Related Tags: NFL Draft
The 2019 NFL Draft begins on Thursday night and will end 254 picks later on Saturday. Among those 254 selections are some pretty interesting individuals with fascinating backgrounds, compelling connections, and a variety of interests. While most followers of the draft are well-versed in 40 times and bench press reps, they might not know of one prospect's connection to music royalty or another who isn't even the most popular member of his family. Here is what you don't know about this year's draft class.
I Got the Music in Me
At 6-feet-3-inches and nearly 260 pounds, Boston College defensive end Wyatt Ray recorded nine sacks last year. He was a menace to ACC quarterbacks and will likely have a shot to win a spot on an NFL roster after the draft weekend. Ray could just as easily have been sitting behind a piano or crooning in a microphone. The music bug runs in the family. Ray's grandfather is Nat King Cole. Natalie Cole is his aunt.
A Popular PA High School
Woodland Hills is a relatively newer high school in suburban Pittsburgh. It opened in 1987 as several smaller schools combined. Penn State RB Miles Sanders attened high school there. If he is drafted this weekend, Sanders will become the 14th player from Woodland Hills to be taken in an NFL draft joining the likes of Jason Taylor and Rob Gronkowski.
So, the Manning family is well-known as the quarterback family. Dad Archie and sons Peyton and Eli are the only father and sons that were all first-round draft picks. The Bosa family - the defensive line family - will match the Mannings this weekend. John Bosa was a first-round draft pick for the Miami Dolphins in 1987. Son Joey was a first-round selection of the LA Chargers and now Nick is projected as a top-3 pick this year. In addition, Nick and Joey's uncle Eric Kumerow was also a first-round pick of the Dolphins and played with John.
Will Grier has had a well-publicized college football career. He transferred from Florida to West Virginia after a performance-enhancing drug incident. Grier was mentioned as a Heisman Trophy candidate before his senior season last year, but he is not even the most famous Grier in the family. Younger brother Nash (21), is an internet sensation with 9.9 million Instagram followers and 7 million more on Twitter. Youngest brother Hayes was a contestant on Dancing with the Stars.
A number of 2019 draft prospects have some interesting connections. Benny Snell Jr.'s father Ben played in the XFL and his uncle, Matt, was a running back for the Jets. Devin Bush's father, Devin Bush Sr., starred on the 1993 Florida State national championship team. He then became a first-round draft choice and won a Super Bowl. Brett Rypien is the nephew of former Redskins QB Mark Rypien. Former Vanderbilt QB Kyle Shurmur is the son of New York Giants head coach Pat.
Georgia RB Elijah Holyfield is the son of former heavyweight boxing champion Evander. West Virginia LB David Long Jr. is also the son of a former heavyweight boxer - David Long Sr - neither of whom are to be confused with David Long, a Michigan cornerback who is also a 2019 draft prospect.