After an atypical NFL Draft drought, Mark Stoops expects his senior class to make history in April.
After having discussions with various NFL scouts, Kentucky’s head coach believes 11-12 players will be taken in the 2019 NFL Draft. That estimation includes two juniors, running back Benny Snell and offensive guard Logan Stenberg, who have requested official feedback from the NFL.
“It’s another step,” Stoops said. “Definitely very proud of that, starting with the coaches, the recruiting and developing these players. You gotta give a big shout out to our strength and conditioning team.”
If 11 UK players’ names are called, it would make history. Last year Kentucky had zero players drafted. Only 11 UK players have been drafted over the last seven years. The most ever taken in the modern draft era is four. To reach this level of NFL success did not happen overnight.
“It’s year after year after year of signing quality players, developing them and working with them mentally, physically, in all areas of their life. As you do that, you’re going to start to see the fruits of your labor. It’s really gratifying for me because I love these guys and they work exceptionally hard. When they do the right things, when they work hard and take the medicine we’re giving them, then they’re going to have a chance to be successful. We’ve all done it. We feel like we have a platform and a plan for them to be successful. They have to do their part and we all have to do our part.”
Stoops did not pinpoint the potential picks, but here’s how it could happen (in no particular order):
1. Josh Allen
2. Mike Edwards
3. Benny Snell
4. Derrick Baity
5. Darius West
6. C.J. Conrad
7. Lonnie Johnson
8. Bunchy Stallings
9. Jordan Jones
10. Chris Westry
11. George Asafo-Adjei
Seven of the eleven will participate in postseason senior bowl games. If they perform well, Kentucky could make history April 26 in Nashville.