football

Thibodeaux a preseason Walter Camp All-American

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EUGENE, Ore. – The Walter Camp Foundation named Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux to its 2021 preseason first-team All-America team on Thursday.     
 
Thibodeaux, a third-year sophomore, is the lone Pac-12 Conference player on the first team. In his two years at Oregon, he has combined for 12 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss in just 21 games while totaling 73 tackles, three pass deflections, a forced fumble and a blocked punt. In two Pac-12 Championship Games, Thibodeaux has 18 quarterback pressures, 10 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and 3.4 sacks.
 
The 6-foot-5, 250-pound defensive end earned first-team All-Pac-12 Conference honors as a sophomore in 2020 while also claiming All-America honors from the FWAA, The Athletic, Phil Steele and the Associated Press. He won the Morris Trophy, which honors the top defensive lineman in the Pac-12, in 2020 in a vote of the league’s offensive linemen.
 
Thibodeaux is on the preseason Walter Camp All-America first team for the second consecutive season.
 
Thibodeaux Career Honors and Awards

  • Walter Camp Preseason First-Team All-America (2021)
  • Lott Impact Trophy Watch List (2021)
  • Morris Trophy Winner (2020)
  • FWAA Second-Team All-America (2020)
  • The Athletic Second-Team All-America (2020)
  • Phil Steele Second-Team All-America (2020)
  • Associated Press Third Team All-America (2020)
  • Pac-12 Conference Championship Game MVP (2020)
  • First-Team All-Pac-12 Conference (2020)
  • Pac-12 Conference Freshman Defensive Player of the Year (2019)
  • FWAA Freshman All-America (2019)
  • The Athletic Freshman All-America (2019)
  • USA Today Freshman All-America (2019)
  • Associated Press First-Team All-Pac-12 Conference (2019)
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Three More Football Game Times, TV Selections Announced

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EUGENE, Ore. — The Pac-12 Conference announced kickoff times and television selections for Oregon football’s games against Fresno State, Stony Brook, and California on Thursday in a joint release with ESPN and FOX.
 
The Ducks will open the 2021 season vs. Fresno State at Autzen Stadium on September 4 with an 11 a.m. PT kickoff on Pac-12 Network. Following Oregon’s game at Ohio State on September 11 (9 a.m., FOX), UO will return to Eugene to host Stony Brook at 4:30 p.m. on September 18 (Pac-12 Network).
 
Oregon will welcome California to Autzen on Friday, October 15, with a 7:30 p.m. start time on ESPN.
 
All game times are subject to change.
 
2021 Oregon Football Schedule (all times PST)
Sept. 4 vs. Fresno State – 11 a.m. – Pac-12 Network
Sept. 11 at Ohio State – 9 a.m. – FOX
Sept. 18 vs. Stony Brook – 4:30 p.m. – Pac-12 Network
Sept. 25 vs. Arizona – TBD
Oct. 2 at Stanford – TBD
Oct. 15 vs. California – 7:30 p.m. – ESPN
Oct. 23 at UCLA – TBD
Oct. 30 vs. Colorado – TBD
Nov. 6 at Washington – TBD
Nov. 13 vs. Washington State – TBD
Nov. 20 at Utah – TBD
Nov. 27 vs. Oregon State – TBD
 

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Oregon-Ohio State Set For “Big Noon” Kickoff On September 11

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EUGENE, Ore. — Oregon football’s game at Ohio State on September 11, 2021, will kick off at 9 a.m. PT in the “Big Noon” broadcast window on FOX, the network announced on Thursday.
 
The Ducks will open the 2021 season at home against Fresno State on September 4 before traveling to Columbus to take on the Buckeyes.
 

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Recapping Oregon’s Historic 2021 NFL Draft

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The momentum of the Oregon football program under head coach Mario Cristobal continued to build over the weekend as five former Ducks were selected in the 2021 NFL Draft.
 
Below is a breakdown of the Oregon players who were taken in the three-day, seven-round event, and the historical significance of their selections and of the 2021 draft class as a whole.
 
