Ex-Cats Gary Brightwell and Roy Lopez selected in NFL Draft

CLEVELAND, OH – On the third and final day of the NFL Draft, former Wildcats Gary Brightwell and Roy Lopez get selected back-to-back.

In the city of the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, it was the Arizona Football program that was rocking on Saturday afternoon, as the Wildcats had two players selected in the 2021 NFL Draft, Gary Brightwell and Roy Lopez.

For a program that has not seen much recent success with players in reaching the NFL, things looked bleak for the Wildcats coming into the Draft. After all, this is a program that has lost 12-straight games and has only had just four players drafted between 2015-20. Scouts don’t typically hang around for that.

However, after adding head coach Jedd Fisch, who has deep connections in the NFL, perhaps things are looking up for the Cats.

Already, Fisch has had an impact on the program in turning around the culture. However, now it seems like his connections may have helped pay off in getting the program more exposure that ultimately got Brightwell and Lopez drafted.

Waiting  until the third and final day, finally we got some good new as Lopez was the first Wildcat off the board with the 195th pick in the sixth round. Selected by the Houston Texans, the Arizona native who spent one season in Tucson, he will be heading to H-Town.

With the selection of Roy, he is the first Wildcat heading to Houston since former Cats Earl Mitchell and Brooks Reed went there.

With the very next pick, Brightwell was then off the board, as the New York Giants selected the underrated and underestimated kid from Chester, PA with the 196th over pick.

Now with Brightwell and Lopez drafted, their selections mark the first time that a Wildcat was selected in the NFL Draft since 2019 when PJ Johnson was drafted by the Detroit Lions. It is also the first time since 2016 that two Wildcats were drafted.

Former Wildcat Tony Fields II was also drafted as well with the 153rd overall pick in the fifth round by the Cleveland Browns, however, since he went to West Virginia this last year, the Mountaineers get credit with the selection here.