Center Travis Swanson was the first Razorback taken in the 2014 NFL Draft when he was selected in the third round, 76th overall, by the Detroit Lions. Swanson's pick marks the earliest a center from Arkansas has been taken.
“He’s got a lot of starts against really good competition,” Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said. “That usually bodes well for guys early, gives those guys confidence when they get here, so that’s definitely a factor.”
Swanson is the eighth center drafted from Arkansas and first since 2009, when Jonathan Luigs, the previous earliest center drafted, was taken in the fourth round. Swanson started all 50 games of his Razorback career, the first player in school history to start 50 consecutive games and just the second to start 50 games in a career. He was a first-team All-American and Rimington Trophy finalist in 2013 and a two-time All-SEC selection. He blocked for three seasons with a 3,000-yard passer and two seasons with a 1,000-yard rusher, including the first season in school history with a 3,000-yard passer and a 1,000-yard rusher in 2010. He is the 11th Razorback to be elected a captain in back-to-back years, serving in 2012 and 2013.
"Travis is a fine young man," Lions head coach Jim Caldwell said. "He has some size to him. In this particular case, we got a big guy who is physical and can play the game. He's smart, which is what you like, and he has grit. Anybody that plays 50 consecutive games, it tells you that he plays through injuries and that's a great sign. I think he's going to be an outstanding acquisition for us. I think he's the kind of young man that is going to come and fit right in. He's got great character, and I think he's going to play for a long time."
Arkansas Centers Drafted
|Travis Swanson||3rd||76th||Detroit Lions||2014|
|Jonathan Luigs||4th||106th||Cincinnati Bengals||2009|
|Tom Ginn||5th||120th||Detroit Lions||1980|
|Richard LaFargue||8th||216th||Philadelphia Eagles||1976|
|Rodney Brand||14th||350th||New York Giants||1970|
|Floyd Thomas||20th||181st||Green Bay Packers||1948|
|Earl Wheeler||15th||128th||Washington Redskins||1947|
|Lloyd Woodell||7th||160th||New York Giants||1939|
Swanson's selection marks the 19th straight year a Razorback has been drafted. The current run is the second-longest streak in school history, trailing just the school record of 23 straight drafts from 1965-87.
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