Jameis Winston and Florida State may have headlined Thursday’s first round of the NFL Draft, but it was a college more than 3,000 miles away that stole the show.
The Washington Huskies had three players selected in the first round — the most for any collegiate team. FSU, Oregon, Florida, Clemson, and Miami (Fl.) each had two players selected.
The Huskies taken were Danny Shelton, NT, Cleveland (12th), Marcus Peters, CB, Kansas City (18th), and Shaq Thompson, OLB, Carolina (25th). Most experts believe Peters would have been a Top-10 pick if not for several off-field issues.
It’s not unheard of for teams to have three players drafted in the opening round (Texas A&M did it last year, and Alabama had three players drafted in a row in 2013), but it’s usually from a team who at least contented for a conference title, if not a national title. The Huskies finished just 8-6, and under .500 in the Pac-12.
It is the first time Washington pulled off the feat, and speaks volumes for a defense that gave up only the fourth-most points in the conference last year. The team took to Twitter (because who doesn’t do that nowadays), to boast its accomplishment.
Here’s a breakdown of the future NFL Huskies.
Name: Danny Shelton
Drafted: 12th overall, Cleveland Browns
Height/Weight: 6-2, 339-pounds
2014 Stats: 93 total tackles; nine sacks; 16.5 tackles for loss
Summary: Shelton is massive, and he played that way. His junior season in 2014 was by far his best, but he ended his Washington career with 208 tackles and 11.5 sacks. The first-round pick was the only player in the country be be named a First-Team All-American on the field and in the classroom. One description from NFL.com said: “Shelton is a bully. If you let him walk all over you early in the game, he’s going to keep doing it.”
Name: Marcus Peters
Drafted: 18th overall, Kansas City Chiefs
Height/Weight: 6-0, 190-pounds
2014 Stats: 30 total tackles; three interceptions; 7 passes defended
Summary: Peters, who played in just nine games last year after being dismissed from the team, is an interesting case. Most scouts agree Peters has Top-10 talent — and the Chiefs do as well. He had 11 interceptions in just 35 games, and was said by some to be the best corner in the draft. The good news for Peters and Chiefs’ fans is head coach Andy Reid is known for being able to help younger players along, and their clubhouse is full of veteran leaders who can help keep Peters’ on track.
Name: Shaq Thompson
Drafted: 25th overall, Carolina Panthers
Height/Weight: 6-1, 228-pounds
2014 Stats: 81 total tackles; one sack; one interception; one touchdown; four passes defended
Summary: Thompson was surprised with the pick, telling The Seattle Times he had his “mind set on being a second-round pick.” The Panthers liked his versatility (he played both defensive line and linebacker in college, while even rushing for 124 yards during three games last year). He has been called “selfless” and a team leader, something any professional team would look at as a positive. In his three-year career, Thompson accumulated 233 total tackles, 3.5 sacks, five interceptions, 456 yards rushing, 56 yards receiving, four rushing touchdowns, and five defensive touchdowns. Not bad for a guy who will be a linebacker at the pro level.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports