five NFL seasons for five teams (none of them the Lions) before embarking on a long career in pro wrestling that he then turned into small acting roles on TV and in films such The Ten Commandments.
  • Three of the most notable WSU offensive linemen in the NFL in the modern era were all undrafted free agents: Robbie Tobeck, Cory Withrow and George Yarno. Tobeck had a long career with the Falcons and Seahawks that included two Super Bowl appearances and a Pro Bowl selection. Withrow was a mainstay on WSU's 1998 Rose Bowl team and went on to a long career with the Vikings. Yarno -- an all-conference defensive lineman at WSU -- spent 10 seasons as an OL with the Bucanners, Falcons and Oilers and another two with the Denver Gold of the USFL.
  • Two of the greatest offensive linemen in football history -- WSU Hall of Famers Mel Hein and Turk Edwards -- entered the NFL before the draft was instituted. Both are in the College and Pro Football halls of fame. Hein (pictured below) had a truly legendary career with the New York Giants that began in humorous fashion; he signed a contract to play for the Providence Steamrollers but hours after dropping it at the Pullman post office he received an offer from the Giants that would pay $25 more per game so he pleaded with the postmaster to violate policy and pull a mailed letter out of the system.

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