Akron Zips' highest NFL draft picks since 1970

Written by:
February 24, 2022
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Akron Zips' 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 Akron Zips using data from Pro Football Reference. Ties were broken by the most recent year drafted.

#10. Ulysees Gilbert (LB)
- Draft pick: Round 6, #207 overall in 2019
- Drafted by: Pittsburgh Steelers
- Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#9. Chris Kelley (TE)
- Draft pick: Round 7, #178 overall in 1987
- Drafted by: Pittsburgh Steelers
- Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#8. Jatavis Brown (OLB)
- Draft pick: Round 5, #175 overall in 2016
- Drafted by: San Diego Chargers
- Years as a starter in NFL: 2 (0 Pro Bowls)

#7. Jake Schifino (WR)
- Draft pick: Round 5, #151 overall in 2002
- Drafted by: Tennessee Titans
- Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#6. Domenik Hixon (WR)
- Draft pick: Round 4, #130 overall in 2006
- Drafted by: Denver Broncos
- Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#5. Reggie Corner (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 4, #114 overall in 2008
- Drafted by: Buffalo Bills
- Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#4. Andy Alleman (G)
- Draft pick: Round 3, #88 overall in 2007
- Drafted by: New Orleans Saints
- Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#3. Dwight Smith (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 3, #84 overall in 2001
- Drafted by: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Years as a starter in NFL: 5 (0 Pro Bowls)

#2. Jason Taylor (DE)
- Draft pick: Round 3, #73 overall in 1997
- Drafted by: Miami Dolphins
- Years as a starter in NFL: 12 (6 Pro Bowls)

#1. Charlie Frye (QB)
- Draft pick: Round 3, #67 overall in 2005
- Drafted by: Cleveland Browns
- Years as a starter in NFL: 1 (0 Pro Bowls)

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