BYU Football’s Top Five NFL Draft Picks Ever
The best NFL careers among players who were selected in the NFL Draft out of BYU.
No. 1 is an easy choice
The NFL Draft is one of my favorite times on the sports calendar. It always has me taking a trip down memory lane and looking in the archives of the former BYU stars that were selected in the Draft.
As I was pouring over the names, I was thinking, of the players that were selected in the NFL Draft to come out of BYU, who had the best NFL careers?
No, this isn’t the best prospects out of BYU when the Draft arrived. Or players like Daniel Sorensen (Kansas City Chiefs) who have gone on to great NFL careers but weren’t selected in the Draft. Best NFL careers among the BYU stars who heard their name called on Draft night.
Here’s my top five. Honestly, I don’t believe there’s another top five you could come up with at this point.
#1 QB Steve Young
1984 Supplemental Draft, 1st Round, 1st Pick Overall, Tampa Bay
The only player from BYU to go on to have an NFL career worthy of enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Young won three Super Bowl’s with one, Super Bowl XXIX, coming as the starter. Young threw for 33,124 yards and ran for 4,239 in his 15-year NFL career. There’s no one else out of BYU that comes close to the impact Steve Young on the professional game.
#2 DL Brett Keisel
2002, 7th Round, 242nd Pick, Pittsburgh
There aren’t many stories of 13-year NFL careers from the 7th Round of the NFL Draft, but Brett Keisel is one of those unique stories. Keisel’s iconic beard earned him fame among Steeler fans and his play on the field endeared him to the fans as well. Keisel racked up 409 tackles and 30.0 sacks in his 13 seasons with the Steelers and started on a pair of Super Bowl-winning teams in the Steel City.
#3 QB Jim McMahon
1982, 1st Round, 5th Pick, Chicago
The punky QB rose to fame by leading the Chicago Bears to the 1985 Super Bowl title. Won the starting job in Chicago as a rookie and was the starter for the Monsters of the Midway for seven seasons. McMahon played 15 seasons in the NFL and threw for 18,148 yards in 119 games played.
#4 LB Kurt Gouveia
1986, 8th Round, 213th Pick, Washington
Gouveia was a two-time Super Bowl Champion with the Washington Redskins. Gouveia was an Iron Man in the NFL playing for 13 seasons and piling up 837 tackles in 184 games. Along with the Redskins, Gouveia played for the Eagles and the Chargers.
#5 P Lee Johnson
1985, 5th Round, 138th Pick, Houston
Anytime a punter goes off the draft board any earlier than the final round of the Draft, it’s notable. “Thunder Foot” Lee Johnson was one of the best there was at punting the football. Johnson had an 18-year NFL career and when he retired after the 2002 season, he was third all-time in NFL history in net punting yards.
Just missed the cut: Ziggy Ansah, Kyle Van Noy, Jason Buck, John Tait, Austin Collie, Dennis Pitta, Travis Hall, Brady Poppinga