Kansas State Wildcats

K-State Football: A Look Back at Every First-Round Pick in Wildcat History

K-State defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah became the first Wildcat selected in the first round of the NFL draft since quarterback Josh Freeman in 2009. This pick appears to be a perfect fit for everyone involved, as the Chiefs needed a defensive end to replace Frank Clark, and Anudike-Uzomah gets to play for his hometown team.

I have always been impressed with Anudike-Uzomah’s motor and believe he has the size and strength that translates well to the NFL. How successful of a career might he have? It is hard, if not impossible, to predict at this point. Looking back at the other Wildcats selected in the first round of the draft, there is a mixed bag of success.

Veryl Switzer

Switzer was selected as the 4th pick overall by the Green Bay Packers in 1954. Considered by some the best athlete in K-State football history, Switzer played two years in the NFL for the Packers before serving two years in the Air Force. His NFL career never got off the ground again after his military service, and he played three years in the CFL before retiring.

Clarence Scott

Scott was the 14th pick overall by the Cleveland Browns in 1971. You could argue he had the most success of any Wildcat in the NFL. He made the Pro Bowl in 1973 and is a member of the Cleveland Browns Legends after his 13-year career.

 

Chris Canty

Cany was the 29th pick overall by the New England Patriots in 1997. He played four years in the NFL for the Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, and New Orleans Saints.

Terence Newman

Newman was the fifth pick overall by the Dallas Cowboys in 2003. He played 15 years in the NFL for the Cowboys, Cincinnati Bengals, and Minnesota Vikings, making the Pro Bowl in 2007 and 2009. Newman had a great NFL career, one of the longest of any Wildcat. As a defensive back, that is even more impressive.

 

Josh Freeman

Freeman was the 17th pick overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2009. He played seven years in the NFL for the Buccaneers, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, and Indianapolis Colts,

Felix Anudike-Uzomah

Anudike-Uzomah was the 31st pick overall by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2023.

How long might Felix Anudike-Uzomah play in the NFL? Barring injury, most first-round picks have decent longevity but varying levels of success. As a defensive end, he is probably not going to play 13 or 14 years like Scott and Newman did, but he might. Former Chief defensive end Neal Smith had a 13-year NFL career, so we have seen it done. My first impression of this pick is that this match is almost too good to be true. Anudike-Uzomah should be an instant contributor for the Chiefs and find a lot of success. Is he a future Pro Bowler? I would not doubt that he will be. I look forward to following his NFL career. Congratulations to “King Felix.”

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