Cougars in the NFL | The Official Site of BYU Athletics

Cougars in the NFL

BYU has had 141 players get drafted by the NFL and another 169 get NFL opportunities as free agents. BYU has had 11 first round picks, with the most recent being Ziggy Ansah as the No. 5 overall pick to the Detroit Lions in 2013. Since then, Ansah was named to the Pro Football Focus All-Rookie Team in 2013 and was a Pro Bowl selection in 2015 after leading the NFC in sacks. BYU's most recent draft pick was defensive lineman Bronson Kaufusi in the third round to the Baltimore Ravens in 2016.

Punter Lee Johnson had the longest NFL career of any Cougar, spending 18 seasons with six teams. Johnson is currently back in the BYU athletic department working in development. Andy Reid, the current head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs played offensive line for the Cougars from 1978-1980. Several more of BYU's coaches and staff have spent time in the league. Athletic director Tom Holmoe won four Super Bowls with the 49ers, three as a player and one as a coach. Offensive coordinator Ty Detmer was in the NFL for 14 years while running backs coach Reno Mahe spent five seasons as a return specialist. Head coach Kalani Sitake, offensive line coach Mike Empey, defensive line coach Steve Kaufusi and cornerbacks coach Jernaro Gilford all spent time with NFL teams. 

Steve Young is one of BYU's most recognizable NFL players, having spent 15 years in the league, including 13 with the 49ers. Young won Super Bowl XXIX and was named the MVP after throwing six touchdown passes to beat San Diego 49-26. He was the NFL MVP in 1992 and 1994 and set an NFL-record 112.8 passer rating in 1994. He was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2005.

The following is a list of current NFL players from BYU as of 1/4/17:

Ezekiel Ansah (DL)
Detroit Lions

Robertson Daniel (DB)
Baltimore Ravens

John Denney (LS)
Miami Dolphins

Alani Fua (LB)
Arizona Cardinals

Bronson Kaufusi (DL)
Baltimore Ravens

Paul Lasike (RB)
Chicago Bears

Jordan Leslie (WR)
Cleveland Browns

Dennis Pitta (TE)
Baltimore Ravens

Daniel Sorensen (S)
Kansas City Chiefs

Uani 'Unga (LB)
New York Giants

Kyle Van Noy (LB)
New England Patriots

De'Ondre Wesley (OL)
Baltimore Ravens