Four Wildcats Declare For NFL Draft

Four Wildcats Declare For NFL Draft
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Several More Return To Lexington

Thanks to John Calipari’s one and done factory with the Kentucky Basketball program players leaving early for the pros is a rite of passage. However that’s not been the case with Mark Stoops’ football program. With the result of better and better players heading to Lexington it’s certainly becoming one now. Following the second ten win season in four years several Cats made their pro intentions known. Let’s take a look as four Wildcats declare for the NFL Draft.

“A No-Brainer”

Many in the BBN hoped Wan’Dale Robinson wouldn’t be a “One and Done” with the Kentucky football program. But let’s face it after the season he had in 2021 his draft prospects are as high as they can be. Through a video posted online the junior  made his intentions known.

In his one season in Lexington Robinson set school records with 104 receptions and 1,334 yards. He also finished second in the SEC in both receptions and yards. Robinson saved arguably his best game for last in which he recorded 10 catches for 170 yards in Kentucky’s thrilling Citrus Bowl win.

Currently one draft projection has him going 44th to the Cleveland Browns and the second round seems about right. Of course he could improve his stock at the NFL Combine. He joins offensive lineman Darian Kinnard as certain high round picks come April.

Robinson is the only offensive player on our list as four Wildcats declare for the NFL Draft let’s head to the defensive side of the ball.

Heart And Soul Of The Team

After 40 games and 25 starts Josh Paschal’s career at Kentucky unfortunately came to and end without him playing in the Citrus Bowl. He injured his leg in the win over Louisville and aggravated it again leading up to the bowl game.

The defensive end from Maryland spent four great years in Lexington helping build the program to where it is now. In addition he was part of the vaunted 2016 recruiting class that set the tone for what Kentucky’s program has become.

Of course his college career was nearly derailed as he was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma in his foot. However it was caught early and he came back better than ever. In his career at Kentucky Paschal recorded 137 tackles, 72 solo, and 35.5 for a loss. In addition he had 13 sacks and one interception return for a touchdown against Tennessee in 2020. Currently he’s projected somewhere around the late fourth to early fifth round.

New Defensive Back University

Looking at recent history Kentucky’s become a defensive back factory with including six taken over the last couple of years. Not only are they sending guys to the league but they’re producing. Mike Edwards helped Tampa Bay win last year’s Super Bowl and Brandin Echols had a great season for the New York Jets. The next man up is Yusuf Corker who made his intentions know as far as the draft goes.

Over his career at Kentucky Corker recorded a whopping 241 tackles including 134 solo. In addition he had 6.5 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and three interceptions. In 2021 the Georgia native tied Jacquez Jones for the team high in tackles with 82. He finished second on the team last season in tackles and led UK in 2019. As result Corker’s finished second two years in a row in our voting for defensive player of the year.

His final play for the Cats was certainly a memorable one. His pressure on Iowa’s Spencer Petras caused an errant throw which DeAndre Square picked off preserving the Kentucky victory. Currently Corker projects as a mid to late round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.

We’re talking about four Wildcats who declared for the NFL Draft. With three down it’s finish our look with a player who leaves a (literal) giant hole in the middle.

Big Loss Up Front

With those comments the nose guard announced his intentions of entering the NFL Draft. McCall leaves Kentucky as one of the Big Blue Nation’s favorites in recent memory. Going back to 2017 the Detroit native picked Kentucky over a who’s who of top programs including both Michigan and Michigan State. Furthermore he was the first link in what’s become a huge Michigan to Kentucky pipeline in recruiting.

During his time in Lexington McCall recorded 57 tackles including 10.5 for a loss. Furthermore he also had 1.5 sacks and a fumble recovery. In his final game against Iowa “Bully” had the unenviable task of going against the Hawkeyes’ All-American center Tyler Linderbaum. Against a certain top ten pick in this year’s draft McCall more than held his own and pardon the pun “Bullied” Linderbaum. Like many of the senior Wildcats McCall leaves the school with four straight bowl wins, something that’s never been done before in UK history.

McCall projects as a late round pick in the 2022 draft. However Kentucky’s done well in the late rounds recently including the guy he replaced Quinton Bohanna, who went to Dallas last season.

Corker, McCall and Paschal could have played one more year thanks to the extra “COVID” season granted by the NCAA. However they all decided for the NFL.

Great News For The BBN

While Stoops knows for sure he’s losing these four players, several other players are returning to school. Jones and another linebacker Jordan Wright both announced they are coming back. Monday ended up as a huge day for UK as both Chris Rodriguez and Square said they’re also returning. In the case of Rodriguez he needs 1,135 yards to break Benny Snell’s  school record of 3,873 yards.

Kentucky loses quite a bit from this year’s 10-3 team but with the guys returning and the best class in school history coming in next season Stoops and the Wildcats could be looking at another ten win season or even more.

Four Wildcats declare for the NFL Draft. Thanks for checking it out with us here at Last Word On College Football. Next time out is one of the favorite posts of the year, the 2021 Kentucky Football Awards.