All-time University of Texas NFL team

Earl Thomas photo courtesy of the Seattle Seahawks

NFL talent evaluators may want to take a long look at Texas safety DeShon Elliott this draft season.

For reasons beyond his own obvious skills.

Elliott was an All-Big 12 pick, a consensus All-America and one of the three Thorpe Award finalists as the nation’s best defensive back after intercepting six passes last season and returning two of them for touchdowns. He elected to skip his senior season to enter his name in the 2018 NFL draft.

His history is impressive enough. But the school history dials up the urgency to scout and evaluate him.

No one produces safeties like the University of Texas. Elliott is the seventh All-America safety from the school, following in the footsteps of Michael Griffin, Lance Gunn, Michael Huff, Stanley Richard, Earl Thomas and Kenny Vaccaro. And the Longhorns have already produced five first-round picks at the position – Griffin, Huff, Richard, Thomas and Vaccaro.

Huff was the seventh overall pick of his draft, Richard the ninth of his, Thomas the 14th, Vaccaro the 15th and Griffin the 19th of their respective drafts. The quality safeties from Texas don’t last long on draft day. And add Bill Bradley, a third-round pick, to that list of quality safeties. Thomas has gone to six Pro Bowls with the Seahawks, Bradley three and Griffin two.

For that matter, few schools have the draft history of the Longhorns. Texas has had 44 first-round draft picks and half of those were selected in the Top 10. The Longhorns have had three players selected first overall in drafts – linebacker Tommy Nobis in 1966, fullback Earl Campbell in 1977 and defensive end Kenneth Sims in 1982. Texas has also had two players selected second overall and three more third overall.

The Longhorns only have two players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, quarterback Bobby Layne and fullback Earl Campbell. But Texas has had three NFL rushing champions – Campbell, Ricky Williams and Priest Holmes.

Here is the University of Texas all-time NFL team:

QB Bobby Layne, Hall of Fame

HB Ricky Williams, NFL rushing champion

FB Earl Campbell, Hall of Fame

WR Roy Williams, 1 Pro Bowl, 393 career catches

WR Lam Jones, 138 career catches, 13 TDs

TE Pete Lammons, Super Bowl champion with the Jets

OT Jerry Sisemore, Eagles Hall of Fame

OT Leonard Davis, 3 Pro Bowls

G    Harley Sewell, 4 Pro Bowls

G    Dan Neil, 2-time Super Bowl champion with Broncos

C    Mike Baab, 9-year starter with Browns, Patriots

DE Tony Brackens, 55 career sacks

DE Brian Orapko, 64 ½ career sacks

DT Casey Hampton, 2-time Super Bowl champion with Steelers

DT Doug English, 4 Pro Bowls

OLB Derrick Johnson, 4 Pro Bowls

MLB Tommy Nobis, 1960s NFL all-decade team

OLB Britt Hager, 9-year veteran

CB Bobby Dillon, 4 Pro Bowls, 52 INTs in eight seasons

CB Jerry Gray, 4 Pro Bowls

S    Earl Thomas, 6 Pro Bowls

S    Michael Griffin, 2 Pro Bowls

K   Justin Tucker, NFL record 90.2 percent accuracy on FGs

P    Bill Bradley, 4-year punter for Eagles, 3-time Pro Bowl safety

KR Eric Metcalf, TDs on 10 career punts, 2 career kickoffs

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  1. Tom K
    March 14, 2018

    Sweet idea! Would love to see one for Wisconsin!

  2. Rasputin
    March 14, 2018

    Nobis should be in the Hall of Fame.

  3. bachslunch
    March 16, 2018

    Looks like there are four UTexas alums in the PFHoF, two players (Layne and Campbell), a coach (Tom Landry), and a contributor (Tex Schramm).

    Interestingly, there were several colleges who saw their first inductee this year: Clemson (Brian Dawkins), New Mexico (Brian Urlacher), Tennessee-Chattanooga (Terrell Owens), College of Idaho (Jerry Kramer), and Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo (Bobby Beathard).

    And it’s surprising to see some of the colleges who (according to their website, anyway) have no alumni in the PFHoF, including Arizona, Mississippi State, Colorado, Oregon State, Army, Air Force, Iowa State, North Carolina State, Houston, Texas Tech, South Carolina, Kansas State, and Rutgers.

    • Rasputin
      March 16, 2018

      Inducting Zach Thomas would change that for Texas Tech.

    • bachslunch
      March 18, 2018

      Looks like I made a mistake on Jerry Kramer — he attended the University of Idaho. College of Idaho apparently is a separate institution and was R.C. Owens’s alma mater.

      Sorry about that.

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