PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Underscoring the depth and competitiveness that has come to define the American Athletic Conference in its first four seasons, the league saw a record 15 players chosen in the 2017 NFL Draft, which ended Saturday in Philadelphia.
The American’s draft haul betters the previous record for the conference set in 2014, when the league had 12 players chosen. The 2017 draft had five players from The American taken in the first two rounds, also the most in conference history.
Nine of the 12 teams in The American had at least one player chosen in this year’s draft, setting yet another record for the conference. Houston, USF and Temple each had three players chosen by NFL teams. Eleven NFL teams drafted at least on player from The American in 2017.
Temple’s Haason Reddick was chosen by the Arizona Cardinals with the No. 13 pick in the draft, marking the fourth straight year in which The American produced at least one first-round pick. Reddick, the first linebacker chosen in the 2017 draft, became the highest draft pick from The American since former UCF quarterback Blake Bortles was taken third overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2014.
The American had four players chosen in the 2017 second round as East Carolina wide receiver Zay Jones went to the Buffalo Bills with pick No. 37, Houston linebacker Tyus Bowser was taken by the Baltimore Ravens at No. 47, UConn safety Obi Melifonwu went to the Oakland Raiders at No. 56, and Temple offensive lineman Dion Dawkins joined Jones in Buffalo after he was taken at No. 63.
The third round saw UCF cornerback Shaquill Griffin taken by the Seattle Seahawks with the 90th overall pick to cap Day 2 of the draft.
The final day of the draft had nine players from The American taken in the draft’s final four rounds.