The interviews are over. Now the waiting begins. Waiting for the phone to ring, a NFL head coach or perhaps a team executive on the other line; “Welcome to the _____ (insert NFL team name here),” he or she says. This month, four or more Colorado Buffaloes’ could have their dreams realized.
The 82nd annual NFL Draft gets underway April 27th from Philadelphia. Here are some numbers you need to know about Colorado players (and coaches) in previous NFL Drafts.
266: Total number of former Colorado football players selected in the NFL Draft since its creation in 1936. Former tailback and eventual Supreme Court Justice Byron ‘Whizzer’ White was the first Buff ever drafted, selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers as the fourth overall pick in 1938. Wide receiver Paul Richardson was the last Buff drafted, taken in the second round by the Seattle Seahawks in 2014.
24: Colorado has had a total of 24 first-round draft picks, but never a number one overall pick. Fullback Bo Matthews was the highest Buff ever selected when the San Diego Chargers took him number two overall in 1974.
2, 3 & 4: The last two Colorado cornerbacks to be drafted in the first round wore jersey numbers 2 (Deon Figures) and 3 (Jimmy Smith) when they played for the Buffs. Chidobe Awuzie wore number 4 during his tenure in Boulder. He’s projected as a first or second round pick later this month.
Colorado CB Chidobe Awuzie is under the radar a bit. A legit last 1st rd talent with ideal length + modern matchup ability on the boundary.— Dion Caputi (@nfldraftupdate) March 27, 2017
20: Years since Buffs had a quarterback taken in the NFL Draft. Koy Detmer was picked in the seventh round of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. Colorado All-Time leading passer Sefo Liufau could be a late round selection later this month.
10: Number of Buffs drafted in 1995, the most since the draft moved to its current seven round format. Wide receiver Michael Westbrook (4th overall pick, Washington Redskins) and Heisman Trophy winner Rashaan Salaam (21st overall pick, Chicago Bears) were selected in the First Round in 1995. There could be four or more Buffs taken in this year’s draft.
17: It’s been 17 years since the Buffs had three or more defensive backfield teammates selected in the NFL Draft. Back in 2000, cornerbacks Ben Kelly (3rd round, Miami Dolphins) and Damen Wheeler (6th round, San Diego Chargers) along with safety Rashidi Barnes (7th round, Cleveland Browns) were taken. This month, Awuzie, cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon and safety Tedric Thompson - three members of CU’s “Money Gang” – are projected to hear their names called.
3: Current members of Colorado football’s coaching staff who were drafted. Defensive line coach Jim Jeffcoat, who played his college ball at Arizona State, was taken 23rd overall by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1983 NFL Draft. Running backs coach Darian Hagan was selected in the 9th round by the San Francisco 49ers in 1992. And co-offensive coordinator, wide receivers coach & recruiting coordinator Darrin Chiaverini was a 5th round pick by the Cleveland Browns in 1999.