2024 NFL Draft: These Texas Longhorns were selected in the first round

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The spectacle that is the opening day of the NFL Draft swept through downtown Detroit on Thursday with two Texas Longhorns going in the first round.

Defensive tackle Byron Murphy II and wide receiver Xavier Worthy are now part of 47 Longhorns all-time who have been picked in the first round. There are 13 Longhorns eligible for this year’s draft and many of them are expected to be picked during the 3-day, 7-round event in the Motor City.

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Murphy was the first Longhorn taken off the board at No. 16 overall by the Seattle Seahawks. Murphy parlayed an outstanding performance at the NFL Combine to skyrocket up draft boards and turn into a projected first-round selection as one of the best pass rushers in the draft.

“Seattle got a great one and a guy that can be an anchor on their defensive line for a long time in Byron Murphy,” Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian said. “The biggest thing about Murph is the work ethic. He wasn’t the most highly recruited player coming out of high school, but he worked extremely hard, earned everyone’s respect and developed into a big-time NFL first-round pick.”

Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine, Saturday, March 2, 2024, in <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Indianapolis;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Indianapolis</a>. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Worthy turned heads at the NFL Combine by running the fastest 40-yard dash ever, clocking in at 4.21 seconds to edge the previous mark of 4.22 by Washington’s John Ross. He was selected No. 28 overall by the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs traded up from their original spot at No. 32 with the Buffalo Bills.

Speed is a vital weapon for any NFL player, especially a receiver, but Worthy is also a dangerous special teams player as a kick returner. NFL owners passed new kickoff rules for the upcoming year that eliminate fair catches and mandate returns if the kick is caught between the 20-yard line and the end zone, and that benefits players like Worthy. He was a second-team All-American kick returner and racked up 1,014 receiving yards in 2023.

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“Xavier is a perfect fit in that explosive Chiefs offense,” Sarkisian said. “He obviously has electric, world class speed and clearly is a threat to go the distance any time he touches the ball, but he probably plays with more toughness than people give him credit for.”

Running back Jonathon Brooks, defensive tackle T’Vondre Sweat and tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders have also received draft buzz as potential second-day selections Friday in Rounds 2 and 3. Sweat is facing a DWI charge in Travis County, and draft experts feel that will set him back to a third-day pick Saturday.

Wide receiver Adonai Mitchell was projected by many as a first-round selection, but now presumably will be taken sometime in the second round.

The Dallas Cowboys selected Manor native Tyler Guyton, an offensive lineman from Oklahoma, at No. 29 overall.

Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams was the No. 1 overall selection by the Chicago Bears. Six quarterbacks were taken in the first 12 selections, a record for the modern draft era. The first 14 picks of the draft were offensive players with the Indianapolis Colts selecting the first defensive player being UCLA’s Laiatu Latu at No. 15.

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