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The NFL draft gets underway tonight, and former Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is looking to join an elite group of Ohio Valley Conference players to get picked up in the first round.

Since 1950, four OVC players have been picked in the first round:

  • 1973 – Wally Chambers (EKU, 8th overall)
  • 1979 –  Phil Simms (Morehead State, 7th overall)
  • 1988 – Aaron Jones (EKU, 18th overall)
  • 2006 – Domique Rogers-Cromartie (TSU, 16th overall)

Even if he goes in the second round, which is where most mock drafts have him, and the vast majority of quarterbacks falling to, it’s still a small group:

  • 1973 – Jim Youngblood (TTU, 42nd overall)
  • 1989 – Jessie Small (EKU, 49th overall)
  • 1996 – Fred Thomas (UTM, 47th overall)
  • 1996 – Jason Dunn (EKU, 54th overall)

Over the years, the NFL draft has gone through a lot of changes. Back in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, the draft would go 30-rounds. In 1994, the NFL adopted the current seven-round structure. How has the OVC done in the modern draft era? Here’s the overall breakdown for the last 20 years:

  • First Round: 1 pick (92, Rogers-Cromartie)
  • Second Round: 2 picks (96, Thomas; 96, Dunn)
  • Third Round: 3 picks (96, Jonathan Quinn, MTSU; 99, Chris Watson, EIU; 08 Antwaun Molden, EKU)
  • Fourth Round: 4 picks (94, Randy Fuller, TSU; 96, Kirk Pointer, Austin Peay; 00, Michael Thompson, TSU; 00, Avion Black, TSU)
  • Fifth Round: 8 picks (94, Chad Bratzke, EKU; 95, Cedric Davis, TSU; 99, Tyrone Hospon, EKU; 01, Alex Bannister, EKU; 05, Frank Omiyale, TTU; 10, Otis Hudson, EIU; 10, Austen Lane, Murray State; 13, Montori Hughes, UTM)
  • Sixth Round: 5 picks (94, Tony McCombs, EKU; 97, Mike Cherry, Murray State; 03, Willie Ponder, SEMO; 03, Yeremiah Bell, EKU; 13, Allen Bonnor, JSU)
  • Seventh Round: 8 picks (96, Clarence Jones, TSU; 96, Darrell Williams, TSU; 98, Angel Rubio, SEMO; 99, Sulecio Sanford, MTSU; 04, Larry Turner, EKU; 04, Eugene Amano, SEMO; 06, Cortland Finnegan, Samford; 09, Jarvarris Williams, TSU)

With a 30-round draft, more than 300 players would be , even into the 400’s for a few years. So who were the overall lowest picks in history? Here are the bottom five.

  • 1971 – Lawrence Brame (WKU, 407th overall)
  • 1973 – George Greenfield (Murray State, 412th overall)
  • 1971 – Sam Pearson (WKU, 432nd overall)
  • 1975 – Dwaine Copeland (MTSU, 439th overall)
  • 1967 – George Adams (Morehead State, 442nd overall)

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OVC Ball
Predicting the OVC race…in mid-December

2016-17 Basketball Standings

OVCOverall

EAST

Belmont8-014-4
Morehead State6-310-12
Tennessee Tech5-39-14
Jacksonville State5-413-11
Tennessee State4-413-8
Eastern Kentucky2-69-14

WEST

UT Martin5-315-8
Murray State5-311-11
SEMO5-310-13
Austin Peay3-57-15
Eastern Illinois1-79-12
SIUE0-85-17
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