11 NFL first-round draft picks have Allstate Sugar Bowl connections

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Matt Corral
(Photo: PArker Waters)

40 Allstate Sugar Bowl Participants Selected in 2022 NFL Draft

NEW ORLEANS – Eleven of the 32 players selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft had connections to the Allstate Sugar Bowl while 40 players who were on Allstate Sugar Bowl rosters, including nine first-round picks, were selected in the Draft overall. Over the last seven years, 251 Sugar Bowlers have been selected in the NFL Draft.

While nine of this year’s first-round picks were members of teams in either the 2019, 2020 or 2021 Sugar Bowls, two first-rounders had other connections to the Sugar Bowl.

The No. 1 overall pick in this year’s Draft (selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars), Georgia defensive end Travon Walker, collected three tackles as a true freshman for the Bulldogs in their 26-14 victory over Baylor in the 2020 Allstate Sugar Bowl. He is the fifth straight No. 1 pick with Sugar Bowl connections – last year’s No. 1, Trevor Lawrence from Clemson, played in the 2021 Sugar Bowl. The top picks in the 2018 (Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma), 2019 (Kyler Murray, Oklahoma) and 2020 (Joe Burrow, LSU) Drafts were all Manning Award winners, the award for the top collegiate quarterback in the nation presented by the Sugar Bowl. Mayfield also starred in the 2017 Sugar Bowl, earning the Miller-Digby Award as the game’s Most Outstanding Player, while Burrow also won the Sugar Bowl’s Corbett Award for the top amateur athlete in the state of Louisiana.

Derek Stingley, Jr., the No. 3 overall pick by the Houston Texans, was an All-American cornerback for LSU when the Tigers captured the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship, hosted by the Sugar Bowl and other groups in New Orleans. In addition, Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett, the top quarterback selected in the Draft (No. 20 overall by the Steelers), was a four-time Manning Award Star of the Week and a finalist for the 2021 Manning Award.

The 251 Sugar Bowlers (only includes players on Sugar Bowl rosters, not Manning Award winners or participants in other Sugar Bowl events) selected in the last seven NFL Drafts include 57 first-rounders (nine this year, eight last year, nine in 2020, eight in 2019, five in 2018, eight in 2017 and 10 in 2016). Prior to the 40 picks in this year’s Draft, the Sugar Bowl saw 34 picks last year and 36 in 2020, as well as 40 alums selected in 2019, 35 in 2018, 32 in 2017 and 34 in 2016.

In the 2022 Draft, Georgia led the way with 16 Sugar Bowlers drafted, including six in the first round (including Jermaine Johnson, who played for the Bulldogs in the 2020 Sugar Bowl before transferring to Florida State). Ohio State, which played in the 2021 Allstate Sugar Bowl, had Sugar Bowl players drafted. Baylor, which played in the 2020 and 2022 Sugar Bowls, and Ole Miss, which played in the 2022 Sugar Bowl, each had six players drafted.

Allstate Sugar Bowlers in the 2022 NFL Draft
Name School Sugar Bowl(s) NFL Team Round (Overall)
Travon Walker Georgia 2020 Jacksonville Jaguars 1 (1)
Garrett Wilson Ohio State 2021 New York Jets 1 (10)
Chris Olave Ohio State 2021 New Orleans Saints 1 (11)
Jameson Williams Ohio State% 2021 Detroit Lions 1 (12)
Jordan Davis Georgia 2019#, 2020 Philadelphia Eagles 1 (13)
Quay Walker Georgia 2019#, 2020# Green Bay Packers 1 (22)
Jermaine Johnson Georgia* 2020 New York Jets 1 (26)
Devonte Wyatt Georgia 2019, 2020 Green Bay Packers 1 (28)
Lewis Cine Georgia 2020 Minnesota Vikings 1 (32)
Jalen Pitre Baylor 2020#, 2022 Houston Texans 2 (37)
Andrew Booth, Jr. Clemson 2021 Minnesota Vikings 2 (42)
Phidarian Mathis Alabama 2018# Washington Commanders 2 (47)
Tyquan Thornton Baylor 2020, 2022 New England Patriots 2 (50)
George Pickens Georgia 2020 Pittsburgh Steelers 2 (52)
Sam Williams Ole Miss 2022 Dallas Cowboys 2 (56)
James Cook Georgia 2019#, 2020 Buffalo Bills 2 (63)
Nicholas Petit-Frere Ohio State 2021 Tennessee Titans 3 (69)
JT Woods Baylor 2020, 2022 Los Angeles Chargers 3 (79)
Nakobe Dean Georgia 2020 Philadelphia Eagles 3 (83)
Terrel Bernard Baylor 2020, 2022 Buffalo Bills 3 (89)
Matt Corral Ole Miss 2022 Carolina Panthers 3 (94)
Brian Robinson Alabama 2018 Washington Commanders 3 (98)
Jeremy Ruckert Ohio State 2021 New York Jets 3 (101)
Channing Tindall Georgia 2019, 2020 Miami Dolphins 3 (102)
Zamir White Georgia 2019, 2020 Las Vegas Raiders 4 (122)
Jake Comarda Georgia 2019, 2020 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4 (133)
Snoop Conner Ole Miss 2022 Jacksonville Jaguars 5 (154)
Tyreke Smith Ohio State 2021 Seattle Seahawks 5 (158)
Justin Shaffer Georgia 2019#, 2020# Atlanta Falcons 6 (190)
Jamaree Salyer Georgia 2019, 2020 Los Angeles Chargers 6 (195)
Cade Mays Georgia& 2019, 2020 Carolina Panthers 6 (199)
Trestan Ebner Baylor 2020, 2022 Chicago Bears 6 (203)
Derion Kendrick Clemson@ 2021 Los Angeles Rams 6 (212)
John FitzPatrick Georgia 2019#, 2020# Atlanta Falcons 6 (213)
Chance Campbell Ole Miss 2022 Tennessee Titans 6 (219)
Mark Robinson Ole Miss 2022 Pittsburgh Steelers 7 (225)
Baylon Spector Clemson 2021 Buffalo Bills 7 (231)
Deane Leonard Ole Miss 2022 Los Angeles Chargers 7 (236)
Thayer Munford Ohio State 2021 Las Vegas Raiders 7 (238)
Kalon Barnes Baylor 2020, 2022 Carolina Panthers 7 (242)

% Williams finished his career at Alabama
* Johnson finished his career at Florida State
& Mays finished his career at Tennessee
@ Kendrick finished his career at Georgia
# On team but did not participate in Bowl

The Allstate Sugar Bowl has established itself as one of the premier college football bowl games, having hosted 28 national champions, 100 Hall of Fame players, 51 Hall of Fame coaches and 20 Heisman Trophy winners in its 88-year history. The 89th annual Sugar Bowl Classic is scheduled to be played on Saturday, December 31, 2022. In addition to football, the Sugar Bowl Committee annually invests over $1 million into the community through the hosting and sponsorship of sporting events, awards, scholarships and clinics. Through these efforts, the organization supports and honors thousands of student-athletes each year, while injecting over $2.2 billion into the local economy in the last decade. For more information, visit www.AllstateSugarBowl.org.

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