Oregon 2021 NFL Draft Picks
1. OT Penei Sewell (1st Round, No. 7 overall, Detroit Lions)
2. S Jevon Holland (2nd Round, No. 36 overall, Miami Dolphins)
3. CB Deommodore Lenoir (5th Round, No. 172 overall, San Francisco 49ers)
4. S Brady Breeze (6th Round, No. 215 overall, Tennessee Titans)
5. CB Thomas Graham Jr. (6th Round, No. 228 overall, Chicago Bears)
 
Oregon 2021 NFL Draft Notables
» Five or more players drafted for the first time since 2015 and the seventh time in program history.
» Since the common draft era started in 1967, Oregon is one of only 13 teams to have four defensive backs selected in the same NFL Draft. Georgia also had four DBs taken over the weekend.
» Sewell became the 19th Oregon player ever to be selected in the first round.
» Sewell is the highest-drafted offensive lineman in program history, and he joined Kyle Long (2013, No. 20) and Tim Drougas (1972, No. 22) as UO offensive lineman to go in the first round.
» Sewell is the ninth top-10 pick ever to come out of Oregon, and fifth since 2013.
» Third time in program history Oregon has had a first-round pick in back-to-back years, and second time UO has had back-to-back top-10 selections; Justin Herbert went No. 6 overall in 2020.
» Among offensive players, Sewell is only the second non-quarterback to be drafted in the top 10 out of Oregon, joining wide receiver Ahmad Rashad (1972, No. 4).
» Sewell was the first offensive lineman selected in the 2021 NFL Draft, and Holland was the first safety off the board.
» Holland became the 38th player in program history to be taken in the first two rounds.
» Holland is the eighth UO defensive back to be drafted in the first two rounds, and the first since T.J. Ward went 38th overall in 2010.
» At No. 36 overall, Holland is the sixth-highest drafted defensive back in program history.
» First time since 2015 and seventh time since 2000 that two Oregon players have been taken in the first two rounds of the same NFL Draft.
» Lenoir became the first true cornerback drafted out of Oregon since 2015, and the highest-drafted cornerback since Walter Thurmond went No. 111 overall in 2010.
» In Holland and Breeze, Oregon had two players listed as safeties selected in the same draft for the first time in program history.
» Graham and Lenoir mark the first time that two Oregon players listed as true cornerbacks were taken in the same NFL Draft.
» Former Ducks Austin Faoliu (Cowboys), Hunter Kampmoyer (Chargers) and Jordon Scott (Vikings) also signed as undrafted free agents over the weekend.

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5 Spring Game Impressions

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Robby Ashford converted a two-point try on the final play of Oregon’s annual Spring Game on Saturday to give the offense a win over the defense, 35-34 at Autzen Stadium.

With numbers thin at running back and cornerback, the Ducks opted not to split into two teams for the day, and instead devised a scoring system that rewarded the defense for stops and big plays. Ashford hit freshman receiver Dont’e Thornton for a touchdown that set up the game-winning two-point try, before running it in himself to end the scrimmage.

Here are some impressions from the two-hour scrimmage, which was played with a standard game clock in the first half and a running clock for most of the second half.

1. As the Ducks enter the offseason, Anthony Brown still sits atop the depth chart at quarterback.

Brown continued to get the bulk of the reps with the No. 1 offense Saturday, while freshmen Jay Butterfield, Ty Thompson and Ashford rotated with the twos. Brown finished 20-of-29 passing for 230 yards and a touchdown, the scoring play coming on the opening drive when Travis Dye caught a ball in space and ran for a 26-yard touchdown.

“He’s the one that’s leading, but we’re not gonna let that (competition) die,” UO coach Mario Cristobal said. “But that battle for the two spot is really tight.”

Brown showed off his leadership qualities late in the first half, after the second of two uncharacteristic drops by receiver Mycah Pittman. After giving Pittman a pep talk, Brown went right back to him on the first play of the second half, and Pittman made a diving catch.

“Obviously ‘AB’ being a good leader and being a good vocal guy, he came up and patted me on the back and said, ‘Pitt, you got this man.’ ” Pittman said. “I’m grateful for him – and embarrassed (about the drops).”

