Eight Nike-Sponsored Athletes Selected In NFL Draft’s First Round

Nike announced prior to Thursday night’s NFL Draft the 15 college football athletes it signed to its roster of sponsored players. The brand saw teams in the first round select eight of those players.

What came as no surprise to anyone that follows football, quarterbacks Jared Goff from the University of California and Carson Wentz from North Dakota State University were selected by the Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles with the first and second picks, respectively.

Carson Wentz 2016 NFL Draft Nike
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Carson Wentz.

What came as a slight surprise was the Dallas Cowboys taking running back Ezekiel Elliott with the fourth overall selection. Elliott — wearing a crop-top shirt with his suit at the draft event in Chicago — had a stellar college career at Ohio State, but he plays the undervalued running back position in a pass-happy league.

Ohio State University and University of Oregon Championship 2015
Running back Ezekiel Elliott (#15) of the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2015 College Football Championship.
CREDIT: Getty Images

Also going in the Top 10 of the first round were defensive tackle Deforest Buckner from the University of Oregon and offensive tackle Jack Conklin from Michigan State University.

Laremy Tunsil, an offensive tackle from the University of Mississippi, was selected 13th overall by the Miami Dolphins and had one of the more interesting nights in recent draft-night memory. Tunsil’s personal Twitter account was hacked prior to the draft, and the hacker posted a video of the rookie allegedly smoking out of a bong made of a gas mask. Later, his Instagram account was hacked, with the hacker posting a screenshot of Tunsil allegedly asking John Miller, Ole Miss’ assistant athletic director for football operations, for money to pay his rent. In a press conference after the draft, Tunsil admitted to asking Miller for money.

Also going in the first round was Will Fuller, selected 21st overall by the Houston Texans, and Paxton Lynch, selected 26th overall by the Denver Broncos.

Paxton Lynch Nike
Paxton Lynch at the University of Memphis NFL pro day on April 6.
CREDIT: AP Images.

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