Huge Showing For Kentucky
As expected no Kentucky football player was selected in the NFL Draft’s first round this year. However, they more than made up for it during the second-day festivities from Las Vegas. That indeed turned out to be the case as several Cats went on Friday night. Let’s break it all down and see where they fit with three Wildcats taken on Day Two.
First Wildcat Off The Board
Looking at most of the mock drafts leading up to this weekend Darian Kinnard was thought to be the first player taken. However, that was not the case as wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson went to the New York Giants with the 43rd pick.
We see you, @wanda1erobinson
— New York Giants (@Giants) April 30, 2022
With a little bit of New York flavor, The Kid Mero from Showtime’s hit series “Desus and Mero” announced the pick. Robinson originally signed with Kentucky and was named Mr. Football in 2018 but ultimately ended up at Nebraska. Wanting to get closer to home he transferred back to Lexington before last season.
His one year at Kentucky couldn’t have gone any better as he set school records with 104 receptions and 1,334 yards. In addition, he reached the end zone seven times. He capped off his stellar season with an MVP performance in the Cats’ Kentucky’s thrilling Citrus Bowl win.
How He Fits In
Let’s face it. The Giants need help not only at receiver but their entire offense. In a 4-13 season, Kenny Gollady only managed 521 yards. Sterling Shepard hasn’t been able to stay healthy and Kadarius Toney missed seven games. As a result, the receiver position is a huge need and Robinson should make an immediate impact.
Continuing on with four wildcats selected on day two we head to the other side of the ball.
Big Time Defender
A few picks later the second Wildcat came off the board. This time it was all-everything defender Josh Paschal who went 46th to the Detroit Lions.
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) April 30, 2022
Members of the Big Blue Nation know Paschal’s story but in case you don’t he’s a former cancer survivor who went on to be the highest rated edge defender in the SEC last year. He finished fifth on the team with 52 tackles but had a whopping 15.5 for a loss and 5.5 sacks. We at Last Word chose him as defensive player of the year. He finished his career with 137 tackles, 35.5 for a loss, and 13 sacks. In addition, he’s the only three-time captain in Kentucky football history.
Where He Fits In
With their first pick, Detroit took Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson at number two. The combination of him and Paschal should be a great one for years to come. In fact, the NFL Network’s Charles Davis called the former Cat one of his favorite players in the draft and he should be a 10-year player in the league.
New Homes For The Big Blue Wall
If you read our 2022 NFL Draft Preview we said UK should have two offensive linemen taken in the draft. One of them went off the board with the first pick of the third round.
— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) April 30, 2022
The guard turned center was someone who really helped his stock in the weeks leading up to the draft. His versatility in being able to play two-line positions certainly improved his standing. With the surprise retirement of Brandon Linder the Jags needed someone to protect Trevor Lawrence and they think they have their guy. He of course is reunited with Josh Allen who was Jacksonville’s number one pick back in 2019.
The biggest surprise on the night was the fact Kinnard wasn’t selected. Almost every mock draft had him going in either the second or third round. He won’t be on the board for long and someone’s getting a great and now highly motivated player.
Still it was another big night for Kentucky with three Wildcats taken on day two of the NFL Draft. If you are counting at home that makes 20 Wildcats selected since Mark Stoops became head coach. In addition 16 of those have come in the last four years.
#Kentucky rapidly becoming a program like Iowa, Utah and Wisconsin — outperforming the recruiting rankings on NFL draft weekend. Really good player development by Mark Stoops and his staff.
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) April 30, 2022
UK has a real chance of beating the modern record of six players taken in the draft which happened last year. We’ll have a complete recap of Kentucky’s draft for you here at Last Word On College Football.