2024 NFL mock draft has the most Illinois football players selected since 1986

The 2024 NFL Draft is this week, and a new mock draft has numerous Illinois football players getting selected
NFL Combine - Portraits
NFL Combine - Portraits / Todd Rosenberg/GettyImages

The 2024 NFL Draft starts this Thursday, and it could be a great day for the Illinois football program.

While the Illini are dealing with some spring departures via the transfer portal, multiple former players are looking to get their names called in the upcoming NFL draft.

The NFL Draft has become a well-participated event for Illini players. Since Bret Bielema took over the program, at least three Illinois football players have been selected in the NFL Draft.

In 2022, Illinois had Kerby Joseph, Vederian Lowe, and Doug Kramer get picked. The 2023 draft had Devon Witherspoon selected at pick No. 5 overall. Jartavius Martin, Sydney Brown, and Chase Brown followed in rounds two, three, and five, respectively.

With the 2024 NFL Draft on the horizon, it looks like Illinois might top the four players we had selected in the draft last year.

Illinois football is projected to have the most players selected since the NFL Draft went to 7 rounds

The NFL Draft didn’t use to be a highlight for the Illini. In the years before Bielema took the reins, the Illinois football team struggled to get one player in the draft, let alone multiple.

In 2024, things could explode for the Orange and Blue. The four players selected last year were great, but in the latest Pro Football Focus full seven-round mock draft, they have seven Illinois football players getting picked by NFL teams.

Illinois is projected to get the 2024 NFL Draft kicked off with Jer’Zhan Newton going in the first round. They have the Houston Texas trading up and taking Newton with pick No. 21. Newton would join a building Texans front line that includes last year’s No. 3 pick, Will Anderson Jr.

The next pick for Illinois is in round five, pick No. 149. They have the Cincinnati Bengals selecting tackle Isaiah Adams. In round six, the Los Angeles Chargers are projected to take tight end Tip Reiman with pick No. 181. Just seven selections later, at pick No. 188, the Texans jump up and snag wide receiver Isaiah Williams.

The 2024 NFL Draft then finishes off with wide receiver Casey Washington sneaking into the sixth round at pick No. 212 to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The New Orleans Saints take a flyer on tackle Julian Pearl with pick No. 239 in the seventh round. Keith Randolph Jr. rounds out the potential Illinois picks with the Los Angeles Rams picking the defensive end at No. 254 in the seventh round.

If these seven Illinois football players get picked in the 2024 NFL Draft, they would account for the most selected players since the draft went to seven rounds in 1994. The last time Illinois had more players picked in an NFL Draft was in 1986 when nine Illini players were selected. There were 12 rounds, though.

The 2024 NFL Draft has the potential to be special for the Illinois football team. There is a shot numerous Illini players get their names called this week.

Projected Illinois basketball lineup after Luke Goode entered the transfer portal. Projected Illinois basketball lineup after Luke Goode entered the transfer portal. dark. Next