Five Horned Frogs find new homes in 2020 NFL Draft, four others signed

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After seeing two first round draft picks for the first time since 1939 on Thursday, TCU was far from done in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Five Horned Frogs found new homes over the weekend, the most since 2016. The total was also the highest for any school in the Big 12 or in Texas.

Receiver Jalen Reagor (21st pick) and cornerback Jeff Gladney (31st pick) both heard their names called in the first round on Thursday night.

Defensive tackle Ross Blacklock was the first Frog off the board in the second round. Selected by the Houston Texans with the 40th overall pick, Blacklock will be playing professional football just 11 miles from where he grew up in Missouri City.

Defensive tackle Ross Blacklock explodes around the edge against Baylor in 2019. Photo courtesy of GoFrogs.com.

Because many saw the 6’3”, 290-pounder as a first-round talent, it’s no surprise that Houston scooped him up just moments into the second round. After idolizing Texans defensive end J.J. Watt while playing at Elkins High School, Blacklock will get to play alongside him.

“I try to model my game after his [Watt’s],” Blacklock said to reporters after being drafted. “It’s going to be surreal just being able to play next to a legend like that.”

The explosive Blacklock (4.9 40-yard dash) will likely see time right away in Houston, filling a much-needed hole for the Texans after the club saw defensive tackle D.J. Reader depart for Cincinnati via free agency.

Next off the board for TCU was offensive tackle Lucas Niang, who went in the third round to the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs with the 96th overall pick.

In 28 starts at TCU, Niang never gave up a sack and was only called for holding twice, displaying his high level of football IQ and excellent blocking technique. Though he has traditionally played at tackle, Niang could see time at guard in his rookie season, as Kansas City is returning starting tackles Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher.

Tackle Lucas Niang protects TCU quarterback Grayson Muehlstein in 2018 against Baylor. Photo courtesy of GoFrogs.com.

Before he missed the second half of his senior season because of hip surgery, Niang was projected to go as early as the first round. Nevertheless, the Chiefs are confident his athleticism and strong technique will help him return to form and protect Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes this season.

The biggest surprise of the draft for TCU came in the seventh round, as safety Vernon Scott was taken with the 236th pick by the Green Bay Packers.

Despite a strong senior season, Scott was not invited to the 2020 NFL Combine. It was expected that if the safety would get called by an NFL team, it would come after the draft during the free agency period.

Safety Vernon Scott celebrates for TCU against Purdue in September 2019. Photo courtesy of GoFrogs.com.

During his final year in purple and white, Scott finished fourth on the team with 44 tackles. The Mansfield, Texas, native added seven pass breakups as well as a 98-yard pick six that kept TCU in the game late against Oklahoma in 2019.

Scott will likely compete for time on special teams during his rookie season in Green Bay.

In the hours following the draft, running back Sewo Olonilua (Dallas Cowboys), left guard Cordel Iwuagwu (Houston Texans), offensive tackle Anthony McKinney (Tennessee Titans), and TreVontae Hights (Carolina Panthers) were all signed as undrafted free agents.

Running back Darius Anderson and safety Innis Gaines are among other former Frogs expected to be signed.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it is expected that NFL teams will not be able to begin any sort of practice until at least late July.