While it was a certainty that defensive tackle Derek Wolfe and running back Isaiah Pead would be drafted somewhere during the 2012 NFL draft, after that, it was not known how many Bearcats would be taken.
As it turned out there were four that were drafted within the first four rounds. A pleasant surprise for the Bearcats and their fans.
At the time of those four selections, the only college teams with more players selected were the Alabama Crimson Tide and LSU Tigers.
The first Bearcat off the board was Wolfe. Wolfe was selected No. 36 overall at the beginning of the second round by the Denver Broncos and was the third-highest Bearcat in the history of the NFL draft.
Wolfe is a 6'5", 305-pound defensive tackle who has a chance to step in and play immediately for the Broncos. He was a two-time second-team All-American the past two years and was also the co-Big East defensive player of the year in 2011.
He had 9.5 sacks last season from the tackle position and also was one of the top in the nation when it came to tackles for loss.
The next Bearcat off the board was explosive running back Isaiah Pead, who was taken No. 50 overall by the St. Louis Rams.
Pead was the Big East offensive player of the year in 2011 and impressed at the NFL combine as well as the Senior Bowl, where he was the MVP of the game.
In what was a bit of a surprise, the next Bearcat selected was defensive tackle John Hughes, whom the Cleveland Browns took No. 87 overall.
Hughes was expected to go in the later rounds, and it was a bit of a shock that the 6'2", 309-pound run-stopper was taken so high.
The final Bearcat selected was tight end Adrien Robinson whom the New York Giants took No. 127 overall in the fourth round.
This was a huge surprise, as Robinson was a relative unknown until Cincinnati's pro day, where he put up some impressive numbers.
Robinson had an amazing 40 time and a great vertical jump that allowed him to vault into the draft. Still, he was not projected to go much higher than the sixth or seventh round.
The fact that Cincinnati had four players taken so high is a testament to how far the program has come not only over the past year, but also the past decade, as they have consistently had a good number of players drafted every year.
Hopefully for Bearcat nation, this is a sign of things to come for Cincinnati's football program.
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