Entering the 2020 NFL Draft, several Nebraska football players had hopes they were going to be taken sometime during the three-day event. It wasn’t until late in the sixth round that at least one of those players’ hopes were answered. Khalil Davis was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, snapping a streak dating back to the 6th round of the 2018 draft that saw no Cornhuskers taken.
Other players like Lamar Jackson and Darrion and Damion Daniels still hold out hope that the rest of the sixth or the seventh round could lead to them getting drafted as well. All three appeared at the NFL combine and were among participants in what was the last college “Pro Day” before the coronavirus outbreak forced the NFL and NCAA to shut down in-person scouting events and campus visits.
— Robin Washut (@RobinWashut) April 25, 2020
Davis raised eyebrows at his combine workout by running a very fast 40-yard dash for a man his size and at his position. Some NFL analysts believed his size, speed, and raw talent was enough to make him a middle-round selection.
Some high expectations surrounded Jackson after a very good senior season that many saw as a turnaround from a career at Nebraska that was considered disappointing. While he didn’t have as good a combine, notably running just a 4.5 40-yard dash, some NFL insiders believed it was possible he could get drafted among the top cornerbacks.
If the 2020 NFL Draft came and went without a Husker getting picked, it would have meant the last Nebraska player drafted was a transfer who only played one season in Lincoln. Tanner Lee was the last drafted Husker before Davis, having been selected in the sixth round of the 2018 draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The last time a Cornhusker was taken in the first two days of the draft was 2016 when defensive linemen Vincent Valentine and Maliek Collins were taken in the third round by the New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys respectively. The last time a Nebraska player was taken in the first round was all the way back in 2011 when Prince Amukamara was selected by the Chicago Bears.
At the time, it looked like the Huskers were beginning a bit of a streak as it was the second straight year the team saw a player taken in the first round, as defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was selected as the second overall pick by the Detroit Lions in 2010.
When no Nebraska player was taken in 2019, Huskers.com shows the school snapped a streak dating back to 1963 of having at least one player taken in every draft.