With the Next Pick: The NFL Draft Key for Arizona Football in the Future

Nov 27, 2021; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Detailed view of an Arizona Wildcats helmet during the Territorial Cup at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 27, 2021; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Detailed view of an Arizona Wildcats helmet during the Territorial Cup at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Arizona Football has had its fair share of recent struggles in getting more players to be selected in the earlier parts of the annual NFL Draft. 

As all eyes are on Las Vegas this weekend for the NFL Draft, you cannot overlook the troubles that Arizona Football has had with getting their players drafted in the past 10 years, as the Wildcats have not had a player drafted in the top three rounds since Nick Foles in 2012.

While for college football, the season technically begins with spring practices, it has always felt to me that the new football season officially begins with the NFL Draft, as it gives us a final reflection of the prior NCAA Football season.

While the previous decade of drafts have been less than kind to the Wildcats, there are many reasons to be optimistic, largely because of a Top 20 recruiting class and a very strong transfer class that looks to turn the tide as early as the 2023 Draft.

Despite the past decade not being as kind as any Wildcat fans would like if we look back just to 2010, we find a total of five Super Bowl wins, and with the limited number of players Arizona has had picked cannot be overlooked either.

Ok, now before we go crazy, yes, Rob Gronkowski has four of those Super Bowl rings in his time with New England and Tampa Bay while Nick Foles has the other with Philadelphia, but still, all the rings have come from homegrown skill positions.

Looking to the now and future; however, there are reasons for optimism as we could see a drastic change likely come as soon as next season and beyond. Hopefully, if each highly touted recruit from 2022 reaches its potential, we could see players like Jerry Brown, Tetairoa McMillan, Keyan Burnett, Jaden de Laura, and Rayshon Luke among others that could have their names called in the earlier rounds of the draft.

With an exciting future and a team that continued to gel as the 2021 season went on, there is plenty of reason to be optimistic about the future! And as development goes, and Wildcat careers turn into fruitful NFL careers, we could see the fruits of the Jedd Fisch’s vision soon.

Stanley Berryhill III, Trevon Mason, and Mo Diallo are potential 2022 Draft picks for Arizona Football.

While they will all assuredly fall in after the 3rd Round of the NFL Draft due in part to the team performance over the past few seasons, there is potential to see as many as three Wildcats have their name called on Saturday.

Stanley Berryhill III is considered to be the most likely to be selected first if any Wildcats hear their name called, and some of the connections Fisch and company have could be a fit for a guy like Berryhill.

One spot I could see Berryhill going is to play for a coach that tends to find himself in Tucson quite often in Sean McVay and the Los Angeles Rams. Interesting of note, Pro Football Network has him going to the Rams’ neighbors the Los Angeles Chargers.

Trevon Mason and Mo Diallo are both likely facing much tougher odds to hear their name called, but one team that could make sense is another with very strong ties with the Wildcats in the Seattle Seahawks, who could use depth along their defensive line. Another possibility is one with similarly shallow defensive line depth in the Pittsburgh Steelers.

I think the only one we see picked this year is Berryhill, and I think he goes near the end of the 5th round, and it will likely baffle some of the so-called experts. They will initially not get it, but he will continue to prove everyone wrong!

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