COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Six former Mountain West football players, including a record five in the second round, were selected on day two of the 2014 NFL Draft on May 9 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
The previous Conference high for second-round selections was four, set in the 2002 draft. The MW is one of five leagues (SEC, Big Ten, Pac-12, ACC) with at least five picks in the first two rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Boise State defensive end Demarcus Lawrence was the first Mountain West player chosen in the draft, going 34th overall (No. 2 in the second round) to the Dallas Cowboys. It’s the second straight year the Cowboys have taken a MW player in the second round, as they drafted former San Diego State tight end Gavin Escobar with the No. 47 pick in 2013. Boise State has now had a player drafted in the first or second round in each of the last five seasons.
Nevada offensive lineman Joel Bitonio immediately followed Lawrence in coming off the draft board, going to the Cleveland Browns with the 35th pick (No. 3 in the second round). Bitonio is the second-highest draft selection in Wolf Pack history, just behind wide receiver Alex Van Dyke, who was taken No. 31 overall by the New York Jets in 1996.
The Oakland Raiders snatched up Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr with the No. 36 pick, making it three straight MW players selected in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Carr, the two-time MW Offensive Player of the Year, is the eighth Bulldog quarterback to be drafted, and the first since Tom Brandstater went in the sixth round to the Denver Broncos in 2009.
Carr’s former teammate, wide receiver Davante Adams, was chosen by the Green Bay Packers with the 53rd-overall selection (No. 21 in the second round). It’s the first time since 1990 that two Fresno State players were chosen in the first two rounds. Adams, who led the FBS in receptions (131) and touchdown receptions (24) in 2013, is the 16th wide receiver from Fresno State to be drafted.
Sandwiched between the two Fresno State selections was Colorado State center Weston Richburg, who went No. 43 (No. 11 in the second round) to the New York Giants. Richburg is the 100th player in Colorado State history to be drafted. He’s the highest draft pick for the Rams since 1987 when quarterback Kelly Stouffer was selected sixth overall by the St. Louis Cardinals.
A second Colorado State player, tight end Crockett Gillmore, brought the total number of MW players selected on day two of the 2014 NFL Draft to six, as he was taken in the third round (No. 99 overall) by the Baltimore Ravens. Colorado State and Fresno State were two of 21 FBS teams to have multiple selections in the first three rounds of the draft.
The 2014 NFL Draft concludes on Saturday, May 10 with rounds four through seven. Check out the TheMW.com following the draft for a complete list of former Mountain West players selected.