The 5 biggest NFL Draft hits from Arizona Football of the last 15 years

The last 15 years have been surprisingly solid in terms of Arizona football alum performing well in the NFL.
New York Jets v New England Patriots
New York Jets v New England Patriots / Jim Rogash/GettyImages
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Rob Gronkowski - TE. Rob Gronkowski - TE. Arizona: 2007-09. 1. 47. . 2010 2nd round. RG. . player

Gronkowski isn't just a draft hit; he's had the most prolific NFL career out of any Arizona alumni by a country mile.

Rob Gronkowski
New England Patriots v Indianapolis Colts / Joe Robbins/GettyImages

He played two seasons at Arizona, missing his third year with the Wildcats due to injuries. In this time, he set the program tight end records for yardage (1,197) and touchdowns (16) that still stand to this day and the record for catches (75) that stood for nearly 15 years until Tanner McLachlan (79) broke it in 2023. He was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2010 NFL Draft with the 42nd overall pick by the New England Patriots, and the rest is history.

Gronkowski has stacked up a resume comparable with the best to ever play the position, and he was renowned for both his blocking and his receiving abilities. He never surpassed more than 100 catches in a season, but he still logged four 1,000-plus-yard seasons and had five years with 10 or more touchdowns. Gronkowski hit the ground running in his rookie year, hauling in 42 catches for 546 yards and a whopping 10 touchdowns, earning him a PFWA All-Rookie nod.

Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski
Super Bowl LV / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages

He then launched into what was unquestionably the best year of his career in 2011, where he logged a career-high 90 catches for 1,327 yards and 17 touchdowns. This absurd production — and from the tight end position — earned him his first of five Pro Bowls and the first of four First-team All Pros. His 17 receiving touchdowns and 18 all-purpose touchdowns still stand as the most in a single season ever by a tight end.

Gronkowski won four Super Bowls: three with the Patriots and his last one with the Tampa bay Buccaneers. Gronk has had one of the most prolific NFL careers of any tight end in history and is one of the most enjoyable personalities both on and off the field. There will be a bust for him in Canton one day, and he's poised to be the first Arizona football alumni to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

ALSO. Busts. The 5 biggest NFL Draft busts in Arizona Football history. dark

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