Sports


Stanford tops Pac-12 with six players picked in NFL Draft

Stanford had a record-tying six former players selected in the 2014 NFL Draft, tying the mark previously set in 1972, 1975, 1985 and 2005.

It marked the fifth straight year that Stanford had at least three players drafted. Stanford's 2014 Draft class finished their Cardinal careers with four straight BCS bowl games and a 32-2 record at Stanford Stadium.

Stanford led all Pac-12 teams with its six draft selections. UCLA (5) and Oregon (4) followed with the conference seeing 34 selections in all.

The draft class joins a group of 29 former Stanford players who are either currently on NFL rosters or finished the 2013 season on an NFL roster.

David Yankey was selected 145th overall by the Minnesota Vikings, the fifth pick of the fifth round.

Yankey became the third Cardinal and second offensive lineman selected in this year's draft, joining Trent Murphy (Washington) and Cameron Fleming (New England).

Ed Reynolds was selected in the fifth round by the Philadelphia Eagles. Reynolds was the 22nd pick of the fifth round and 162nd overall.

Running back Tyler Gaffney was selected in the sixth round by the Carolina Panthers, the 28th pick of the round and 204th overall.

Ben Gardner was selected by the Dallas Cowboys with the 231st overall pick, becoming the sixth Cardinal drafted, tying a program-best.

Shayne Skov was signed by the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent.

Skov tweeted:

"Don't know where the whole Oakland thing came from... But I'm headed to the 49ers, gunna make my mark in this league before it's all over— Gojira ゴジラ Skov (@ShayneSkov) May 11, 2014"

Reynolds played 14 games at free safety as a senior. He finished with 87 tackles (56 solo), 1.0 tackle for loss, one interception and four pass breakups.

The Lott IMPACT Award semifinalist earned recognition on the CBSSports.com and Athlon Sports All-America first team, Sporting News, Athlon Sports and Phil Steele All-Pac-12 first team, Phil Steele All-America second team, and SI.com All-America honorable mention.

He was also named to the All-Pac-12 first team and Pac-12 All-Academic second team. He started the season on the Bronko Nagurski and Jim Thorpe watch lists. ESPN.com called him the Pac-12's 11th-best player in the Pac-12 in preseason top-25 player rankings.

Reynolds registered 12 tackles at Utah and 10 tackles (seven solo) against Michigan State in the 2013 Rose Bowl.

As a junior, Reynolds played in 14 games, posting 47 tackles (28 solo) and 11 pass breakups. He also recorded a team-high six interceptions - the most by a Stanford player since Jim Kaffen's seven in 1973.

He set a school record returning three interceptions for touchdowns and ranked first nationally with 301 interception return yards, falling one yard short of the NCAA single-season record for interception return yards.

Reynolds was tabbed All-Pac-12 first team, SI.com All-America second team, Associated Press, Phil Steele and CBSSports.com All-America third team. He missed his sophomore season in 2011 due to injury, but played in five games and recorded six tackles as a freshman on The Farm.

The first Cardinal defensive lineman selected since 2011, Gardner, a seventh-round choice, leaves Stanford with a degree in science, technology and society.

"Today was such a long day, but I couldn't be happier to be in Dallas with the Cowboys," Gardner said. "I truly believe it's a great fit and I can't wait to get to work. Thanks to everyone for their support, and go Cowboys!"

Gardner played in nine games as a fifth-year senior. He recorded 19 tackles (seven solo), 7.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and one blocked punt.

The Stanford team captain garnered All-Pac-12 first team honors in addition to being named Sporting News All-Pac-12 and Phil Steele All-Pac-12 third team.

He started the season on watch lists for the Bednarik, Bronko Nagurski and Rotary Lombardi Awards, and was ESPN.com's preseason 25th-best player in the Pac-12.

Gardner was recognized with Stanford's Most Outstanding Senior Award.

Yankey played 13 games at offensive guard as part of one of the nation's top offensive lines. Tabbed as the nation's top interior lineman, Yankey was a consensus All-American and the first two-time first team All-American at Stanford since Bob Whitfield (1990-91).

He garnered first team All-America honors from Walter Camp, AFCA, FWAA, Sporting News, Associated Press, USA Today, SI.com, CBSSports.com, ESPN.com, Phil Steele and Athlon Sports.

Yankey was also named All-Pac-12 first team and Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention. Athlon Sports, ESPN.com, Sporting News and Phil Steele also named him to the All-Pac-12 squad.

Gaffney is the second Cardinal running back in the last two seasons to be drafted, following Stepfan Taylor's fifth-round selection in 2013. Even more, Gaffney's former teammates fullback Owen Marecic went to Cleveland in the fourth round of the 2011 draft and Toby Gerhart was a second-round choice by Minnesota in 2010.

"I am stoked," Gaffney said. "This is a great team to be a part of. From everything I hear and see about the Panthers, everybody should want to be a Panther. I'm glad the Panthers believe in me and will allow me to show everybody what I can truly do."

Gaffney returned to Stanford for his senior season and completion of his degree after a 2012 hiatus while playing professional baseball. He was also selected in the 24th round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

"I had the opportunity after being drafted by the Pirates to play for them. That opportunity obviously doesn't come around for everybody, so it was something I didn't think I could pass up at the time," Gaffney said. "Toward the end of the year, I realized football was my love, that it was something I couldn't put behind me."

Gaffney is the latest two-sport star to develop his skills on The Farm, joining names such as John Elway, John Lynch, Toi Cook, Chad Hutchinson and Toby Gerhart.

— Stanford Athletics

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dennis
a resident of Downtown North
on May 12, 2014 at 6:00 pm

The 49ers may have the steal of the year in Skov.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Local picks on 2015 Michelin Bib Gourmand list
By Elena Kadvany | 8 comments | 3,578 views

Politics: Empty appeals to "innovation"
By Douglas Moran | 13 comments | 1,524 views

A Surprise!
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 1,411 views

It's Dog-O-Ween this Saturday!
By Cathy Kirkman | 2 comments | 578 views