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From Hugh Wolfe to the 'Wolf of DKR': 25 fun facts about Texas and the NFL draft

Between Thursday and Saturday, dreams will become realities for hundreds of football players as the NFL draft is held in Cleveland.

The Texas Longhorns are no strangers to the draft. According to Texas, there have been 346 players from UT selected since the first draft was held in 1936.

Texas quarterback Vince Young acknowledges the crowd after being selected by the Tennessee Titans with the third overall pick of the 2006 NFL draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York. North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams (Texans) and USC running back Reggie Bush (Saints) went Nos. 1 and 2 that year.

A handful of Longhorns could be taken this week. Here are 25 fun facts about the Texas Longhorns and the NFL draft:

1. The first-ever Longhorn taken in an NFL draft was Hugh Wolfe, a running back who was picked by Pittsburgh in 1938. Wolfe's NFL career lasted one season. 

2. Texas exes Tommy Nobis (1966), Earl Campbell (1978) and Kenneth Sims (1982) have been the No. 1 pick in an NFL draft. Notre Dame, USC and Oklahoma have each had a record five players selected first.

3. The latest Longhorn to ever be drafted? Walton Roberts was selected with the last pick of a 32-round draft in 1944 by the Boston Yanks. But if you are talking about picks instead of rounds, then linebacker Randy Braband is your guy. He was a 17th-round pick and the 417th overall choice in 1973.

4.With the first selection they ever made, the Atlanta Falcons took Nobis in '66. The Falcons have drafted three other Longhorns — Deryl Comer (14th round, 1971), Alfred Jackson (7th, 1978) and Justin Blalock (2nd, 2007).

Players from the earliest days of the Atlanta Falcons, dating back to the mid-1960s, gather for a reunion around the Falcons' first-ever draft pick, former Texas linebacker Tommy Nobis, who hoists a team football for a pass in 2013. Nobis died in 2017.

5.Since 1994, the Detroit Lions have drafted seven Longhorns: DB Van Malone (2nd round, 1994), DB Bryant Westbrook (1st, 1997), DL Shaun Rogers (2nd, 2001), DL Cory Redding (3rd, 2003), WR Roy Williams (1st, 2004), OL Jonathan Scott (5th, 2006) and DB Quandre Diggs (6th, 2015). No other NFL franchise has drafted more players out of Texas over the past 26 years.

6.Since 1994, every NFL franchise has drafted at least one Longhorn except for the New York Jets. The last Longhorn drafted by the Jets was wide receiver Johnny “Lam” Jones, who was the second overall pick in 1980

7. Five times since 1990, two Longhorns have been taken with back-to-back picks in the same round of a draft.

  • 1992: DL Shane Dronett (54th overall, Broncos); DL James Patton (55th, Bills)
  • 2002: OL Mike Williams (4th, Bills); DB Quentin Jammer (5th, Chargers)
  • 2007: DB Michael Griffin (19th, Titans); DB Aaron Ross (20th, Giants)
  • 2010: LB Sergio Kindle (43rd, Ravens); DL Lamarr Houston (44th, Raiders)
  • 2010: WR Jordan Shipley (84th, Bengals); QB Colt McCoy (85th, Browns)

8. In 1984, 17 Longhorns were drafted. That's still UT's largest draft class. The 1984 draft was 12 rounds long. If the 1984 draft followed the seven-round format that was adopted in 1994, Texas' 10-player class would still beat every UT draft class that's come since.

9. The only future Texas head coach to be selected in the NFL draft? Darrell Royal, an All-America back from Oklahoma who was taken 250th overall in the 1950 draft by the New York Bulldogs.

Texas left tackle Samuel Cosmi, right, is expected to be the first Longhorn taken in this year's NFL draft, which starts Thursday in Cleveland. Outside linebacker/edge rusher Joseph Ossai also could go on the first or second day.

10. The 2014 draft marked the first time since 1937 — and the second-ever draft — that no Texas player was drafted. The 1936, 1937 and 2014 drafts are the only Longhorns-less drafts.

