How Many #1 NFL Draft Picks Have Played in the Independence Bowl?
The 2019 NFL Draft is this week, where we will see players from Shreveport, Springhill, and Louisiana in general get taken in the first round. But unless there's something crazy that happens as the draft starts, it's highly unlikely any local players, or players with local ties will be taken #1 overall.
But it's not unrealistic that players with ties to Shreveport could go #1 overall in the NFL Draft. In fact, it's happened before.
Over the last few decades, the Independence Bowl has welcomed some of the biggest NFL prospects into Independence Stadium in Shreveport. Quarterbacks, linebackers, running backs, wide receivers...prospects from every position have stepped on the field in Shreveport. Here's a look at some of those numbers:
There have been 68 Independence Bowl alumni taken in the First Round overall.
There have been 33 Independence Bowl alumni taken in the First Round since 2000.
The first Indy Bowl alumni drafted in the First Round was Guard Steve August, taken #14 overall out of Tulsa by the Seattle Seahawks in 1977. He played in the 1976 Indy Bowl.
The first Independence Bowl Quarterback to ever go in the First Round came in the 1997 Draft. When 1993 Indy Bowl Quarterback for Virginia Tech, Jim Drunkenmiller, was taken #26 overall by the San Francisco 49ers.
17 Indy Bowl alumni have been taken in the Top 10
7 Indy Bowl alumni have been taken in the Top 5
The most prolific Indy Bowl draft was 1985, when three Indy Bowl alumni went in the Top 10 (and actually the 11th overall pick was an Indy Bowl alumni too). That year, 6 Indy Bowl players were all taken in the First Round.
Two Indy Bowl players have been taken #3 overall, Ray Childress from Texas A&M was taken by the Houston Oilers in 1985, and Garrison Hearst from Georgia was taken by the Phoenix Cardinals in 1993.
Only one Indy Bowl player has been taken #2 overall, Von Miller from Texas A&M was taken by the Denver Broncos in 2011
Two Indy Bowl players have been taken #1 overall, Bruce Smith from Virginia Tech was taken by the Buffalo Bills in 1985, and Eli Manning was taken out of Ole Miss by the San Diego Chargers in 2004.