2020 NFL Draft: Just 2 UW Huskies, 1 WSU Cougar taken
It was a considerably quieter than usual NFL Draft for the UW Huskies and WSU Cougars.
For just the third time since 2010 and the first time since 2016, no Huskies were taken in the first round of the draft. And for the Cougars, it was the first time since 2017 that they didn’t have a player to go on the opening night of the draft. In fact, no players from Washington’s two Pac-12 programs were selected until the third day of the event.
The drought was broken by Washington quarterback Jacob Eason, who was taken early in Saturday’s proceedings in the fourth round. He was joined just a round later by his center, Nick Harris.
A long list of local players in the field went undrafted, none more puzzling than talented Huskies tight end Hunter Bryant. As 710 ESPN Seattle host and FOX college football analyst Brock Huard said on Twitter, injury concerns may have weighed heavy in his fall out of the draft.
I am really feeling for UW TE Hunter Bryant & LT Trey Adams. When healthy they are tremendous football players but as we learned w/former RB Chris Polk a few years ago the medical reports & projections far outweigh college production in the draft. Guys laid it on the line at UW
— Brock Huard (@BrockHuard) April 25, 2020
What’s perhaps most intriguing is what came out after the draft: Anthony Gordon, WSU’s record-setting quarterback, is signing as an undrafted free agent with the Seahawks. The Seahawks just happen to have an open spot for a backup quarterback on their roster, too. UW wide receiver Aaron Fuller is reportedly also signing with Seattle.
Here’s a look at each local college product taken in the 2020 draft.
Indianapolis Colts: Jacob Eason, QB, Washington (122nd overall)
Eason spent a long time as the top quarterback available in the draft – he was the first QB taken after Jalen Hurts went in the second round, which came after four QBs were taken in the first round – but the fit should be great for the Lake Stevens native. He’ll get to learn behind Phillip Rivers, the longtime Chargers star who joined the Colts this offseason in free agency. As 710 ESPN Seattle host and FOX college football analyst Brock Huard stated on Twitter, that will help Eason in the part of his game that needs it the most.
Eason finally off the board at pick 122. While it’s significantly later than any in his camp wanted, he lands in the ideal situation & fit. W/Frank Reich & Phillip Rivers he’ll learn how to play the game from the neck up, which is why he fell to the 4th. Go get it Skinny
— Brock Huard (@BrockHuard) April 25, 2020
Eason spent one season as the UW Huskies starting quarterback after transferring from Georgia, throwing for 3,132 yards, 23 touchdowns and eight interceptions on 260 of 405 passing. He led the Huskies to an 8-5 overall record with wins in the Apple Cup and Las Vegas Bowl, finishing the year with the fourth-highest passing yards total for a season in school history.
Cleveland Browns: Nick Harris, C, Washington (160)
The second UW Huskies player to be selected in the draft was Nick Harris, a longtime starter on the Huskies’ offensive line. Harris was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the fifth round, 160th overall.
Harris was a starter for three years for the Huskies, starting as a sophomore at guard before moving to center for his junior and senior seasons. The move worked out for Harris, as he was named first team All-Pac-12 during his two seasons as UW’s center.
Harris is a bit undersized for an NFL offensive lineman as he stands 6 foot 1 and is right around 300 pounds. Former NFL lineman Geoff Schwartz, a regular guest on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Bob, Dave and Moore, thinks the pick could be a steal for the Browns.
— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) April 25, 2020
Indianapolis Colts: Dezmon Patmon, WR, WSU (212th)
Eason will head to Indiana with a rival receiver after Dezmon Patmon was selected as the second of three straight picks made towards the end of the sixth round by the Colts.
Patmon is a big-bodied wideout at 6 foot 4 and 225 pounds. The San Diego native caught 58 passes for 762 yards and a career-high eight touchdowns as a senior in 2019. He set career marks as a junior with 61 catches, 762 yards receiving and a long reception of 65 yards.
Patmon came back from a knee injury during his freshman season to be a regular contributor in the final three years of head coach Mike Leach’s tenure at Wazzu.