11. Offensive lineman Samuel Cosmi, defensive linemen Joseph Ossai and Ta'Quon Graham, safety Caden Sterns and quarterback Sam Ehlinger are the Longhorns who have routinely appeared in the seven-round predictions in the lead-up to this week's draft. Texas last had five players taken in the same draft in 2015.

Here is a look at where these five Longhorns have landed in recent mock drafts compiled by The Athletic's Dane Brugler, CBS Sports' Ryan Wilson, NFL.com's Chad Reuter, Sporting News' Vinnie Iyer and the Pro Football Network's A.J. Schulte.

12. When Samuel Cosmi is selected, he will join Connor Williams as the only Texas offensive linemen that have been drafted in the last 13 years. Both Cosmi and Williams were left tackles at UT. Blalock and Kasey Studdard, who were guards in the 2007 draft, were the last Texas offensive linemen drafted who weren't left tackles.

13. Joseph Ossai led Texas in tackles during the 2019 season. Only two of the six leading tacklers at Texas from 2013-18 were drafted. 

14. Once nicknamed "The Wolf of DKR," Caden Sterns could give Texas a drafted defensive back for a fourth straight year. That would give DBU its longest streak since a four-year run from 1991-94.

Former Texas defensive end Brian Orakpo poses for a picture with the team jersey of Washington, which had drafted him with the 13th pick, after his introductory press conference at the team's training facility in Virginia on April 27, 2009.

15. Will Ta'Quon Graham be the next defensive tackle that Texas sends to the NFL? Since 2000, 10 UT defensive tackles have been drafted. Casey HamptonMarcus Tubbs and Malcom Brown were first-round picks in 2001, 2004 and 2015.

16.Since 2000, Sam Ehlinger's high school — Westlake — has been represented by nearly as many of its former quarterbacks in the draft (two) as his college (three). Ehlinger is looking to be the first Texas quarterback drafted since McCoy in 2010. He'd be the first Westlake quarterback drafted since Nick Foles in 2012.

17.Shane Buechele, the former Texas quarterback who transferred to SMU in 2019, is also in this year's draft pool. On NFL.com, he's rated as this year's 14th-best quarterback prospect. SMU last had a quarterback drafted when Garrett Gilbert was selected by the St. Louis Rams in 2014's sixth round. Like Buechele, Gilbert started his college career at Texas, too.

18. The last four quarterbacks to be chosen first overall in the draft all played Texas during their final season of college. Texas went 1-4 in those games against LSU's Joe Burrow, Oklahoma's Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield and Cal's Jared Goff. Texas never faced Clemson's Trevor Lawrence, who most project will be Jacksonville's choice with Thursday's first pick.

19. Last year, Texas receiver Collin Johnson was drafted by Jacksonville in the fifth round. Forty years earlier, Texas defensive back Johnnie Johnson was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the first round. Johnnie is Collin's father.

Former Texas offensive lineman Kasey Studdard runs the shuttle drill during Texas' pro timing day for NFL scouts in March 2007. The guard was taken in the sixth round that year by the Houston Texans.

20. Whichever Texas player gets selected first this week will become the first UT draftee that signed with former coach Tom Herman. The 10 Longhorns who were drafted between 2017-20 were all Charlie Strong signees.

21. It's been more than a decade since Texas boasted a first-round pick in football, men's basketball and baseball during the same year. In 2010, the Longhorns accomplished that feat with defensive back Earl Thomas, pitcher Chance Ruffin and basketball players Avery Bradley and Damion James.

22. The last time that an NFL team took two Longhorns in the same year? In 2010, Cincinnati snagged Shipley, a third-round receiver, and fourth-round linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy.

23. The only first-round quarterbacks in UT's history were both taken with the third overall pick. Bobby Layne was drafted by Chicago in 1948. Vince Young was the prize of Tennessee's 2006 draft class.

24. Texas has had 45 players taken in the first round. That's tied with Florida State for the 11th most. Texas, however, last produced a first-round pick in 2015. 

25. Of the 27 Longhorns who have won Super Bowl rings, 14 did so with the team that drafted them.