The 2021 Oregon Spring Game at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon on May 1, 2021 (Eric Evans Photography)

2. There’s talent aplenty in the receiver room in 2021.

Oregon isn’t lacking for ability at wide receiver, given the return of Pittman, Johnny Johnson III, Devon Williams and Jaylon Redd, who did not participate Saturday. But wow, is there some electric talent coming up the pipeline.

Brown’s touchdown pass to Dye was followed by another scoring drive directed by Butterfield, and capped by a touchdown reception from second-year freshman Kris Hutson. Thornton caught the long touchdown pass from Ashford late in the scrimmage, and Troy Franklin nearly had a touchdown midway through, on his way to finishing as the leading receiver with 93 yards on four receptions.

“This is just the beginning – the very beginning,” Hutson said. “We’re gonna show you guys soon what we got.”

The 2021 Oregon Spring Game at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon on May 1, 2021 (Eric Evans Photography)

3. After a season lost to injury, Justin Flowe looks ready to realize his enormous potential.

A former elite recruit, Flowe missed most of the 2020 season and was late to join drills this spring due to injury. But he made up for lost time and was all over the field Saturday, recording one sack, 1.5 tackles for loss and five total tackles, plus a pass breakup.

“It’s awesome to see him out there,” Cristobal said. “That’s guy’s explosive – brings a ton of energy, and makes a ton of plays.”

Safeties Bennett Williams and Bryan Addison also had some look-at-me moments, with both executing open-field tackles in space. And Marko Vidackovic led the Ducks with seven tackles, in part by playing all over the place on special teams. But after waiting so long to see Flowe finally cutting it loose again, that was a highlight Saturday.

“I felt like I played pretty good,” Flowe said. “But I feel like I could do more. So that’s what I’m gonna do.”

The 2021 Oregon Spring Game at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon on May 1, 2021 (Eric Evans Photography)

4. Both second-year quarterbacks executed in clutch situations – as did the kickers.

With 57 seconds left before halftime, Butterfield was given a chance to run a 2-minute drill. A long pass that Terrance Ferguson turned back and hauled in got the offense past midfield, and Butterfield ran for nine yards on the next play. A completion to Aaron Smith got the ball inside the 10-yard line, and though the drive stalled, Camden Lewis made a field goal.

That made kick followed two by Henry Katleman, one of those a 52-yard bomb. And the Ducks got another clutch performance to close out the scrimmage when Ashford completed the long TD pass to Thornton before running in the two-point conversion.

The 2021 Oregon Spring Game at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon on May 1, 2021 (Eric Evans Photography)

“They all got a chance to move the ball, and they all did – and made big plays,” Cristobal said of the quarterbacks.

Ashford and Butterfield finished a combined 13-of-17 for 241 yards and two touchdowns. Thompson was 5-of-9 for 757 yards, and Bradley Yaffe came on late and completed a pass of 15 yards.

The quarterbacks all played a clean game as well. The only interception was thrown by Pittman on one of two trick plays the Ducks ran, the other being a throwback pass to left tackle Kingsley Suamataia on which the freshmen showed off his athleticism. The other turnover was a fumble on a muffed exchange in the backfield.

The 2021 Oregon Spring Game at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon on May 1, 2021 (Eric Evans Photography)

5. A couple positions can’t fairly be evaluated until preseason camp in August.

With several veterans unavailable at cornerback, freshman Dontae Manning and Jaylin Davies got the start there with the No. 1 defense. Manning had the interception of Pittman, but it was a shame that guys like DJ James and Trikweze Bridges weren’t available Saturday to put a finishing touch on what had been really productive spring camps for them.

The Ducks also leaned hard on the passing game Saturday due to limited numbers at running back. Returning veterans Dye and CJ Verdell were available but combined for just eight carries, and Cross Patton did not participate; walk-on Aaron Smith led the way on 15 carries with 56 yards and a touchdown. Oregon hopes to get Sean Dollars and Trey Benson back from injury in the fall, which will provide a better sense of what the rotation might look like once games begin.

