In the 2017 NFL Draft, multi-sport athletes once again dominate first round

By Stephen Spiewak | Posted 4/28/2017

Former Stone Bridge High School (Ashburn, Va.) three-sport standout Jonathan Allen (courtesy photo)

In what is becoming an annual tradition, athletes who played multiple sports in high school dominated the 2017 NFL Draft’s first round.

30 of the 32 opening round selections played at least one sport besides football in high school, including Myles Garrett, the No. 1 overall pick by the Cleveland Browns, who participated in basketball and track and field during his time at Martin High School (Arlington, Texas).

94 percent of athletes selected in the first round did not participate in only football during high school.

Many, like Garrett, were three-sport athletes. In total, 16 first round picks played three or more sports in high school.

Track and field (23) and basketball (19) were the most popular secondary sports. Three athletes—Pat Mahomes, Derek Barnett and O.J. Howard—were high school baseball players. During his time at Brentwood Academy (Nashville, Tenn.), Barnett actually participated in four sports: football, basketball, baseball and track and field.

Former Westlake (Saratoga Springs, Utah) standout and Utah offensive lineman Garrett Bolles, the No. 20 pick overall to the Denver Broncos, played lacrosse in high school. Technically, it was not a high school team, since the Utah High School Activities Association does not officially sanction lacrosse right now. However, it was a different sport requiring a new set of skills, learning and dedication.

Only two athletes did not play an additional sport in high school: Haason Reddick and Ryan Ramczyk. Reddick, who attended Haddon Heights (N.J.), endured an injury-plagued high school tenure before walking on at Temple.

According to his Wisconsin Football bio, Ramczyk pursues hunting and fishing when not playing football.

RELATED: Athletic directors and coaches need to work together to allow athletes to play multiple sports