BYU’s Brady Christensen drafted in third round by the Carolina Panthers
PROVO, Utah — BYU offensive tackle Brady Christensen was selected by the Carolina Panthers with the sixth pick of the third round and 70th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft on Friday.
The 2020 Consensus All-American is the second BYU player to be selected in this year’s draft along with quarterback Zach Wilson, the No. 2 overall pick on Thursday to the New York Jets. Christensen gives BYU two selections in the opening three rounds of the draft for the first time since 2002. He is the first Cougar to be drafted by the Panthers.
“I am so excited for Brady to see all his hard work pay off with an All-America college career and a well-deserved opportunity to play in the NFL,” said BYU head coach Kalani Sitake. “The Panthers are getting a great football player and an amazing person. I’m looking forward to seeing him excel at the next level.”
With his selection, Christensen becomes the ninth Cougar offensive lineman and the 23rd BYU offensive player to be selected in one of the opening three rounds of the NFL Draft. Overall, the 6-foot-5, 302-pound left tackle is the 40th BYU player to be taken in one of the first three rounds and the 19th former Cougar to be a third-round pick. The last BYU player taken in the third round was linebacker Sione Takitaki, who was picked in 2019 by Cleveland, home to this year’s draft.
Christensen is the 33rd Cougar offensive lineman to be drafted overall. The last BYU offensive lineman drafted was Scott Young, who was a fifth-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2005.
Brady Christensen Career at BYU
A 2020 Consensus All-American at left tackle, Christensen played and started all 38 games during his three years at BYU. He set a BYU record for a single season being named to 12 different All-America teams in 2020, including seven first-team honors.
Christensen, a team captain, was a key member of the 2020 Joe Moore Award semifinalist offensive line unit and achieved a 96.0 grade at left tackle by Pro Football Focus – setting a new PFF record for the highest-graded season by an offensive line player. The 6-foot-5, 302-pound lineman also graded out No. 5 in pass blocking by PFF in 2019 and ranked as the second-best freshman offensive tackle in college by PFF in 2018.
The Bountiful, Utah product helped the BYU offense line rank No. 8 in the nation for the fewest sacks allowed (12 sacks in 12 games) last season while only allowing two pressures on 293 pass-blocking regular-season snaps. Protecting Wilson’s blind side, Christensen was a main contributor in helping the BYU offense rank No. 4 in scoring (43.5), No. 7 in total offense (522.2), and No. 8 passing offense (322.1), while also adding 190.1 yards rushing per game in 2020.
BYU Multiple Draft Picks
Christensen and Wilson give the Cougars multiple draft picks in the first three rounds for the first time since 2002 when tight end Doug Jolley (Raiders) and defensive lineman Ryan Denney (Bills) both went in the second round of a draft that saw five Cougars drafted.
The last time BYU had multiple picks overall was in 2010 when All-America tight end Dennis Pitta was selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the fourth round and running back Harvey Unga, now BYU’s running backs coach, was taken as a seventh-round pick in the NFL supplemental draft. The last year two Cougars were selected in the regular draft was 2009 with All-America receiver Austin Collie was tabbed in the fourth round by the Indianapolis Colts and fullback Fui Vakapuna went in the seventh round to the Cincinnati Bengals.
BYU Third Round Draft Picks
With Christensen’s selection, the Cougars have had 19 players in the history of the program picked in the third round of the annual NFL Draft. Recent BYU third-round picks include linebacker Sione Takitaki (2019, Browns), linebacker Fred Warner (2018, 49ers), and defensive lineman Bronson Kaufusi (2016, Ravens). Christensen is the sixth BYU offensive lineman taken in the third round, joining Evan Pilgram (1995, Bears), Mo Elewonibi (1990, Washington), John Hunter (1989, Vikings), Brad Oates (1976, Cardinals) and Paul Howard (1973, Broncos).
BYU in the NFL Draft
The Cougars have been represented in 45 of the last 50 drafts and in 66 of the 86 conducted overall. Christensen is the 144th former BYU player to be drafted by the NFL since the team’s first draft choice in 1938 (John Stringham, Back, 9th round). An additional 194 Cougars have received NFL opportunities as free agents entering this year’s free agency signings.
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