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Bears Take Graham With Final Pick Of The Sixth Round

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EUGENE, Ore. — The Chicago Bears made Oregon cornerback Thomas Graham Jr. the final pick of the sixth round and the 228th overall selection on Saturday in the 2021 NFL Draft.
 
Graham is the fifth Duck taken in this year’s draft, joining left tackle Penei Sewell, safeties Jevon Holland and Brady Breeze, and fellow cornerback Deommodore Lenoir. This marks the first time since 2015 that Oregon has had five or more players selected in the same NFL Draft.

With Holland, Lenoir, Breeze and now Graham, this is the first time in program history that four defensive backs were drafted in the same year. Graham and Lenoir mark the first time that two Oregon players listed as cornerbacks were taken in the same NFL Draft.
 
A three-year starter before opting out of the 2020 season, Graham racked up 182 career tackles (143 solo), eight interceptions, 40 passes defended and a forced fumble in 40 career games. The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., native recorded double-figure pass breakups in each of his final two seasons.
 
Graham was a Pro Football Focus all-Pac-12 second-team selection as a junior after ranking fifth in the conference with an 82.9 coverage grade. He was one of 21 FBS players with 60-plus tackles and 10-plus pass breakups, tied for fifth-most in the Pac-12, and he added 5.0 tackles for loss. Graham went on to participate in the 2021 Senior Bowl.
 
Graham tied for third nationally with 18 pass breakups as a sophomore in 2018, earning AP second-team all-Pac-12 honors. He had three interceptions in each of his first two seasons, including a pick-6 against Oregon State in 2018. In 2017, Graham’s three picks tied for eighth-most among FBS freshmen.
 
2021 Oregon NFL Draft Picks
1. OT Penei Sewell (1st Round, No. 7 overall, Detroit Lions)
2. S Jevon Holland (2nd Round, No. 36 overall, Miami Dolphins)
3. CB Deommodore Lenoir (5th Round, No. 172 overall, San Francisco 49ers)
4. S Brady Breeze (6th Round, No. 215 overall, Tennessee Titans)
5. CB Thomas Graham (6th Round, No. 228 overall, Chicago Bears)
 

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Titans Pick Breeze In Sixth Round

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EUGENE, Ore. — Brady Breeze became the fourth Oregon football player to be taken in the 2021 NFL Draft when the Tennessee Titans selected the safety in the sixth round with the No. 215 overall pick on Saturday.
 
Breeze joins Penei Sewell, Jevon Holland and Deommodore Lenoir in the 2021 class, marking the third straight year that at least four Oregon players were picked in the NFL Draft.
 
With Breeze and Holland both off the board, this is the first time in program history that two players listed as safeties were drafted in the same year. Adding in Lenoir, Oregon has had three defensive backs selected in the same NFL Draft for the first time since 1990.
 
Breeze dominated for the Ducks in the 2019 Rose Bowl, earning MVP honors after finishing with a career-high 11 tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. A 2020 opt-out, he finished the 2019 season as one of only eight FBS players since 2000 with two fumble returns for a TD and a pick-6 in the same season.
 
A standout on defense and special teams, Breeze was a 2019 Pac-12 all-conference selected by the league’s coaches on special teams in addition to earning second-team all-Pac-12 recognition by Pro Football Focus. The Lake Oswego, Ore., native was named to the USA Today all-bowl team for his performance in the Rose Bowl.
 
Breeze closed his career with 95 total tackles, three interceptions, eight passes defended, four fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. He appeared in 38 total games for the Ducks from 2017 to 2019.
 
2021 Oregon NFL Draft Picks
1. OT Penei Sewell (1st Round, No. 7 overall, Detroit Lions)
2. S Jevon Holland (2nd Round, No. 36 overall, Miami Dolphins)
3. CB Deommodore Lenoir (5th Round, No. 172 overall, San Francisco 49ers)
4. S Brady Breeze (6th Round, No. 215 overall, Tennessee Titans)
 

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Lenoir Goes To 49ers In Fifth Round

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EUGENE, Ore. — Cornerback Deommodore Lenoir was selected by the San Francisco 49ers with the No. 172 overall pick in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft on Saturday.
 
