List of Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens in the NFL Draft

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An American football player wearing a red practice jersey (number 5) tossing himself an NFL football while watching a practice.
Joe Flacco was drafted 18th overall by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2008 NFL Draft. He is the highest drafted Blue Hen in NFL Draft history, and the only one taken in the first round.

The Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens football team, representing the University of Delaware, has had 28 players drafted into the National Football League (NFL) since the league began holding drafts in 1936.[1][A 1] This includes one player taken in the first round, Joe Flacco in the 2008 NFL Draft.[1] The Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders franchise has drafted the most Fightin' Blue Hens with five.[1] Fourteen NFL teams have drafted at least one player from Delaware.[1] Two former Blue Hens have been selected to Pro Bowls: Rich Gannon, who earned four selections as a member of the Raiders after being selected in the fourth round of the 1987 NFL draft by the New England Patriots,[4] and Mike Adams, who earned two selections as a member of the Indianapolis Colts after going undrafted in 2004.[5]

Each NFL franchise seeks to add new players through the annual NFL Draft. The draft rules were last updated in 2009. The team with the worst record the previous year picks first, the next-worst team second, and so on. Teams that did not make the playoffs are ordered by their regular-season record with any remaining ties broken by strength of schedule. Playoff participants are sequenced after non-playoff teams, based on their round of elimination (wild card, division, conference, and Super Bowl).[6]

Before the merger agreements in 1966, the American Football League (AFL) operated in direct competition with the NFL and held a separate draft. This led to a massive bidding war over top prospects between the two leagues. As part of the merger agreement on June 8, 1966, the two leagues would hold a multiple round "Common Draft". Once the AFL officially merged with the NFL in 1970, the "Common Draft" simply became the NFL Draft.[2][3][7]


B Back[A 2] K Kicker NT Nose tackle
C Center LB Linebacker FB Fullback
DB Defensive back P Punter HB Halfback
DE Defensive end QB Quarterback WR Wide receiver
DT Defensive tackle RB Running back G Guard
E End T Offensive tackle TE Tight end
Selected to an all-star game
Won a league championship
Selected to an all-star game and won a league championship


American Football League[edit]

Year Round Pick Overall Player name Position AFL team[A 3] Notes
1960 N/A N/A N/A Dombrowski, LeonLeon Dombrowski LB Oakland Raiders

National Football League[edit]

Year Round Pick Overall Player name Position NFL team[A 3] Notes
1943 32 5 300 Bogovich, BoBo Bogovich G Washington Redskins
1947 21 2 187 Hart, PaulPaul Hart B Boston Yanks
1947 30 3 278 Stalloni, TomTom Stalloni T Pittsburgh Steelers
1955 11 10 131 Redfield, TomTom Redfield E Chicago Bears
1962 15 10 206 Broadbent, DickDick Broadbent E Detroit Lions
1964 10 14 140 Brown, MikeMike Brown B Chicago Bears
1967 11 11 274 Slattery, HerbHerb Slattery G New York Jets
1971 6 11 141 Hayman, ConwayConway Hayman G Washington Redskins
1971 8 18 200 Gregory, TedTed Gregory DE New York Giants
1971 15 25 389 Young, BobBob Young DE Dallas Cowboys
1973 10 9 243 Carbone, JoeJoe Carbone DE New York Jets
1973 13 25 337 Johnson, DennisDennis Johnson DT Washington Redskins
1976 17 22 481 Beasley, NateNate Beasley FB Oakland Raiders
1979 9 11 231 Komlo, JeffJeff Komlo QB Detroit Lions
1980 6 7 145 Brunner, ScottScott Brunner QB New York Giants
1981 12 28 332 Nelson, PhilPhil Nelson TE Oakland Raiders
1983 6 17 157 Schmitt, GeorgeGeorge Schmitt CB St. Louis Cardinals
1985 5 23 135 Reeder, DanDan Reeder RB Los Angeles Raiders
1987 4 14 98 Gannon, RichRich Gannon QB New England Patriots Pro Bowl (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003)[4]
1987 12 4 311 McGrail, JoeJoe McGrail DT Buffalo Bills
2002 5 31 203 Elliott, JaminJamin Elliott WR Chicago Bears
2004 6 1 166 Johnson, ShawnShawn Johnson DE Oakland Raiders
2004 6 20 185 Hall, AndyAndy Hall QB Philadelphia Eagles
2007 7 5 215 Patrick, BenBen Patrick TE Arizona Cardinals
2008 1 18 18 Flacco, JoeJoe Flacco QB Baltimore Ravens Won Super Bowl XLVII
2012 4 3 98 Gradkowski, GinoGino Gradkowski C Baltimore Ravens Won Super Bowl XLVII
2015 5 35 171 Boyle, NickNick Boyle TE Baltimore Ravens


  1. ^ Because of the NFL–AFL merger agreement, the history of the AFL is officially recognized by the NFL and therefore this list includes the AFL Draft (1960–1966) and the Common Draft (1967–1969).[2][3]
  2. ^ In American and Canadian football, a back is a player who is lined up behind the linemen, the players who line up closest to the line of scrimmage.
  3. ^ a b This is the team that drafted the player, not their most recent team.


  1. ^ a b c d "Delaware Drafted Players/Alumni". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 2012-07-09. 
  2. ^ a b Cross, B. Duane (2001-01-22). "The AFL: A Football Legacy". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on 2009-10-20. Retrieved 2012-07-09. 
  3. ^ a b "NFL History by Decade: 1961–1970". NFL. Retrieved 2012-07-09. 
  4. ^ a b "Rich Gannon". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 2012-07-09. 
  5. ^ "Mike Adams". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  6. ^ Clayton, John (2009-03-26). "Draft order to change for playoff teams". Archived from the original on 2012-07-09. 
  7. ^ "Time Changes for 2008 NFL Draft". NFL. 2008-04-22. Retrieved 2012-07-09.