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Arkansas’ Ridgeway, Brown selected in final rounds of NFL Draft

Published: Apr. 30, 2022 at 9:43 PM CDT
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Arkansas defensive lineman John Ridgeway was picked in the fifth round by the Dallas Cowboys with the 178th overall pick and Montaric Brown heard his name called to start the seventh round when the Jacksonville Jaguars took him with the 222nd overall selection on the third and final day of the NFL Draft on Saturday.

Ridgeway made a huge impact in his lone season in Fayetteville, starting 11 of the 12 games he played in for the Razorbacks in 2021. The big defensive tackle made 39 tackles, including two sacks as part of his four tackles for loss. After missing the first game of the season due to an appendectomy, Ridgeway made his presence known quickly with six tackles, including one for a loss, in the win over Texas. Prior to his time on The Hill, he starred for Illinois State earning All-Missouri Valley Conference honors in 2019 and was named to the league’s All-Newcomer Team and a FCS Freshman All-American by Phil Steele in 2018. He led the Cardinals with 22 tackles during the team’s Covid-19 altered season in the spring of 2021.

The Bloomington, Ind. native is the latest Arkansas defensive lineman to hear his name called during the Draft and gives the Hogs at least one drafted d-lineman in five of the last six years, including four straight. He is the third former Razorback picked by the Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones, a former Razorback himself, and the first since Felix Jones was tabbed by Dallas in the first round in 2008. Other notable Hogs recently picked in the fifth round include Dre Greenlaw in 2019, Alex Collins in 2016, D.J. Williams in 2011 and Arkansas’ all-time tackles leader Tony Bua in 2004.

Brown enjoyed his best season as a Razorback in 2021, earning First-Team All-SEC honors after leading the league in interceptions with five and making 54 tackles in 13 games. His five picks were the most by a Hog in a decade when Tramain Thomas intercepted five passes in 2011. Over his four-year career, Brown made 132 tackles and recorded seven interceptions over 42 games, 34 starts.

The Ashdown, Ark. native is the first Hog defensive back to be drafted since Kam Curl was picked in the seventh round (216th pick) in 2020. Brown is the first Arkansas player taken by Jacksonville since Brandon Allen was a sixth-round pick by the Jaguars in 2016.

Ridgeway and Brown join first round pick Treylon Burks (Tennessee) to give the Razorbacks three selections over the three days of the Draft, the most since three Hogs heard their name called in 2019 (Hjalte Froholdt, Dre Greenlaw and Armon Watts).

Arkansas Razorbacks in 2022 NFL Draft

  1. WR Treylon Burks (Tennessee, 1st Round)
  2. DT John Ridgeway (Dallas, 5th Round)
  3. WR Mike Woods (Cleveland, 6th Round, transferred to Oklahoma in 2021)
  4. CB Montaric Brown (Jacksonville, 7th Round)
  5. LB Grant Morgan (Jacksonville, UDFA)
  6. DL Myron Cunningham (Houston, UDFA)
  7. OL Ty Clary (Miami, UDFA)

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