Brandon Aiyuk becomes 26th Sun Devil to be drafted in 1st round

Apr 24, 2020, 12:21 PM | Updated: 12:25 pm

Arizona State wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk runs for a first down against Colorado during the first h...

Arizona State wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk runs for a first down against Colorado during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

The San Francisco 49ers’ selection of Brandon Aiyuk with the 25th pick in the NFL Draft was a notable moment for Arizona State football for a handful of reasons even beyond seeing one of its players get chosen on the first day.

ASU has now had a football player picked in the first round of consecutive drafts, as wide receiver N’Keal Harry was picked No. 31 by the New England Patriots in 2019.

In total, Aiyuk becomes the 26th ASU football player to be a first-round draft pick.

This is the first time since 2002-03 that a Sun Devil has been picked in consecutive years, according to ASU.

In 2002, Levi Jones was taken by the Cincinnati Bengals with the No. 10 pick. The next year, Terrell Suggs was picked 10th overall by the Baltimore Ravens.

Aiyuk is the highest Sun Devil selection since Suggs in 2003.

The selection isn’t just notable for the school. Nationally, ASU achieved a rare feat in having a wide receiver selected in the first round of back-to-back drafts.

The 2019-20 drafts were the first since 2013-14 in which a school did this. ASU’s Aiyuk and Harry join Clemson’s Marquise Brown and CeeDee Lamb.

The last time it was done, Clemson’s DeAndre Hopkins was drafted in 2013 and Sammy Watkins in 2014.

In total, only six programs have had a wide receiver taken in the first round of back-to-back drafts.

Ohio State accomplished this in 1995-96 and 2006-07; Colorado did so in 1994-95; USC was in 1993-94; and Tennessee was the first to do so, having wide receivers picked in the first rounds of the 1982, ’83 and ’84 drafts.

ASU has had seven wide receivers drafted in the first round, which is the fifth-most of any FBS program. Tennessee leads with 11 and is followed by USC, Ohio State and Miami, all of which have eight.

Here is the all-time list of ASU first-round draft picks.

  • 2020 – Wide Receiver, Brandon Aiyuk, 25th, 49ers
  • 2019 – Wide Receiver, N’Keal Harry, 32nd, Patriots
  • 2015 – Safety Damarious Randall, 30th, Packers
  • 2003 – Defensive End Terrell Suggs, 10th, Ravens
  • 2002 – Tackle Levi Jones, 10th, Bengals
  • 2001 – Defensive Back Adam Archuleta, 20th, Rams
  • 2001 – Tight End Todd Heap, 31st, Ravens
  • 2000 – Defensive End Erik Flowers, 26th, Bills
  • 1995 – Defensive Back Craig Newsome, 32nd, Packers
  • 1994 – Defensive End Shante Carver, 23rd, Cowboys
  • 1991 – Running Back Leonard Russell, 14th, Patriots
  • 1988 – Guard Randall McDaniel, 19th, Vikings
  • 1988 – Wide Receiver Aaron Cox, 20th, Rams
  • 1983 – Defensive End Jim Jeffcoat, 23rd, Cowboys
  • 1982 – Running Back Gerald Riggs, 9th, Falcons
  • 1980 – Quarterback Mark Malone, 28th, Steelers
  • 1979 – Defensive End Al Harris, 9th, Bears
  • 1978 – Wide Receiver John Jefferson, 14th, Chargers
  • 1976 – Defensive Back Mike Haynes, 5th, Patriots
  • 1976 – Linebacker Larry Gordon, 17th, Dolphins
  • 1974 – Running Back Woody Green, 16th, Chiefs
  • 1973 – Wide Receiver Steve Holden, 16th, Browns
  • 1971 – Wide Receiver J.D. Hill, 4th, Bills
  • 1969 – Linebacker Ron Pritchard, 15th, Oilers
  • 1967 – Wide Receiver John Pitts, 22nd, Bills
  • 1964 – Running Back Charley Taylor, 3rd, Redskins

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