UK football: Top 5 NFL Draft picks from the past 20 years

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The UK football program, coming off back-to-back bowl appearances, is highly unlikely to have any of their players drafted into the NFL during this year’s draft. Let’s look back over the past 20 years and see which former Wildcats top the list of Best NFL Draft picks from the University of Kentucky.

The NFL Draft is right around corner. The UK football program is unlikely to have any of their players hear their name called by Commissioner Roger Goodell. While Kentucky has never been an elite college football program, the school has had some former players excel at the next level. Let’s look back over the past 20 years and see which former Wildcats made the Top 5.

QB. Tim Couch. 53. Pick Analysis. player. Scouting Report. 1999. 5

The UK football program has had very few players selected in the first-round of the NFL Draft, much less be taken No. 1 overall. In 1999, that all changed when the expansion Cleveland Browns took quarterback Tim Couch with the first overall pick.

Couch was a dominant college quarterback. Coming out of head coach Hal Mumme’s offense, Couch racked up 8,159 yards during his sophomore and junior seasons at UK. Couch totaled 74 touchdowns and averaged 7.1 yards per attempt.

The 1999 NFL Draft was similar to this year’s draft, in that is was loaded with potential franchise signal callers. Daunte Culpepper, Donovan McNabb, Cade McNown and Akili Smith were all selected in the first-round.

Couch never lived up to the hype of being the No. 1 overall pick and face-of-the-franchise in Cleveland. Couch played in 15 games during his rookie year and started 14 of them. The Browns finished 2-14 and were last in the AFC Central division.

During his time in Cleveland, Couch comprised a record of 22-37 (37.2%). To be clear, the Browns lack of success was not solely on the shoulders of the former UK quarterback. The Browns gave Couch no protection, he had no elite receiver and virtually no running game. The Browns were, and still are, a disaster.