It was a busy day in Kansas City for Day Three of the NFL Draft. After Northwestern offensive tackle/guard Peter Skoronski was selected with the 11th overall pick by the Tennessee Titans — the highest Wildcat picked since 1983 — multiple ‘Cats remained on the board heading into the final day of choices. By the time all 259 slots had been filled, four Wildcats were taken to join NFL rosters — the most NU players selected since 1985. Let’s see where the former ‘Cats landed at the next level.
The most surprising moment of the day was that No. 99 was even available heading into the final day of the draft. Mocked to go in the early second round — some mocks sneaking him into the first round — Adebawore entered Day Three as the best remaining player on both ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.’s and NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah’s big boards.
While he remained available for much longer than expected, the former Wildcat’s slide ended early in the fourth round, as he was selected by the Indianapolis Colts 110th overall — only the eighth pick of the day. No. 99 joins a talented Colts defensive line group, highlighted by two-time Pro Bowler and 2020 First-Team All-Pro DeForest Buckner. In Colts defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s 4-3 scheme, expect Adebawore to pin his ears back and rush from a five-technique, allowing him to use his speed to get to the quarterback.
Attention all opponents, the airspace surrounding Lake Erie has been closed by the reunited Sky Team.
It’s a purple party in Cleveland after Mitchell was selected 142nd by the Cleveland Browns. The fifth-rounder heads to Cleveland to team up with fellow Northwestern alumni Anthony Walker Jr. and fellow Sky Team member Greg Newsome II. While No. 2 has yet to share the field with Walker, he and Newsome look to recreate the magic they had during the ‘Cats 2020 Big Ten West championship season. The duo held the top two spots for the lowest completion percentage in the Big Ten that season — holding opponents to under 35% of passes caught.
Mitchell will have time to develop his rookie season, sitting behind a veteran group for Newsome and Denzel Ward, but is one injury away from playing significant snaps. Also, expect No. 2 to play a large role on special teams. No matter the number of snaps Mitchell sees, the ‘Cats are making their mark on the Dawg Pound.
One Wildcat is never enough, so why not take two?
Hull joins his teammate Adebawore in Indianapolis — being chosen by the Colts with the 176th overall pick. NU’s bell cow is the first ‘Cats running back to be selected since Justin Jackson in 2018. No. 26 will sit behind 2021 unanimous First-Team All-Pro Jonathan Taylor, but he will be used as a pass-catching back on third downs. The former Northwestern workhorse will also likely carve out a spot on special teams, helping both in the return game and in kick coverage.
With Evan Hull going to Indianapolis ...— Pete Fiutak (@PeteFiutak) April 29, 2023
After 5 rounds of the NFL Draft, Northwestern (4) had more players drafted than the Mountain West, Conference USA, and MAC combined
More than than USC, Texas (3), Notre Dame, Texas A&M (2), as many as LSU, Oklahoma (4)
While those four Wildcats did here their names called, plenty more are still searching for their next opportunity. Northwestern’s Adam Stage, Andrew Clair, Donny Navarro III, Taishan Holmes, Wendell Davis Jr. and Vincent Picozzi are all undrafted free agents and can sign with any team.