Texas Longhorns' highest NFL draft picks since 1970

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

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

#20. Kenny Vaccaro (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #15 overall in 2013
- Drafted by: New Orleans Saints
- Years as a starter in NFL: 7 (0 Pro Bowls)

#19. Earl Thomas (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #14 overall in 2010
- Drafted by: Seattle Seahawks
- Years as a starter in NFL: 9 (7 Pro Bowls)

#18. Brian Orakpo (LB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #13 overall in 2009
- Drafted by: Washington Football Team
- Years as a starter in NFL: 8 (4 Pro Bowls)

#17. Eric Metcalf (RB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #13 overall in 1989
- Drafted by: Cleveland Browns
- Years as a starter in NFL: 6 (3 Pro Bowls)

#16. Russell Erxleben (P)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #11 overall in 1979
- Drafted by: New Orleans Saints
- Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#15. Stanley Richard (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #9 overall in 1991
- Drafted by: San Diego Chargers
- Years as a starter in NFL: 8 (0 Pro Bowls)

#14. Roy Williams (WR)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #7 overall in 2004
- Drafted by: Detroit Lions
- Years as a starter in NFL: 7 (1 Pro Bowls)

#13. Michael Huff (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #7 overall in 2006
- Drafted by: Oakland Raiders
- Years as a starter in NFL: 6 (0 Pro Bowls)

#12. Mossy Cade (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #6 overall in 1984
- Drafted by: San Diego Chargers
- Years as a starter in NFL: 1 (0 Pro Bowls)

#11. Ricky Williams (RB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #5 overall in 1999
- Drafted by: New Orleans Saints
- Years as a starter in NFL: 5 (1 Pro Bowls)

#10. Bryant Westbrook (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #5 overall in 1997
- Drafted by: Detroit Lions
- Years as a starter in NFL: 3 (0 Pro Bowls)

#9. Quentin Jammer (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #5 overall in 2002
- Drafted by: San Diego Chargers
- Years as a starter in NFL: 10 (0 Pro Bowls)

#8. Mike Williams (T)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #4 overall in 2002
- Drafted by: Buffalo Bills
- Years as a starter in NFL: 4 (0 Pro Bowls)

#7. Cedric Benson (RB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #4 overall in 2005
- Drafted by: Chicago Bears
- Years as a starter in NFL: 6 (0 Pro Bowls)

#6. Jerry Sisemore (T)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #3 overall in 1973
- Drafted by: Philadelphia Eagles
- Years as a starter in NFL: 11 (2 Pro Bowls)

#5. Vince Young (QB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #3 overall in 2006
- Drafted by: Tennessee Titans
- Years as a starter in NFL: 4 (2 Pro Bowls)

#4. Lam Jones (WR)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #2 overall in 1980
- Drafted by: NY Jets
- Years as a starter in NFL: 3 (0 Pro Bowls)

#3. Leonard Davis (T)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #2 overall in 2001
- Drafted by: Arizona Cardinals
- Years as a starter in NFL: 10 (3 Pro Bowls)

#2. Earl Campbell (RB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #1 overall in 1978
- Drafted by: Houston Texans
- Years as a starter in NFL: 7 (5 Pro Bowls)

#1. Kenneth Sims (DE)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #1 overall in 1982
- Drafted by: New England Patriots
- Years as a starter in NFL: 5 (0 Pro Bowls)

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