SMU Mustangs' highest NFL draft picks since 1970

Written by:
February 24, 2022
Doug Pensinger // Getty Images

SMU Mustangs' 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 SMU Mustangs using data from Pro Football Reference. Ties were broken by the most recent year drafted.

#20. Brandon Stephens (CB)
- Draft pick: Round 3, #104 overall in 2021
- Drafted by: Baltimore Ravens
- Years as a starter in NFL: 1 (0 Pro Bowls)

#19. Rickey Bolden (T)
- Draft pick: Round 4, #96 overall in 1984
- Drafted by: Cleveland Browns
- Years as a starter in NFL: 1 (0 Pro Bowls)

#18. Joe Phillips (NT)
- Draft pick: Round 4, #93 overall in 1986
- Drafted by: Minnesota Vikings
- Years as a starter in NFL: 10 (0 Pro Bowls)

#17. Marcello Simmons (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 4, #90 overall in 1993
- Drafted by: Cincinnati Bengals
- Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#16. Emmanuel Sanders (WR)
- Draft pick: Round 3, #82 overall in 2010
- Drafted by: Pittsburgh Steelers
- Years as a starter in NFL: 9 (2 Pro Bowls)

#15. Josh LeRibeus (G)
- Draft pick: Round 3, #71 overall in 2012
- Drafted by: Washington Football Team
- Years as a starter in NFL: 1 (0 Pro Bowls)

#14. Gary Hammond (WR)
- Draft pick: Round 3, #66 overall in 1972
- Drafted by: NY Jets
- Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#13. John Simmons (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 3, #64 overall in 1981
- Drafted by: Cincinnati Bengals
- Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#12. Jerry Ball (NT)
- Draft pick: Round 3, #63 overall in 1987
- Drafted by: Detroit Lions
- Years as a starter in NFL: 10 (3 Pro Bowls)

#11. Oscar Roan (TE)
- Draft pick: Round 3, #57 overall in 1975
- Drafted by: Cleveland Browns
- Years as a starter in NFL: 3 (0 Pro Bowls)

#10. Ron Morris (WR)
- Draft pick: Round 2, #54 overall in 1987
- Drafted by: Chicago Bears
- Years as a starter in NFL: 3 (0 Pro Bowls)

#9. Margus Hunt (DE)
- Draft pick: Round 2, #53 overall in 2013
- Drafted by: Cincinnati Bengals
- Years as a starter in NFL: 1 (0 Pro Bowls)

#8. Reggie Phillips (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 2, #49 overall in 1985
- Drafted by: Chicago Bears
- Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#7. Courtland Sutton (WR)
- Draft pick: Round 2, #40 overall in 2018
- Drafted by: Denver Broncos
- Years as a starter in NFL: 2 (1 Pro Bowls)

#6. Wes Hopkins (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 2, #35 overall in 1983
- Drafted by: Philadelphia Eagles
- Years as a starter in NFL: 8 (1 Pro Bowls)

#5. Louie Kelcher (DT)
- Draft pick: Round 2, #30 overall in 1975
- Drafted by: San Diego Chargers
- Years as a starter in NFL: 7 (3 Pro Bowls)

#4. Reggie Dupard (RB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #26 overall in 1986
- Drafted by: New England Patriots
- Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#3. Rod Jones (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #25 overall in 1986
- Drafted by: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Years as a starter in NFL: 7 (0 Pro Bowls)

#2. Russell Carter (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #10 overall in 1984
- Drafted by: NY Jets
- Years as a starter in NFL: 3 (0 Pro Bowls)

#1. Eric Dickerson (RB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #2 overall in 1983
- Drafted by: Los Angeles Rams
- Years as a starter in NFL: 10 (6 Pro Bowls)

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