The first round of the NFL Draft will be held Thursday night in Chicago. If A.J. Cann hears his name called, he will become the 13th first-round selection in the history of South Carolina’s football program. Here is a look at the 12 Gamecocks to be picked in the first round. I have ranked the selections, based on the length and productivity of their careers.
1. JOHN ABRAHAM
13th pick, New York Jets, 2000
Had a 15-year professional career and is 10th all-time in NFL sacks with 133.5. He played for the Jets, Falcons and Cardinals and totaled 533 tackles.
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2. GEORGE ROGERS
1st pick, New Orleans Saints, 2001
Played seven seasons in the NFL with the Saints and Redskins. He rushed for 1,674 yards in his rookie season and finished with 7,176 yards and 54 touchdowns.
3. STERLING SHARPE
7th pick, Green Bay Packers, 1988
Played seven seasons for the Packers. He had at least 55 catches every year and finished with 595 catches for 8,134 yards and 65 touchdowns, which is tied for 50th in NFL history.
4. JOHNATHAN JOSEPH
24th pick, Cincinnati Bengals, 2006
Heading into his 10th season. He has played for the Bengals and the Texans and had at least 42 tackles each season. He has 25 career interceptions and 495 career tackles.
5. DUNTA ROBINSON
10th pick, Houston Texans, 2004
He just wrapped up a 10-year career that saw him play for the Texans, Falcons and Chiefs. He had 590 career tackles and 17 career interceptions.
6. RICK SANFORD
25th pick, New England Patriots, 1979
Played seven seasons, six with the Patriots and one with the Seahawks. He had 16 career interceptions and 262 career returns yards, including kickoffs and punts.
7. STEPHON GILMORE
10th pick, Buffalo Bills, 2012
Heading into his fourth season with the Bills. He had one interception as a rookie, two the next season and three the following season. He has 119 tackles.
8. TROY WILLIAMSON
7th pick, Minnesota Vikings, 2005
He went high in the first round thanks to a 4.32 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. He played five seasons with the Vikings and Jaguars and finished with 87 catches, 1,131 yards and four TDs.
9. WILLIE SCOTT
14th pick, Kansas City Chiefs, 1981
He played eight seasons with the Chiefs and Patriots. He had 89 catches for 766 yards and 15 TDs. His best season was 1983, when he had 29 catches for 247 yards and six TDs.
10. MELVIN INGRAM
18th pick, San Diego Chargers, 2012
Entering his fourth season, he has been limited to 29 games due to knee, hamstring and hip injuries. He has 44 career tackles and six career sacks.
11. ERNEST DYE
18th pick, Arizona Cardinals, 1993
Might deserve a higher spot, but it’s tough to rank the accomplishments of offensive linemen. In six seasons, he started 23 games. His career was cut short by injury in a car accident.
12. JADEVEON CLOWNEY
1st pick, Houston Texans, 2014
Played in four games last year, his rookie season, due to a knee injury that required microfracture surgery. He is expected to be ready for the upcoming season.