The Texas Longhorns continue to send their athletes into the NFL, despite any shortcomings and underachievement on the field.
In the 2013 Draft, the 'Horns had three former players get selected in the first four rounds: safety Kenny Vaccaro, wide receiver Marquise Goodwin and defensive end Alex Okafor. These three, along with a number of alum who could sign as undrafted free agents, add to a long list of former 'Horns who have gone onto the NFL.
As of today, there are 40 former Longhorns who are active on NFL rosters.
Here is a recap of what Longhorns went where, and which players went undrafted and will hit the free agent pool.
Vaccaro Sustains "DBU" Moniker
Kenny Vaccaro was selected 15th overall by the New Orleans Saints, joining a secondary that desperately needed to add an immediate impact player, not to mention youth. Vaccaro offers up exactly that kind of scenario to boost the Saints' defensive backfield.
Vaccaro joins an impressive list of former Texas defensive backs to earn their NFL stripes, collectively earning the nickname 'DBU' to describe the program's proclivity to producing NFL-caliber defensive backs.
Texas' five first-round defensive back selections since 2006 bests Alabama and LSU by one, as Vaccaro joins that fold along with Michael Huff (2006), Michael Griffin (2007), Aaron Ross and Earl Thomas (2010).
Other notable former Texas DBs include Tarell Brown, Curtis Brown, Chykie Brown, Blake Gideon and Aaron Williams.
Goodwin and Okafor Find Fits
Marquise Goodwin and Alex Okafor landed in the third and fourth rounds, respectively, with Goodwin going to the Buffalo Bills with the 78th overall selection and Okafor to the Arizona Cardinals 103rd overall.
The speedy Goodwin will have an chance to earn some early snaps, but the knock on him will be consistency and size against NFL-type bodies. His speed is questioned, but how much can he improve on the finer points that will make him more dynamic at the professional level?
Okafor, meanwhile, lands in Arizona where he could slot into the rotation at defensive end early on. Many expected Okafor to go in the second or third round, and when he was still around on Day 3 of the draft, Arizona snatched itself a reliable project.
Eight 'Horns go Undrafted
The following Longhorns all went undrafted in this past weekend's draft:
DT Brandon Moore, RB D.J. Monroe, RB Jeremy Hills, TE D.J. Grant, P Alex King, TE Barrett Matthews, OT/TE Luke Poehlmann, FB Ryan Roberson.
Moore signed with the San Diego Chargers and D.J. Monroe inked a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Notably, Dan Buckner, who transferred to Arizona from Texas, signed with the Arizona Cardinals.
The Bottom Line
The Texas faithful are not the only ones who have seen a steady decline in sheer quantity when it comes to NFL prospects. It is not a mirage, and the numbers are a result of the quality of production on the field.
The 'Horns have stockpiled notable talent, as usual, but we may not see those NFL dreams come to life for another couple of seasons.