BY Steve Rudman 09:15PM 04/30/2015

A record 3 Huskies drafted in NFL’s first round

Danny Shelton (Cleveland), Marcus Peters (Kansas City) and Shaq Thompson (Carolina) are the first trio of Huskies selected in the first round of the same NFL draft.

Shaq Thompson, who won the Paul Hornung Award as the nation’s most versatile college player, went to the Carolina Panthers at No. 25 overall. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

With linebacker/safety/running back Shaq Thompson a surprise selection by the Carolina Panthers at No. 25 overall Thursday night, the Washington Huskies had an unprecedented three players selected in the first round of the NFL draft. Thompson followed DT Danny Shelton, who went to the Cleveland Browns with the 12th overall pick, and CB Marcus Peters, taken 18th overall by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Before Thursday, the Huskies never had more than two players taken in the first round.

In 1941, C Rudy Mucha (Cleveland Rams) and E/DB Dean McAdams (Brooklyn Dodgers) were selected fourth and eighth, respectively. In 1992, Steve Emtman (Indianapolis) and Dana Hall (San Francisco) went 1st and 18th. In 1995 RB Napoleon Kaufmann and TE Mark Bruener went to Oakland and Pittsburgh, respectively, at 18th and 27th.

Since the inaugural NFL draft  in 1936, USC has had three or more players selected in the first round nine times, with a high of five in 1968 and four in 2008. Washington and Colorado (1976), which became part of the Pac-12 three years ago, are the only other schools with as many as three.

Here are the drafts in which three or more players from a current Pac-12 school were selected in the first round:

Year School No. Players
1968 USC 5 R. Yary, M. Taylor, T. Rossovich, M. Hull, E. McCulloch
2008 USC 4 Sedrick Ellis, Keith Rivers, Sam Baker, Lawrence Jackson
1973 USC 3 Charle Young, Sam Cunningham, Pete Adams
1976 Colorado 3 Pete Brock, Troy Archer, Mark Koncar
1977 USC 3 Ricky Bell, Marvin Powell, Gary Jeter
1980 USC 3 Anthony Munoz, Brad Budde, Charles White
1981 USC 3 Ronnie Lott, Keith Van Horne, Dennis Smith
1982 USC 3 Chip Banks, Marcus Allen, Roy Foster
1983 USC 3 Bruce Matthews, Joey Browner, Don Mosebar
2009 USC 3 Mark Sanchez, Brian Cushing, Clay Matthews
2015 Wash 3 Danny Shelton, Marcus Peters, Shaq Thompson

Thompson scored six touchdowns, two as a running back and four on defense (one interception return and three fumble returns). He started at tailback for Huskies at Colorado, rushing for 174 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries and had two receptions for 41 yards.

Thompson played in 40 games in his three-year career, finishing with 3.5 sacks, 15 tackles for loss, 16 passes defensed and five fumble recoveries.

Numerous mock drafts projected Shelton as a Cleveland pick, so his selection was no surprise. The question with Peters was how far he would fall in the first round after he was dismissed from the team in November following disputes with UW coaches. Most mocks had him going after the 26th pick.


  • jafabian

    I’m a bit surprised to see Shaq go at 25. I thought he’d go higher but I read his performance at the NFL combine wasn’t what scouts thought it would be.

  • rosetta_stoned

    Three first-round picks from a team that went 8-6.

    There had better be marked improvement by Coach Peterson and his staff in Year Two … including learning how to properly run out the clock.

    • jafabian

      NFL only cares about playing potential and what program you come from. If winning meant anything then Jake Locker would not have gone as high as he did.

  • justin

    i went to high school with Danny he was mean and pick on me constantly, like drawing folic shapes on the back of my collared jacket. Even my girl friend can recall him being a bully 5 years later… at least he going to the browns haha