Photo: Christian Wilkins (Clemson) with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell
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The first round of this year's NFL Draft featured 18 athletes who were former high school track and field athletes.
There's a direct correlation between both sports, with many football players leaning on track-specific work in the offseason to refine their skills. Take a look at some interesting facts below and then check out all the athletes selected in the first round who have MileSplit athlete profiles.
- Over half of the first round draft picks this year were former track athletes. Of those that were former track, athletes over half were throwers (10 of 18).
- The top discus athlete is the Seattle Seahawks No. 16 pick, L.J. Collier. Collier has a top mark of 172-3. He finished 2nd in the discus at the 2013 UIL Track and Field Championship and 9th in the shot put.
- The top shot put athlete is the Miami Dolphins No. 13 pick, Christian Wilkins. Wilkins has a top mark of 51-10.25.
- The top 100m sprinter is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers No. 5 pick, Devin White. White ran 10.76. He was 5th in the 100m dash at the 2013 LHSAA Outdoor State Track and Field Classes 1A-2A and sixth in the 100m dash at the 2015 LHSAA State Outdoor Championships.
- The top 200m sprinter is the New York Giants No. 30 pick, Deandre Baker. Baker ran a wind-legal 21.74 at the 2015 GMAC Championship. In 2014 he finished 8th at the 200m at the FHSAA Outdoor State Finals running 22.27.
Number of Athletes
|Draft Pick||Athlete||NFL Team|
|1||3||Quinnen Williams||New York Jets||DT||Throws|
|2||5||Devin White||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||LB||Sprints|
|3||8||TJ Hockenson||Detroit Lions||TE||Throws/High Jump|
|4||9||Ed Oliver||Buffalo Bills||DT||Throws|
|5||10||Devin Bush||Pittsburgh Steelers||LB||Sprints|
|6||11||Jonah Williams||Cincinnati Bengals||OL||Throws|
|7||12||Rashan Gary||Green Bay Packers||LB||Throws|
|8||13||Christian Wilkins||Miami Dolphins||DT||Throws|
|9||17||Dexter Lawrence||New York Giants||DT||Throws|
|10||19||Jeffery Simmons||Tennessee Titans||DT||Throws|
|11||20||Noah Fant||Pittsburgh Steelers||TE||Jumps|
|12||24||Josh Jacobs||Oakland Raiders||RB||Jumps|
|13||25||Marquise Brown||Baltimore Ravens||WR||Sprints|
|14||26||Montez Sweat||Washington Redskins||DE||N/A|
|15||28||Jerry Tillery||Los Angeles Chargers||DT||Throws|
|16||29||LJ Collier||Seattle Seahawks||DL||Throws|
|17||30||Deandre Baker||New York Giants||CB||Sprints|
|18||32||N'Keal Harry||New England Patriots||WR||Sprints|