Arizona Wildcats football: Ranking UA skill position players in the NFL

2013-04-26T13:40:00Z 2013-04-26T14:59:10Z Arizona Wildcats football: Ranking UA skill position players in the NFLDaniel Berk Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
April 26, 2013 1:40 pm  • 

When Matt Scott gets drafted this weekend, he'll be the 12th offensive skill position player from Arizona to be picked since 2000. Yes, we're counting tight ends.

He'll be the third in two years, joining QB Nick Foles and WR Juron Criner after the program produced just three from 2008 to 2011.

Here, we're going to rank the top five picks since 2000. Foles, who had a promising start to his career last season, will be left off the list for now as he continues to progress through his career. 

Without further ado, here's the top five.

1. Rob Gronkowski, TE

Gronk was the 42nd pick of the 2010 draft and has developed into one of the league's top tight ends. He's already started 38 games in his career and has 187 catches for 2,663 yards and 38 TDs. Though he's battled various injuries, he's already become a superstar in the league and will continue to build on his already impressive resume. The tight end played two seasons at Arizona and had 1,197 yards and 16 TDs.

2. Dennis Northcutt, WR

The 32nd pick of the 2000 draft by the Browns, Northcutt played in the NFL for 10 seasons. All total, Northcutt had 4,941 receiving yards and 18 career TDs. He had 399 career catches. Northcutt has 61 career starts to his credit and played in 144 games total. 

3. Bobby Wade, WR

The Bears selected Wade in 2003 in the fifth round with the 139th pick. Wade played seven seasons and made 50 starts. He finished his career with 2,958 receiving yards and 244 catches. Wade played for the Bears, Vikings, Titans and Chiefs in his career. His final season was 2009.

4. Mike Thomas, WR

Thomas was drafted in 2009 in the fourth round. He was the 109th pick overall. Still active, Thomas is preparing to enter his fifth NFL season. So far, he as 1,796 yards and seven TDs to his credit. He's started 29 games in his career and was traded from Jacksonville to Detroit during the 2012 season and remains with the Lions.

5. Brandon Manumaleuna, TE

The tight end isn't exactly who you picture when you think skill position players, but he had a long, successful career. The 129th pick of the 2001 draft by the St. Louis Rams, Manumaleuna made 103 career starts. He had 1,008 career receiving yards and 13 TDs.

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About this blog

Daniel Berk began covering UA football in 2013 after spending two-plus years as the Star's high school sports coordinator. Previously, he served as the sports editor and NAU beat writer for the Arizona Daily Sun in Flagstaff for three years.

A University of Kansas graduate and St. Louis native, Berk is still getting used to 350 days of sunshine, the relentless "dry heat" of the summer and the fact that Tucson doesn't have a real hockey rink.

Contact Daniel at dberk@azstarnet.com or by calling 573-4330. Follow him on Twitter @DSBerk.

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