On May 8th, 2014, the St. Louis Rams selected Greg Robinson #2 overall and the Kansas City Chiefs picked Dee Ford at #23. That was the last time an Auburn player heard his name called on the first day of the draft until last night. Derrick Brown and Noah Igbinoghene broke Auburn’s 5 year 1st round drought in historic fashion. It was the first time ever Auburn had two defensive players go in the 1st round.
Unsurprisingly, Derrick Brown was the first Auburn Tiger off the board. The former 5* prospect has lived up to every bit of hype during his time on the Plains and was properly rewarded by being the first interior defensive lineman selected in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Carolina Panthers, in an attempt to get back into Auburn fans’ good graces, took Brown at #7 overall.
If you recall, Carolina is under new leadership with former Baylor head coach Matt Rhule now running the show in Charlotte. He brought on former LSU offensive coordinator to run the offense. Both were impressed with Brown not only on the field but off the field as well.
So Matt Rhule immediately texted his GM after seeing Derrick Brown play — and play hard — in the Outback Bowl.— Justin Ferguson (@JFergusonAU) April 24, 2020
Also: “Joe Brady told Rhule that Brown was the toughest defensive player he had to game-plan for in the SEC last year during LSU’s national championship season.” https://t.co/XUAKyDhJi0
Rhule says Joe Brady told him Brown was the No.1 player they had to specifically scheme for in the SEC last season.— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) April 24, 2020
This was likely the point many reasonable Auburn fans went to bed. While there were hopes another Tiger could go late in the 1st round, most mocks projected the next Tiger to come off the board today. But for those who slugged through all those emotionally gut wrenching backstories from picks 7 to 30 (like seriously Trey Wingo) were rewarded in a big way when the Miami Dolphins decided to take Noah Igbinoghene.
Noah Igbinoghene is emotional hearing his name called in the first round of the NFL Draft. His family is hype. pic.twitter.com/LRbdf6FefP— Josh Vitale (@JoshVitale) April 24, 2020
It’s wild to see Iggy go from a backup wide receiver as a true freshman, to a first round cornerback just two years later. The Dolphins are getting one of the highest upside prospects in this class when you consider both his athletic talent and his limited experience at the position. In this modern day world of insanely efficient passing offenses, teams are adjusting by building deep defensive backfields and Miami should have one of the better ones in 2020.
Igbinoghene’s selection also makes it five straight seasons an Auburn defensive back has been drafted and three straight seasons a cornerback has gone in the 2nd round or better. I imagine those are numbers the staffs will be relaying to top targets on the recruiting trail going forward.
New Dolphins cornerback Noah Igbinoghene is still learning the position and needs to improve his play at the catch point, but his match-and-mirror ability and deep speed are rare — he has special movement skills teams will covet early.pic.twitter.com/vOTV9mktKb— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) April 24, 2020
The NFL Draft continues this evening with the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Chances are good a few more Auburn Tigers will come off the board. Marlon Davidson didn’t sneak into the 1st round but I would be surprised if he doesn’t hear his name called pretty quickly tonight. Prince Tega Wanogho and possibly even Jack Driscoll are two other names to keep an eye on these next 2 rounds. I’ve seen mocks have either or both go in the 3rd.
Congrats to Derrick and Noah! War Eagle!