Multi-sport athletes dominate first round of 2016 NFL Draft

By Stephen Spiewak | Posted 4/29/2016

Football players who participated in additional sports while in high school dominated the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft on Thursday night.

Twenty-eight of the 31 players selected were multi-sport athletes in their prep days, including No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff, who played both baseball and basketball at Marin Catholic High School in Greenbrae, Calif.

Goff is one of 12 former three-sport athletes. He's joined by the likes of fellow quarterback Carson Wentz (baseball, basketball), receiver Corey Coleman (basketball, track) and lineman Jack Conklin (basketball, track.)



Basketball was the most popular additional sport among the draft picks as 18 (58 percent) played on the hardwood in high school.

Seventeen athletes participated in track and field, making it the second most well-represented sport.

Four draft picks played baseball in high school, including Goff and Wentz, the first two selections. Fellow quarterback Paxton Lynch, the No. 26 pick by the Denver Broncos, and center Ryan Kelly, who was taken 18th by the Indianapolis Colts, also played baseball during their high school freshman years before focusing on football.

UCLA defensive tackle Kenny Clark, taken by the Green Bay Packers with the No. 27 pick, wrestled in high school.

Indiana offensive lineman Jason Spriggs, a talented athlete who is expected to get drafted tonight, played lacrosse during his high school years.

USA Football encourages young athletes to play multiple sports. According to medical experts, taking part in a variety of activities – whether structured or not – leads to greater skill and muscle development.

Additionally, specializing in one sport at too early of an age can lead to overuse injuries and burnout.