The NFL Draft is upon us, and with that a handful of Beaver seniors will wait nervously for their names to be called over the course of the next few days.
While this year’s crop of potential Beaver draftees might not be as loaded as we’ve seen in recent years, the athletes that are most often mentioned in mock drafts and scouting reports offer some unique skill sets that could lead to them playing on Sundays.
The 2017 class includes, among others, a pair of savvy defensive backs in Treston Decoud and Devin Chappell, a lightning quick slot receiver in Victor Bolden Jr., and a trio of versatile offensive linemen in Gavin Andrews, Sean Harlow, and Dustin Stanton.
Be sure to tune in and see where these—and hopefully more—Beavers end up going, so that we can show up as Beaver Nation when they next take the field. These players may be done playing in Reser Stadium, but they will remain part of Oregon State history for years to come.
How/Where To Watch:
ESPN & NFL Network will broadcast the draft live.
Subscribers to streaming services such as SlingTV, AppleTV, Roku, NFL.com, WatchESPN, & others will all have options to view the NFL Draft. Services vary in how they broadcast the draft; contact your specific streaming service provider for more details.
No TV? The NFL Draft will also be broadcast on Sirius and ESPN radio, as well as many local sports stations.
Schedule of Draft Rounds:
Round 1: Thursday, April 27th (8 p.m. EST)
Rounds 2-3: Friday, April 28th (8 p.m. EST)
Rounds 4-7: Saturday, April 29th (8 p.m. EST)
Currently, none of the Beavers are projected to be drafted in the top three rounds, but with many of the prospects having met with individual NFL team representatives there remains a chance that one of these seniors impressed enough to get drafted higher than expected.
Notable NFL Beavers:
There have been a number of Beavers to leave their mark on the NFL, including:
Steven Jackson, drafted Round 1, pick 24 in 2004.
Jackson made three Pro Bowl games at running back over the course of 12 seasons. He currently ranks 18th all-time in the NFL with his 11,438 total rushing yards, primarily as a member of the Los Angeles Rams.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh, drafted Round 7, pick 4 in 2001.
Chad Johnson, drafted Round 2, pick 5 in 2001.
These two dynamic receivers both were drafted to the NFL in 2001, and spent most of their professional careers as they did their collegiate careers: wearing black and orange. As Cincinnati Bengals, they were often considered one of the most fearsome duos in the league. Johnson, over 11 seasons, made six Pro Bowl games and racked up 11,059 receiving yards—good enough to currently rank 34th all-time. Houshmandzadeh wasn’t a slouch himself, as he made one Pro Bowl and totaled 7,237 receiving yards during his 11 seasons in the NFL.
Nick Barnett, drafted Round 1, pick 29 in 2003.
Barnett was a fearsome linebacker who managed to last 11 seasons at one of the most grueling positions in the game. During his time as a professional, Barnett racked up a total of 1,041 tackles, 20.5 sacks, 6 forced fumbles, and 12 interceptions. While Barnett made All-Pro in 2007, the highlight of his career is likely the Super Bowl that he won in 2011 as a member of the Green Bay Packers.
Derek Anderson, drafted Round 6, pick 39 in 2005.
An Oregon native out of Scappoose, Anderson still ranks as one of the most statistically accomplished quarterbacks in Pac-12 history. Though he has largely been a backup during his 13-year NFL career, Anderson did earn a trip to the Pro Bowl in 2007 after leading the Cleveland Browns (yes, those Cleveland Browns) to a 10-6 record.
Anderson, who is still playing and currently backs up Cam Newton in Carolina, has thrown for 10,396 yards and 60 touchdowns despite starting only 47 games as a pro.
Johnny Hekker, undrafted in 2012.
Undrafted? And a punter? Why we would include an undrafted punter who has only five years of professional experience under his belt on a list of notable NFL Beavers might seem confusing, until you realize that Hekker has already made three Pro Bowl games and is largely considered the best punter in the entire NFL.
Don’t just take my word for it. Go read Michael David Smith’s article for NBC Sports, in which he writes that Johnny Hekker’s 2016 campaign was perhaps the best season for a punter in NFL history.
This is just a small sample of notable Beavers, as there are other Oregon State legends making noise in their young NFL careers as well, including—but not limited to—Brandin Cooks, Markus Wheaton, and Jaquizz Rodgers. Many of the current NFL Beavers are still in the early years of their professional careers, and so we have the privilege of watching them as they grow as competitors and carve their legacies moving forward.
Watch the 2017 NFL Draft and see who else will be added to the list of Oregon State Beavers that represent the university at the highest level of their sport.