Six NFL draft picks is UK’s most in more than 40 years

Published 7:33 am Friday, May 14, 2021

Kentucky’s six NFL draft picks this year were the most Kentucky has had since the draft was reduced to seven rounds and the most Kentucky has had in any draft since 1979 when it had seven players drafted in 12 rounds. A year earlier Kentucky had six players drafted.

Wonder who the seven picks were in 1979? So did I. Here the players are with the round they were drafted:

James Ramsey, defensive end, Cleveland Browns, 3rd; Jim Kovach, linebacker, New Orleans Saints, 4th; Kelly Kirchbaum, linebacker, New York Jets, 5th; Bob Winkel, defensive tackle, Minnesota Vikings. 7th; Robert Hawkins, running back, Oakland Raiders, 8th; Dan Fowler, guard, New York Giants, 10th; and David Stephens, linebacker, Minnesota Vikings, 12th.

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In the last 10 years, former Kentucky players have played in three Pro Bowls and two have won Super Bowls. The highest draft pick was Randell Cobb in the second round in 2011. Larry Warford was a third-round pick in 2013 and Za’Darius Smith a fourth-round choice in 2015. All have made a Pro Bowl.

Danny Trevathan, sixth round in 2012, and Mike Edwards, third-round pick in 2019, have both been Super Bowl champions.

“Some of these guys we had drafted this year are going to have long NFL careers, too,” UK recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow said.