Taking A Look Back … All-Time NFL Draft at Tuskegee

Drayton Florence - 2nd round (46th overall pick) - San Diego Chargers (2003)
Drayton Florence – 2nd round (46th overall pick) – San Diego Chargers (2003)

With football season just 38 days away from the official kickoff, what better way to look at football season than to look into the past … and today we “Take A Look Back” at the draft picks in the NFL that have come from Tuskegee.

Since 1967, Tuskegee has had 23 players drafted into the National Football League (NFL), with seven players being selected in the seventh round or higher.

The picks started in 1967 when Walter Johnson, a defensive end, was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the eighth round (198th overall pick); while the final draft pick thus far for Tuskegee was Harry Williams, a wide receiver, by the New York Jets in the 2005 Draft – the 240th overall pick in the seventh round.

In between the two, there have been several picks and many different rounds … however, no year was better than 1969. There have been years where a pair of Tuskegee players were drafted in the same year (1967,1970,1972,2002), but no year was like 1969. In that year, five different players from Tuskegee University were selected in the NFL Draft. It started with George Irby going 195th overall to the New York Giants in the eighth round, followed by Cecil Leonard just 13 picks later at 208th overall to the New York Jets in the eighth round. The Golden Tigers had to wait seven rounds before their next pick as Fritz Latham was selected 383rd overall by the St. Louis Cardinals, while in the 16th round, James Lowe was selected by the Cleveland Browns with the 410th overall pick. The final pick of the year for Tuskegee came in the 17th round as Ralph Jenkins was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs with the 438th overall pick.

Year Rd Pick Name Pos Team
1967 8 198 Walter Johnson DE San Francisco 49ers
1967 12 301 James Hall LB San Francisco 49ers
1969 8 195 George Irby RB New York Giants
1969 8 208 Cecil Leonard DB New York Jets
1969 15 383 Fritz Latham OT St. Louis Cardinals
1969 16 410 James Lowe WR Cleveland Browns
1969 17 438 Ralph Jenkins DB Kansas City Chiefs
1970 10 247 Maurice Fullerton DT Denver Broncos
1970 16 395 Otis McDaniel DE Boston Patriots
1971 5 110 Art May DE Cincinnati Bengals
1971 9 215 Alvin Griffin WR Atlanta Falcons
1972 15 376 Charles Neugent DB San Diego Chargers
1973 10 257 Leo Allen WR Oakland Raiders
1974 17 442 Kenneth Dickerson DB Miami Dolphins
1975 14 341 Steve Robinson DT Atlanta Falcons
1976 16 436 Clifford Brown DT New England Patriots
1981 6 165 Edward O’Neal RB New York Giants
1982 10 274 Kenneth Woodard LB Denver Broncos
1992 7 190 Chris Holder WR Green Bay Packers
2002 3 72 Roosevelt Williams DB Chicago Bears
2003 2 46 Drayton Florence DB San Diego Chargers
2003 6 207 Frank Walker DB New York Giants
2005 7 240 Harry William WR New York Jets

Tomorrow, I will take a look back at four memorable (or not so memorable depeding on how you look at it) postseason appearances by former Tuskegee University Golden Tigers football players.

I hope you continue to follow us on Social Media – all platforms are @MyTUAthletics – and on Facebook – Tuskegee University Athletics. Also, today we will unveil Moment #3 in our countdown of the top moments during the 2014-15 athletic season.

Until next time,

Travis J. Jarome
Athletic Communications Director
Tuskegee University


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