Nine players hosted by the Orange Bowl in its games were selected in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft, including four consecutively early in the round (8-11). The nine first round Orange Bowl veterans is second only to the 10 selected in 1997. The Orange Bowl has now hosted 265 players who were later selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. The 2013 NFL Draft is currently being held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
West Virginia’s all-everything wide receiver, Tavon Austin was the first Orange Bowl veteran drafted. He was selected with the number eight pick by the St. Louis Rams. Austin set two Discover Orange Bowl records with 12 receptions (for 123 yards) and four touchdowns in the 2012 Discover Orange Bowl.
Immediately following Austin, three players who starred in Alabama’s victory in the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship Game were chosen. CB Dee Milliner was selected ninth by the New York Jets, OG Chance Warmack was picked 10th by the Tennessee Titans and OT D.J. Fluker was chosen 11th by the San Diego Chargers.
Three players from Florida State, winner of the 2013 Discover Orange Bowl, were also selected in the first round. QB E.J. Manuel, who passed for 291 yards (26-38) and a touchdown, and ran for 28 yards and a touchdown, was chosen by the Buffalo Bills with the 16th pick. Later in the round, two Seminole defenders went back-to-back, with DE Bjoern Werner going 24th to the Indianapolis Colts and CB Xavier Rhodes 25th to the Minnesota Vikings.
Notre Dame’s TE Tyler Eifert, who caught six passes for 61 yards in the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship Game, was chosen 21st by the Cincinnati Bengals and Clemson WR DeAndre Hopkins, was selected 27th by the Houston Texans. Hopkins caught 10 passes for 107 yards and a touchdown in the 2012 Discover Orange Bowl.
The 2014 Discover Orange Bowl will be played on January 3, 2014 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL. For ticket information for the Discover Orange Bowl, and all Orange Bowl events, please contact 305-341-4701 or log on to www.orangebowl.org.