Tech support

Ezukanma and Deaton picked on final day of NFL Draft

LUBBOCK, TX – Texas Tech wide receiver Erik Ezukanma and offensive lineman Dawson Deaton were both selected on the final day of the 2022 NFL Draft on Saturday as Ezukanma was picked in the fourth round by the Miami Dolphins, followed by Deaton in the seventh round with the Cleveland Browns.

With the two picks, Texas Tech now has multiple three-year NFL Draft selections, its longest streak since 2003-05 when popular names such as Kliff Kingsbury (2003), Aaron Hunt (2003), BJ Symons ( 2004), Carlos Francis (2004), Mike Smith (2005), Dylan Gandy (2005) and Daniel Loper (2005) have all been called up.

Ezukanma continues Texas Tech’s long tradition of sending wide receivers around the league by joining recent recruits such as Keke Coutee (2018), Dylan Cantrell (2018), Jakeem Grant (2016) and Michael Crabtree (2009). This list doesn’t even include successful free agent signings still in the NFL like Danny Amendola or Cameron Batson.

The wide, however, who started Texas Tech’s NFL wide receiver streak will now be his position coach in Miami as Wes Welker joins the Dolphins organization this offseason. The organization has traditionally been great for Texas Tech, having selected Ring of Honor member Zach Thomas in the fifth round of the 1996 draft.

Ezukanma recorded 138 catches for 2,165 yards and 15 touchdowns in his 35 career games as a Red Raider as he was honored with the First Team All-Big 12 by conference coaches in 2020 and later a recipient of the second team in 2021. The Fort Worth native is just the 15th player in program history to record at least 2,000 career receiving yards.

Deaton, meanwhile, has been a mainstay on the offensive line over the past three seasons for the Red Raiders as he made 35 starts, including 33 at center. Deaton, a native of Frisco, Texas, was a three-time All-Big 12 winner, earning second-team honors each of the past two seasons as well as honorable mentions in 2019.

His work last season put him in an elite category among Texas Tech offensive linemen, as he became just the seventh Red Raider to earn First or Second Team All honors. -Big 12 twice in a career. Deaton was the Red Raiders’ highest-ranked offensive lineman last season after starting in 11 games, including a memorable victory in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.

Texas Tech will have the opportunity to add additional Red Raiders to the NFL ranks throughout the weekend through undrafted free agent deals. These deals will be announced via @TexasTechFB on Twitter as they are confirmed.

NFL PROJECT RESULTS
125 (4th round) – Erik EzukanmaWR (Miami Dolphins)
246 (7th round) – Dawson DeatonOL (Cleveland Browns)

NFL FREE AGENT AGREEMENTS

DaMarcus FieldsDB – New Orleans Saints

Jonathan GaribayPK-Dallas Cowboys

Kaylon Geiger Sr.WR – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

TEXAS TECH NFL DRAFT NOTES

  • Erik Ezukanma becomes the sixth Red Raider to be selected by the Miami Dolphins and the first since wide receiver Jakeem Grant was selected in the sixth round of the 2016 draft. The Dolphins have also used draft picks previously to select other Reds Raiders such as Texas Tech Ring of Honor member Zach Thomas (1996), defensive tackle Artis Jackson (10th round, 1988), safety Tate Randle (8th round, 1982), and tight end André Tillman (2nd round, 1974).
  • Texas Tech currently has eight NFL wide receivers as Ezukanma joins Danny Amendola (Texans), Cameron Batson (Titans), Dylan Cantrell (Commanders), Keke Coutee (Colts), Jakeem Grant (Browns), TJ Vasher (Cowboys) and Antoine Wesley (Cardinals), all of whom were on NFL rosters at the end of the 2021 season.
  • Texas Tech has now had a Red Raider selected in the first four rounds of each of the last three drafts after linebacker Jordyn Brooks was picked late in the first round in 2020 and then defensive back Zech McPhearson was also picked in the fourth round last year.
  • Erik Ezukanma is the seventh Red Raider to be selected in the first four rounds since 2014 alone, joining a list that includes tight end Jace Amaro (2nd round, 2014), Le’Raven Clark (3rd round, 2016), Patrick Mahomes II ( 1st round, 2017), Keke Coutee (4th round, 2018), Jordyn Brooks (1st round, 2019) and Zech McPhearson (4th round, 2021).
  • Dawson Deaton becomes the first Red Raider to be selected by a Cleveland-based franchise since 2000 when the Browns selected defensive back Anthony Malbrough in the fifth round.
  • The Cleveland Browns have now selected seven Red Raiders in franchise history as Deaton joins Malbrough, cornerback King Simmons (12th round, 1986), linebacker Jeff Copeland (8th round, 1980), kicker Jerry Sanders (12th round, 1970), fullback Rick Spinks (21st round, 1955) and Ring of Honor member Elmer Tarbox (3rd round, 1939).
  • With Dawson Deaton selection, Texas Tech has now had offensive linemen selected in back-to-back drafts for the first time since 2005-06 when Dylan Gandy (4th round, 2005) and Daniel Loper (5th round, 2005) were chosen followed a year longer later by EJ Whitley (7th round, 2006). Jack Anderson had already been selected in the seventh round of the 2021 draft by the Buffalo Bills.
  • Texas Tech now has four offensive linemen currently in the NFL as Dawson Deaton joins Anderson (Eagles), 2020 undrafted free agent Terence Steele (Cowboys) and 2016 third-round selection Le’Raven Clark (Eagles). Steele has made 27 starts over the past two seasons for the Cowboys.