Lenoir becomes the first true cornerback drafted out of Oregon since Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (No. 241 overall, 2015), and the highest-drafted cornerback since Walter Turmond went No. 111 overall in 2010.
 
With safety Jevon Holland going No. 36 overall to the Miami Dolphins on Friday, Oregon has had multiple defensive backs taken in the same NFL Draft for the first time since Thurmond and T.J. Ward in 2010.
 
Lenoir is the third Duck selected in this year’s draft, with left tackle Penei Sewell going to the Detroit Lions with the seventh overall pick on Thursday. This marks the third straight year that Oregon has had at least three players taken in the NFL Draft.
 
After originally opting out of the 2020 season, Lenoir returned to lead the Ducks to a second straight Pac-12 title and a berth in the Fiesta Bowl. The Los Angeles native was an AP second-team all-Pac-12 selection and received an invitation to the East-West Shrine Bowl after logging 30 tackles and an interception as a senior.
 
Lenoir closed his Oregon career having made 34 straight starts at cornerback, and he had 154 total tackles and six interceptions as a Duck. He ranked third among Pac-12 cornerbacks in 2020 with a 53.1 completion percentage allowed on 32 targets, according to Pro Football Focus.
 
Lenoir was also an AP all-Pac-12 second-team pick as a junior in 2019, and was one of 13 players in the Pac-12 with an interception, fumble recovery and forced fumble. He limited opponents to a 54.1 completion percentage while being targeted a team-high 74 times, according to PFF.
 
The cornerback grabbed a career-high three interceptions in 2018 as a sophomore, and finished second on the team with nine pass breakups. He picked off two passes in a road contest at Washington State.
 
2021 Oregon NFL Draft Picks
1. OT Penei Sewell (1st Round, No. 7 overall, Detroit Lions)
2. S Jevon Holland (2nd Round, No. 36 overall, Miami Dolphins)
3. CB Deommodore Lenoir (5th Round, No. 172 overall, San Francisco 49ers)
 

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Holland Selected 36th Overall By Dolphins

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EUGENE, Ore. — Jevon Holland became the first safety and second Duck off the board in the 2021 NFL Draft on Friday, going to the Miami Dolphins early in the second round with the No. 36 overall selection.
 
Holland is the eighth defensive back in program history to be drafted in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft, and the first since T.J. Ward went 38th overall to Cleveland in 2010. No. 36 overall is the sixth-highest an Oregon defensive back has ever been taken.

The Coquitlam, Canada, native follows left tackle Penei Sewell, who was taken No. 7 overall by the Detroit Lions on Thursday. Holland becomes the 38th player in program history to be selected in the first two rounds, and 12th since 2010.
 
This is the first time since 2015 that two Oregon players have been drafted in the first two rounds of the same NFL Draft, and the seventh time since 2000. The Ducks have now had multiple players drafted for the fourth straight year.
 
One of only four FBS players with four or more interceptions in both 2018 and 2019, Holland was a Pro Football Focus all-Pac-12 first-team selection as a sophomore before opting out of the 2020 season. He picked off five passes in 2018 and four in 2019, becoming the first Duck since Jairus Byrd (2006-07) to lead the team in interceptions in back-to-back seasons.
 
A standout both on defense and special teams, Holland was a 2019 PFF all-Pac-12 first-team selection as a safety and a third-team honoree as a punt returner. He racked up 110 total tackles as a Duck, and in the 2019 opener vs. Auburn became the first FBS player with 130 punt return yards and an interception in a game since 2007.

