2015 NRG Stadium College Stars Shine in 2016 NFL Draft
The AdvoCare Texas Kickoff, Battle of the Piney Woods and the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl gave us outstanding college football games and provided a glimpse of players headed to the next level. In total, 13 players were selected in the 2016 NFL Draft that played at NRG Stadium in 2015.
Texas A&M and Arizona State kicked off the season at NRG and had the one first rounder amongst the three games. Texas A&M OL Germain Ifedi, who grew up about 15 minutes from NRG Stadium, was drafted with the last pick in the first round by the Seattle Seahawks. A&M produced two other draft picks – CB Brandon Williams (3rd round) and P Drew Kaser (6th round – first punter drafted). Arizona State didn’t have a player selected until day three, but WR Devin Lucien was drafted in the fourth round in New England and G Christian Westerman was drafted in the 5th round by the Bengals.
Sam Houston State P Lac Edwards got the call from former Texans personnel guru and current New York Jets GM Mike Maccagnan in the 7th round. Edwards and Kaser were two of only three punters to get drafted on draft weekend.
LSU and Texas Tech spit out a total of seven players that played in the bowl game in late December. LSU OLB Deion Jones was the first name to be called, 52nd overall to the Falcons. Atlanta made that selection with the pick it acquired in a trade with the Houston Texans. Texas Tech’s first player to hear his name called was T Le’Raven Clark, selected 82nd by the Indianapolis Colts. Those also drafted from LSU were G Vadal Alexander (7th round – Raiders), T Jerald Hawkins (4th round – Steelers) and S/CB Jalen Mills (7th round – Eagles). CB Rashard Robinson (4th round – 49ers) was a former LSU player but did not play for the Tigers (or at all) 2015. Texas Tech also saw its two dynamos that lit up NRG Stadium selected – RB DeAndre Washington (4th round – Raiders) and WR Jakeem Grant (6th round – Dolphins)
Houston, Oklahoma, Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin and two bowl teams will have big shoes to fill to make 2016 as memorable and productive as college football in NRG Stadium was in 2015.