Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, April 15, 2018


The good times have been rolling at Northwestern, which has been to eight bowls in the last 10 years. Despite that on-field success, the program has had only 11 NFL draft picks in that span.

In fact, since 2008, Northwestern has failed to have a draft pick five times: 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2014. The last Wildcat to go in the first round? It was defensive end Luis Castillo in 2005 to the Chargers.

Pat Fitzgerald's program has had two quarterbacks picked since 2010, with Mike Kafka going in the fourth round in 2010 to the Eagles and Trevor Siemian going in the seventh round to the Broncos in 2015.

But NU has had no running backs or offensive linemen picked in the last 10 years. The last Northwestern RB selected was Sean Bennett, a fourth-rounder in 1999. The last Wildcat offensive lineman tabbed was Zach Strief, a seventh-rounder in 2006.

The drought at running back may end this year, as Justin Jackson could be a seventh-rounder after setting the school all-time rushing record in what was a stellar career. The other Wildcat projected to be selected is safety Godwin Igwebuike, who projects as a fifth-round pick.

Here is a look at Northwestern in the last 10 NFL drafts.


Highest pick: Fourth round, No. 109 overall, 2010, DE Corey Wootton, Bears

Most fertile draft: 2010, three selections

Total first-round picks: 0

Total picks: 11

Position breakdown:

  • Defensive line: 3
  • Quarterback: 2
  • Defensive back: 2
  • Tight end: 2
  • Receiver: 1
  • Linebacker: 1


  • Fourth round: DE Corey Wootton, Bears
  • Fourth round: QB Mike Kafka, Eagles
  • Fifth round: DB Sherrick McManis, Texans


  • Seventh round: TE Drake Dunsmore, Buccaneers
  • Seventh round: WR Jeremy Ebert, Patriots


  • Fourth round: S Ibraheim Campbell, Browns
  • Seventh round: QB Trevor Siemian, Broncos


  • Fourth round: DE Dean Lowry, Packers
  • Sixth round: TE Danny Vitale, Buccaneers


  • Fifth round: LB Anthony Walker, Colts
  • Seventh round: DE Ifeadi Odenigbo, Vikings