2021 Oregon NFL Draft Picks
1. OT Penei Sewell (1st Round, No. 7 overall, Detroit Lions)
2. S Jevon Holland (2nd Round, No. 36 overall, Miami Dolphins)
 
UO Defensive Backs Drafted in Rounds 1-2
2021 – Jevon Holland, No. 36 (Miami Dolphins)
2010 – T.J. Ward, No. 38 (Cleveland Browns)
2009 – Patrick Chung, No. 34 (New England Patriots)
2009 – Jairus Byrd, No. 42 (Buffalo Bills)
1996 – Alex Molden, No. 11 (New Orleans Saints)
1988 – Anthony Newman, No. 35 (Los Angeles Rams)
1976 – Mario Clark, No. 18 (Buffalo Bills)
1968 – Jim Smith, No. 12 (Washington)
1964 – Mel Renfro, No. 17 (Dallas Cowboys)
 

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Sewell Taken Seventh Overall In 2021 NFL Draft

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EUGENE, Ore. — Penei Sewell became the highest-drafted offensive lineman in Oregon football history on Thursday when the left tackle was taken seventh overall by the Detroit Lions in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
 
Sewell is the 19th player in program history and the third offensive lineman to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, joining Kyle Long (2013, No. 20) and Tim Drougas (1972, No. 22). He is the ninth top-10 pick ever to come out of Oregon, and fifth since 2013.
 
Oregon has now had a first-round pick in back-to-back years for the third time in program history, with quarterback Justin Herbert going sixth overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. This marks the second time (2015-16) the Ducks have had a top-10 pick in back-to-back drafts.

No. 7 is the second-highest the Lions have ever drafted an offensive lineman. Only Lomas Brown, a seven-time Pro Bowler, was selected higher at No. 6 in 1985.

Sewell was dominant in two seasons protecting Herbert’s blind side before opting out of the 2020 season, and now will be charged with doing the same in Detroit for new quarterback Jared Goff. In 1,376 total snaps as a Duck, Sewell allowed just one sack.
 
A native of Malaeimi, American Samoa, Sewell finished 2019 as the top-graded offensive lineman in Pro Football Focus history at 95.5, becoming the first player in Oregon history and the first-ever sophomore offensive lineman to win the Outland Trophy as the nation’s top interior lineman. Sewell also led the nation with a PFF run-blocking grade of 95.3, and was third with a pass-blocking grade of 91.1.
 
Sewell joined LaMichael James (2010) and Marcus Mariota (2014) as the only unanimous first-team all-Americans in program history. He was named the 2019 Morris Trophy winner, AP Pac-12 co-offensive player of the year, and PFF Pac-12 player of the year after allowing no sacks and just seven quarterback pressures with a team-high 58 knockdowns in 926 snaps.
 
After coming to Oregon as the No. 1 prospect in the state of Utah, Sewell was the top freshman offensive lineman overall, the No. 2 offensive lineman in the Pac-12, and the No. 7 tackle in the nation with an 84.0 grade from PFF in 2018. He became the first offensive lineman in UO history to earn all-conference honors as a true freshman while also earning freshman all-America honors by USA Today and 247Sports.

Oregon First Round Picks
2021 – OT Penei Sewell, No. 7 (Detroit Lions)
2020 – QB Justin Herbert, No. 6 (Los Angeles Chargers)
2016 – DE DeForest Buckner, No. 7 (San Francisco 49ers)
2015 – QB Marcus Mariota, No. 2 (Tennessee Titans)
2015 – DT Arik Armstead, No. 15 (San Francisco 49ers)
2013 – OLB Dion Jordan, No. 3 (Miami Dolphins)
2013 – OG Kyle Long, No. 20 (Chicago Bears)
2008 – RB Jonathan Stewart, No. 13 (Carolina Panthers)
2006 – DT Haloti Ngata, No. 12 (Baltimore Ravens)
2002 – QB Joey Harrington, No. 3 (Detroit Lions)
1999 – QB Akili Smith, No. 3 (Cincinnati Bengals)
1996 – DB Alex Molden, No. 11 (New Orleans Saints)
1987 – QB Chris Miller, No. 13 (Atlanta Falcons)
1976 – DB Mario Clark, No. 18 (Buffalo Bills)
1975 – TE Russ Francis, No. 16 (New England Patriots)
1972 – WR Ahmad Rashad, No. 4 (St. Louis Cardinals)
1972 – OT Tim Drougas, No. 22 (Baltimore Colts)
1968 – DB Jim Smith, No. 12 (Washington)
1955 – QB George Shaw, No. 1 (Baltimore Colts)

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