Image: Irish Haines
On the most important weekend for collegiate football players, three athletes from North Broad Street were selected to move on to play with the best of the best.
Temple’s CB Rock Ya-Sin, RB Ryquell Armstead, and DE Michael Dogbe fit three respective franchise visions for the 2019 NFL Draft.
For a school lacking a strong football culture historically, this marked the third draft in the past four years where three Temple players were drafted. Their nine players gone professionally in the past three years is the most in the AAC.
Prior to the event in Nashville, cornerback Rock Ya-Sin seemed a lock for the first round, being named 28th in Daniel Jeremiah’s top 50 NFL prospects. Many big boards had him landing at pick 20 to the Pittsburgh Steelers, a franchise known for drafting and developing strong secondaries. However, Ya-Sin had to wait until the second day to hear his name called to Indianapolis, to join former Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich and the Colts. He didn’t have to bide time for too long on Friday, as Colts’ legendary WR Reggie Wayne announced Ya-Sin at pick 34. He’ll join a Colts’ CB group that includes former Owl Nate Hairston, who since being selected in the 5th round of 2017’s draft, has collected 65 tackles and one interception with the team.
Another CB off the board!
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) April 26, 2019
For running back Ryquell Armstead, his ties to Temple as a Philadelphia school provides storylines leading up to the weekend. The Eagles’ 2018 struggles in the backfield were answered by GM Howie Roseman with a pre-draft trade for Bears’ running back Jordan Howard, but fans still questioned Howard’s propensity as a three-down back. This gave reason to believe the Eagles could spend a 4th or 5th round pick to acquire Armstead as a complement to Howard. Instead, Armstead was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 5th round (140 overall) to be a possible backup for LSU product Leonard Fournette. Armstead has mentioned looking forward to learning from the third-year pro. He will also join former Seahawks’ RB Thomas Rawls and former Texans’ RB Alfred Blue as members of a deep running back room. If Armstead is able to beat out that duo, he may get numerous opportunities to prove himself, as Fournette missed nine games last season due to injury.
Jags let’s work 🗣 pic.twitter.com/Ak8v7mkKEF
— RyQuell Armstead (@track_chaser) April 27, 2019
The final Owl to be selected, Michael Dogbe, came with questions about whether or not he would hear his name called in Nashville. Not being invited to the NFL Combine, Dogbe made his name known by racking 34 reps on bench at his Pro Day. This was a big part of the push for him to eventually be drafted, as skeptics wondered if Dogbe had enough size to transcend to the next level. Yet the team picking number one overall, the Arizona Cardinals, decided to invest one of their three compensatory 7th round picks on the Temple defensive end, picking him 249th overall. Dogbe will join Arizona’s 2017 1st round pick, Haason Reddick, a former Owl, on a defensive unit ranked 20th overall last season. Like when he worked following a combine snub, Dogbe will need to keep grinding in the trenches to earn his place in the NFL, just as he earned his place on draft night.
— American Football (@American_FB) April 27, 2019
Following the conclusion of the draft, three more Owls were picked up by NFL clubs, including one going to the hometown Philadelphia Eagles. TE Chris Myarick and OL Jaelin Robinson were signed by the Miami Dolphins and Atlanta Falcons, respectively, late Saturday night. Fans hoping to see CB Delvon Randall sign to a team had to wait until Sunday morning, when he announced his signing on Twitter.
— DELVON (@EatTeam_2) April 28, 2019
Drew Bishop is a sophomore on-air personality and writer for WHIP Radio. He writes for Temple Volleyball and appears on The Main Event, Stadium Talk, and Temple Talks Philly.