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Seventeen former Wildcats set for NFL’s opening weekend

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Benny Snell, left, runs the ball as Los Angeles Chargers...
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Benny Snell, left, runs the ball as Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Isaac Rochell tries to stop him during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)(WKYT)
Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 6:10 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WYMT) - Kentucky football will once again be well-represented when the National Football League opens its 2021 regular season this week, as 17 former Kentucky players have made a team’s active roster. It marks the most Wildcats on NFL rosters since 21 were featured during the 1987 season.

Team captains also have been announced for many of the teams and former All-American and National Defensive Player of the Year, Josh Allen, was voted by his peers as one of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ seven team captains.

The NFL’s opening game on Thursday night will feature former Wildcat safety Mike Edwards of the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers against two former UK defensive players and current Dallas Cowboys rookies in nose guard Quinton Bohanna and cornerback Kelvin Joseph. The game will kick off from Raymond James Stadium at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC.

Two other Wildcats are with NFL teams as former UK running back A.J. Rose has been signed to the Minnesota Vikings’ practice squad, while wide receiver Lynn Bowden Jr. is currently on the injured reserve list with the Miami Dolphins.

Kentucky had six NFL Draft picks in the 2021 NFL Draft and all six made 53-man rosters - Jamin Davis (1st - Washington); Kelvin Joseph (2nd - Cowboys); Quinton Bohanna (6th - Cowboys); Brandin Echols (6th - Jets); Landon Young (6th - Saints); and Phil Hoskins (7th - Panthers).  The six picks tied for the fourth-most in school history and the most since 1979 (eight). Five of the six picks were defensive players.

The six picks were the most for Kentucky since the current seven-round draft era began in 1994. It also marked the second time in the last three years that Kentucky has had five or more draft picks (five in 2019).

List of the Wildcats in the NFL and their years at Kentucky:

Arizona Cardinals

Corey Peters, DT (2006-09)

Baltimore Ravens

Chris Westry, DB (2015-17)

Carolina Panthers

Phil Hoskins, DT (2017-18, 2020)

Chicago Bears

Danny Trevathan, LB (2008-11)

Dallas Cowboys

Quinton Bohanna, NT (2017-20)

Kelvin Joseph, CB (2020)

Detroit Lions

Logan Stenberg, OG (2016-19)

Green Bay Packers

Randall Cobb, WR (2008-10)

Za’Darius Smith, OLB (2013-14)

Houston Texans

Lonnie Johnson Jr., CB (2017-18)

Jacksonville Jaguars

Josh Allen, DE/LB (2015-18)

New Orleans Saints

Landon Young, OT (2016-17, 19-20)

New York Jets

Brandin Echols, CB (2019-20)

Pittsburgh Steelers

Benny Snell Jr., RB (2016-18)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mike Edwards, S (2015-2018)

Tennessee Titans

Bud Dupree, OLB (2011-14)

Washington Football Team

Jamin Davis, ILB (2018-20)

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