Kentucky Wildcats' highest NFL draft picks since 1970

Written by:
February 24, 2022
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Kentucky Wildcats' highest NFL draft picks since 1970

While most colleges and universities field a football team as part of its general athletics program, there are some for which football is more than merely a sport—it’s akin almost to a religion. Devotion to the team and its colors is as important to that school’s culture as a religious icon is to a believer. These programs actively scout and recruit notable high school players, and are in turn rigorously applied to by matriculating seniors eager to make a name for themselves at the collegiate level.

Among the most notable college football empires are Notre Dame, the universities of Alabama, Michigan, Texas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma, Penn State, Ohio State—the list goes on and on.

But for every touchstone football school, there is an outlier that has produced some of the most successful and cherished players in the game. Think Jackson State, which gave us “Sweetness” himself, Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton. Or Mississippi Valley State, which yielded 3-time Super Bowl champion and #1 Player in NFL History, as voted by the NFL Network, ‘49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice.

Each year, the college draft serves as a source of renewal to professional football and a testament to the quality of college programs nationwide. With the 2022 NFL draft set to take place April 28-30 in Las Vegas, Stacker compiled a list of the highest NFL draft picks from the Kentucky Wildcats using data from Pro Football Reference. Ties were broken by the most recent year drafted.

#20. Moe Williams (RB)
- Draft pick: Round 3, #75 overall in 1996
- Drafted by: Minnesota Vikings
- Years as a starter in NFL: 1 (0 Pro Bowls)

#19. Jim Ramey (DE)
- Draft pick: Round 3, #70 overall in 1979
- Drafted by: Cleveland Browns
- Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#18. Eric Kelly (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 3, #69 overall in 2001
- Drafted by: Minnesota Vikings
- Years as a starter in NFL: 2 (0 Pro Bowls)

#17. Larry Warford (G)
- Draft pick: Round 3, #65 overall in 2013
- Drafted by: Detroit Lions
- Years as a starter in NFL: 7 (3 Pro Bowls)

#16. Randall Cobb (WR)
- Draft pick: Round 2, #64 overall in 2011
- Drafted by: Green Bay Packers
- Years as a starter in NFL: 5 (1 Pro Bowls)

#15. Oliver Barnett (DE)
- Draft pick: Round 3, #55 overall in 1990
- Drafted by: Atlanta Falcons
- Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#14. Lonnie Johnson Jr. (CB)
- Draft pick: Round 2, #54 overall in 2019
- Drafted by: Houston Texans
- Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#13. Dermontti Dawson (C)
- Draft pick: Round 2, #44 overall in 1988
- Drafted by: Pittsburgh Steelers
- Years as a starter in NFL: 11 (7 Pro Bowls)

#12. Kelvin Joseph (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 2, #44 overall in 2021
- Drafted by: Dallas Cowboys
- Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#11. Melvin Johnson (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 2, #43 overall in 1995
- Drafted by: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Years as a starter in NFL: 1 (0 Pro Bowls)

#10. Sonny Collins (RB)
- Draft pick: Round 2, #36 overall in 1976
- Drafted by: Atlanta Falcons
- Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#9. Randy Burke (WR)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #26 overall in 1977
- Drafted by: Baltimore Ravens
- Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#8. Bud Dupree (OLB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #22 overall in 2015
- Drafted by: Pittsburgh Steelers
- Years as a starter in NFL: 4 (0 Pro Bowls)

#7. Jamin Davis (LB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #19 overall in 2021
- Drafted by: Washington Football Team
- Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#6. George Adams (RB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #19 overall in 1985
- Drafted by: NY Giants
- Years as a starter in NFL: 1 (0 Pro Bowls)

#5. Josh Allen (LB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #7 overall in 2019
- Drafted by: Jacksonville Jaguars
- Years as a starter in NFL: 2 (1 Pro Bowls)

#4. Warren Bryant (T)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #6 overall in 1977
- Drafted by: Atlanta Falcons
- Years as a starter in NFL: 7 (0 Pro Bowls)

#3. Dewayne Robertson (DT)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #4 overall in 2003
- Drafted by: NY Jets
- Years as a starter in NFL: 6 (0 Pro Bowls)

#2. Art Still (DE)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #2 overall in 1978
- Drafted by: Kansas City Chiefs
- Years as a starter in NFL: 12 (4 Pro Bowls)

#1. Tim Couch (QB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #1 overall in 1999
- Drafted by: Cleveland Browns
- Years as a starter in NFL: 3 (0 Pro Bowls)

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