Six defensive ends go in first round of NFL draft, a reminder of Dorance Armstrong's NFL potential

Kansas defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. signs autographs following the 2017 Spring Game on Saturday, April 15 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. signs autographs following the 2017 Spring Game on Saturday, April 15 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

All the intrigue centered on quarterbacks in Thursday’s compelling first round of the NFL draft, with the Chiefs trading up to select project Patrick Mahomes II, two picks before the Texans moved up to take born winner Deshaun Watson.

That carried the day, but on the undercard was an undeniable theme: NFL teams greatly value defensive ends blessed with the sort of speed that enables them to get into the backfield to blow up plays.

Six defensive ends were selected in the first round:

1 - Myles Garrett (Texas A&M), 6-4, 272

3 - Solomon Thomas (Stanford) 6-3, 273

14 - Derek Barnett (Tennessee) 6-3, 259

17 - Jonathan Allen (Alabama) 6-3, 286

26 - Takkarist McKinley (UCLA) 6-2, 250

28 - Charlton Taco (Michigan) 6-6, 277

Kansas State’s Jordan Willis, 6-4, 255, defensive player of the year in the Big 12, did not go in the first round.

It’s possible that Dorance Armstrong, listed at 6-4, 246, will generate enough of a buzz during his junior season that he will forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft.

Armstrong handles that question the way he does all others, with an answer that shows his focus is where it should be and one that reveals how excited he is for the upcoming season.

“I’m not really thinking about that right now,” Armstrong said. “I want to actually experience what winning in college feels like. That’s what I’m looking at right now.”

He honestly believes Kansas is ready to go bowling.

“I really do,” Armstrong said.

He has felt that way since, “before the Texas game,” he said.

“We didn’t put the pieces all together that we needed to,” Armstrong said. “Now that that season’s over we’re all on the same page in knowing what we didn’t do last season and what we need to do this season in order to win games, so I’m pretty confident on that.”

Comments

Suzi Marshall

Last night Houston native Armstrong and Coach Beaty were in Houston to visit with a crowd of about 80 KU Alums. The Q&A commenced about the same time as the NFL draft. Armstrong was immediately asked who 'he preferred to play for - Texans or Chiefs.' We are all on the same page when it comes to Jayhawks success hopes for the season and their professional careers. However, that unity somewhat dissipates over where KU Alums would like to see him play professionally.

6 months, 3 weeks ago

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