Coming off their best record in 41 years the Kentucky football program continued the momentum last weekend. Five players saw their names called in what turned out to be a history making draft. In addition six more former Cats signed free agent deals. Let’s break it all down with the 2019 Kentucky Football NFL Draft Review.
2019 Kentucky Football NFL Draft Review
The Highest Pick In Over A Decade
In many of the mock drafts, All-American edge rusher Josh Allen projected as a top three pick. However he ended up slipping down to the Jacksonville Jaguars at the seventh pick. Allen looks like a great fit for the Jags. Despite their 5-11 record in 2018 they are only one year removed from the AFC championship game.
The problem for Coach Doug Marrone’s club last year certainly wasn’t the defense as they ranked fifth in the NFL. However they have several aging players on that side of the ball and Allen should step in from day one.
As mentioned earlier, Allen going seventh in the draft is the highest pick for a Kentucky player since Dewayne Robertson went fourth to the New York Jets in 2003. Not only was Allen a big hit in Jacksonville but his son Wesley even managed to upstage him.
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) April 26, 2019
Another Great Fit
Cornerback Lonnie Johnson was selected by the Houston Texans in the second round with the 54th pick. The Texans need secondary help in a big way after letting some big name free agents go in the off-season. Johnson, who we projected as a second round pick, has the potential to get some immediate playing time.
“Everything it took to get here, everything I’ve been through. I’m just at a loss for words right now."
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) April 28, 2019
Not considered the most polished player in the draft, Johnson’s athleticism lead many to believe he will be a very solid player. During his senior season he recorded 23 tackles with a fumble and interception. In addition he had four passes defended.
“One of the Best Picks In The Draft”
Those were the works of Bucs Nation talking about Mike Edwards. The Wildcat safety went to Tampa in the third round and 99th pick overall. New coach Bruce Arians and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles are putting a huge emphasis on defense. In 2018 Tampa Bay ranked 26th in the NFL in pass defense.
This is where Edwards comes in. At Kentucky he recorded 318 tackles second most in school history by a defensive back. In addition his 10 interceptions rank him fourth all-time. He’s only the 19th player in school history to have 300 tackles.
The “Kentucky Honey Badger” has a great opportunity to play from day one in Tampa, especially with their porous secondary. He’s an all-around safety who can play the run or pass.
Proven. Playmaker. ? pic.twitter.com/IsWWGl3C6W
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) April 27, 2019
The Perfect Landing Spot
The fourth round of the draft saw Kentucky’s all-time leading rusher Benny Snell taken by the Pittsburgh Steelers. If you followed our draft profiles Pittsburgh was the team most mentioned with Snell.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) April 27, 2019
Snell’s going to be a perfect compliment to James Conner. He is the embodiment of Steeler football in the fact he would rather physically dominate as to run around tacklers. In addition look for him as a featured back in goal line situations. Being third on the list of touchdowns in SEC history shows Snell knows how to find the end zone.
With a player selected in the first four rounds Kentucky not only made history but put themselves in some exclusive company.
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) April 27, 2019
A Late Round Surprise
While there were many Cats looking to be chosen in the later rounds only one player got the call. Offensive tackle George Asafo-Adjei was picked by the New York Giants in the 7th round.
Hog molly time. ?
Welcome, George Asafo-Adjei‼️ pic.twitter.com/XusTjmfvVC
— New York Giants (@Giants) April 27, 2019
Asafo-Adjei was a huge reason why Snell rushed for 1,449 yards in his final season in Lexington. Now playing in the Big Apple he will open holes for Saquon Barkley.
Kentucky finished with the most players taken in a draft since 1979.
Re-writing history books…again. Our 5⃣ draft picks are the most since eight players were chosen in 1979.
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) April 27, 2019
Six More Cats With NFL Dreams
As we continue with our 2019 Kentucky Football NFL Draft Review let’s look at six additional Cats who signed as free agents.
Cornerback Derrick Baity signed with the Houston Texans.
Wide receiver Dorian Baker heads into camp with the Cleveland Browns.
Cornerback Chris Westry is heading to the Dallas Cowboys.
Finally safety Darius West signed with Kansas City. All six have good to excellent chances of sticking with their clubs.
Kentucky’s excellent season and draft are already paying dividends. Mark Stoops has received two commitments for 2020 since the draft ended. Four star offensive lineman John Young out of Louisville and three star defensive back Andru Phillips both committed to Kentucky. The Cats could end up with their best class ever under Stoops in 2020.
Thanks for checking out our 2019 Kentucky Football NFL Draft Review here at Last Word On College Football. Next time we get back to our tournament to determine the greatest win in school history.