Chances are Texas’ Hassan Ridgeway is going to get drafted by an NFL team later this month. Currently, Ridgeway is being projected as a fourth round pick by some outlets, but he could go higher if a team wants to take a chance on a talented defensive lineman.
If and when he is selected, Ridgeway will join a list of drafted Texas defensive linemen that dates back to 1942 when “end” Preston Flanagan was taken.
Here are six Texas defensive linemen that were picked in the NFL draft to remember.
6. Tony Brackens, at Texas 1992-1995
Brackens was a first team All-American in 1995 and finished with 24 sacks, at the time eighth best in program history. Brackens was taken by second-year team Jacksonville Jaguars in the second round of the 1996 draft, 33rd overall. Brackens played his entire career with the Jaguars and is the club’s all-time leading tackler for a defensive lineman. He made the Pro Bowl in 1999.
5. Diron Talbert, at Texas 1964-1966
Aside from having an amazing Burt Reynolds-like look, Talbert is also a Texas Longhorn Hall of Fame member. He was inducted in 2005. He recorded 74 tackles in three seasons at Texas. In the NFL, Talbert played for 14 years with stints in St. Louis and Washington, where he played for 10 seasons. Talbert made the 1974 Pro Bowl.
4. Shaun Rogers, at Texas 1997-2000
He recorded 80 tackles in 1999, 27 for a loss. Rogers was a first team all-Big 12 player in 1999 and at 6-foot-4-inches and about 340 pounds, Rogers was one of the largest players to ever play at Texas. In the NFL, Rogers reached three Pro Bowls in his 13 season career. He was drafted in the second round, 61st overall, by the Lions and played seven seasons in Detroit. He made two Pro Bowls in Detroit and in 2008, his first with the Cleveland Browns, also was a Pro Bowler. He finished with 373 career tackles and 37.5 sacks.
3. Steve McMichael, at Texas 1976-1979
“Mongo” McMichael, as his Bears teammates know him as, recorded 369 tackles at Texas, including 122 tackles and 43 hurries in 1978. He finished with 28.5 sacks at Texas. After being taken 73rd overall in the third round by the New England Patriots in 1980, McMichael left New England as a free agent and signed with the Chicago Bears in 1981, and he eventually became famous. He played 13 seasons with the Bears, making two Pro Bowls and two first team All-Pros. He won a Super Bowl in 1985 and, like a professional wrestler he would one day become, he turned heel and played his last season with Chicago’s rival, the Green Bay Packers, in 1994.
2. Bud McFadin, at Texas 1947-1950
McFadin was a two-time All-American at Texas and is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. He was taken 11th overall in the 1951 draft by the Los Angeles Rams and McFadin played both ways for 11 seasons with stints in Los Angeles, Denver and Houston. McFadin played defensive end, linebacker, defensive tackle, offensive guard and tackle. He was a five time Pro Bowler and a three-time All-Pro.
1. Casey Hampton, at Texas 1996-2000
Hampton teamed with Shaun Rogers to form a devastating tackle combo at Texas, but Hampton is one of the most successful Longhorns ever to transition to the NFL. Although Hampton never made All-Pro, Hampton was the centerpiece, literally, of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ vaunted 3-4 defense in the 2000s and made five Pro Bowls. Hampton helped the Steelers to two Super Bowls wins and another Super Bowl appearance. Hampton played in 16 NFL playoff games in his 12-year career.
As a Longhorn, Hampton was a consensus All-American in 2000 and was drafted 19th overall in 2001, or 16 spots behind the first defensive tackle taken, Gerard Warren, who the Cleveland Browns took. Hampton and the Steelers went 22-3 against the Browns in 12 seasons.
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