The NFL Draft will get underway on Thursday night as Jack Fox and several former Rice football players wait to hear their name called.
Beginning with John Slyvester in 1936, there have been 140 Rice Football players selected in the NFL Draft. The Owls have had seven first round selections, most recently running back Earl Cooper, taken by the San Francisco 49ers in the 1980 NFL Draft.
Rice has nine former players active in the NFL right now. Four of them were drafted, Christian Covington (6th round), Luke Wilson (5th), Phillip Gaines (3rd), Vance McDonald (2nd). The other five earned their spot as undrafted free agents. It’s not the easy route, but several Owls have done it — and earned second contracts.
Although several Rice players hope to pursue an NFL future, Jack Fox presumably has the best chance to hear his name called with one of the 254 selections. If he is picked, Fox will become the first Rice football player drafted since Christian Covington was selected by the Houston Texans in 2015.
Other Owls like Aston Walter, Graysen Schantz and Giovanni Gentosi will most likely look to sign with a team as undrafted free agents. Each participated in Rice football’s 2019 Pro Day and have had various opportunities to work out in front on NFL teams. For now, though, the long wait begins.
- Round 1 – Thursday, April 25, 8:00 p.m. ET
- Round 2-3 – Friday, April 26: 7:00 p.m. ET
- Round 4-7 – Saturday, April 27: 12:00 p.m. ET
Here’s every Rice football player drafted since the NFL Draft took on its current seven-round format in 1994.
- 2020-2021 Rice Basketball Season Preview
- 2020-2021 Rice Women’s Basketball Season Preview
- Rice Football 2020: NFL Owls Week 11 Stats Update
- Rice Football 2020 Game Preview: UTEP