Fourteen NFL First-Round Draft Picks Have Allstate Sugar Bowl Connections

NEW ORLEANS (April 27, 2020) – Fourteen of the 32 players selected in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft had connections to the Allstate Sugar Bowl while 36 players who were on Allstate Sugar Bowl rosters, including nine first-round picks, were selected in the Draft overall. Over the last five years, 177 Sugar Bowlers have been selected in the NFL Draft.

The No. 1 overall pick in this year’s Draft (selected by the Cincinnati Bengals), LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, was recognized as the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s 2019 Manning Award winner as the top quarterback in the nation. He is the third straight Manning Award winner to be drafted No. 1 (joining former Oklahoma stars Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray) and the sixth overall (joining Mayfield, Murray, Cam Newton, JaMarcus Russell and Jameis Winston).

Nine of this year’s first-round picks played in either the 2017, 2018 or 2019 Sugar Bowls.

Three first-rounders were Louisiana high school football stars, and more recently LSU stars, who played in Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA football state championships. Justin Jefferson (No. 22, Minnesota Vikings) led Destrehan High School to the Class 5A state semifinals in 2016 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome; Patrick Queen (No. 28, Baltimore Ravens) won the 2014 Class 3A state championship with Lithonia High School; Clyde Edwards-Helaire (No. 32, Kansas City Chiefs) was the MVP of the Class 5A state championship game as he led Catholic High School to victory in 2015.

Auburn’s Noah Igbinoghene (No. 30, Miami Dolphins) also has Sugar Bowl connections. As a high schooler at Hewitt-Trussville High School in Alabama, Igbinoghene won the long jump at the 2017 Allstate Sugar Bowl Track & Field Classic. Igbinoghene was not the only standout Sugar Bowl Track & Field alum to be selected in the draft – LSU’s Kristian Fulton was recognized as the Most Outstanding Track Performer at the 2016 event. Fulton, from Archbishop Rummel High School in Metairie, La., won the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles as well as the long jump that year.

The 177 Sugar Bowlers (only includes players on Sugar Bowl rosters, not Manning Award winners or participants in other Sugar Bowl events) selected in the last five NFL Drafts include 40 first-rounders (nine this year, eight in 2019, five in 2018, eight in 2017 and 10 in 2016). Prior to the 36 picks in this year’s Draft, the Sugar Bowl saw 40 picks last year, 35 alums selected in 2018, 32 in 2017 and 34 in 2016.

In the 2020 draft, Alabama led the way with ten Sugar Bowlers drafted, including four going in the first round. Georgia, which played in the 2019 and 2020 Allstate Sugar Bowls, had seven players drafted, and Clemson, 2018 Allstate Sugar Bowl Playoff Semifinal participants, had seven Sugar Bowl alums drafted.

Allstate Sugar Bowlers in the 2020 NFL Draft

NameSchoolSugar Bowl(s)NFL TeamRound
Andrew ThomasGeorgia2019New York GiantsFirst (4)
Tua TagovailoaAlabama2018#Miami DolphinsFirst (5)
Derrick BrownAuburn2017Carolina PanthersFirst (7)
Isaiah SimmonsClemson2018Arizona CardinalsFirst (8)
Jedrick WillsAlabama2018Cleveland BrownsFirst (10)
Henry Ruggs IIIAlabama2018Las Vegas RaidersFirst (12)
Jerry JeudyAlabama2018Denver BroncosFirst (15)
A.J. TerrellClemson2018Atlanta FalconsFirst (16)
Isaiah WilsonGeorgia2019Tennessee TitansFirst (29)
Tee HigginsClemson2018Cincinnati BengalsSecond (33)
D’Andre SwiftGeorgia2019, 2020Detroit LionsSecond (35)
Xavier McKinneyAlabama2018New York GiantsSecond (36)
Marlon DavidsonAuburn2017Atlanta FalconsSecond (47)
Trevon DiggsAlabama2018Dallas CowboysSecond (51)
Jalen HurtsAlabama2018%Philadelphia EaglesSecond (53)
Raekwon DavisAlabama2018Miami DolphinsSecond (56)
Denzel MimsBaylor2020New York JetsSecond (59)
Brandon JonesTexas2019Miami DolphinsThird (70)
Neville GallimoreOklahoma2017Dallas CowboysThird (82)
Terrell LewisAlabama2018Los Angeles RamsThird (84)
Anfernee JenningsAlabama2018New England PatriotsThird (87)
Devin DuvernayTexas2019Baltimore RavensThird (92)
Tanner MuseClemson2018Las Vegas RaidersThird (100)
John SimpsonClemson#2018Las Vegas RaidersFourth (109)
Solomon KindleyGeorgia2019, 2020Miami DolphinsFourth (111)
James LynchBaylor2020Minnesota VikingsFourth (120)
K’Von WallaceClemson2018Philadelphia EaglesFourth (127)
Daniel ThomasAuburn2017Jacksonville JaguarsFifth (157)
Collin JohnsonTexas2019Jacksonville JaguarsFifth (165)
Jake FrommGeorgia2019, 2020Buffalo BillsFifth (167)
Bravvion RoyBaylor2020Carolina PanthersSixth (184)
Charlie WoernerGeorgia2019, 2020San Francisco 49ersSixth (190)
Prince Tega WanoghoAuburn2017Philadelphia EaglesSixth (210)
Clay JohnstonBaylor2020Los Angeles RamsSeventh (234)
Tremayne AnchrumClemson2018Los Angeles RamsSeventh (250)
Tae CrowderGeorgia2019, 2020New York GiantsSeventh (255)

# On team but did not participate in Bowl
% Transferred to Oklahoma following the 2018 season

The Allstate Sugar Bowl has established itself as one of the premier college football bowl games, having hosted 28 national champions, 96 Hall of Fame players, 50 Hall of Fame coaches and 18 Heisman Trophy winners in its 86-year history. The 86th Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic, will will double as a College Football Playoff Semifinal, is schedule to be played on January 1, 2021. In addition to football, the Sugar Bowl Committee annually invests over $1.6 million into the community through the hosting and sponsorship of sporting events, awards and clinics. Through these efforts, the organization supports and honors nearly 100,000 student-athletes each year, while injecting over $2.7 billion into the local economy in the last decade.