FAYETTEVILLE, AR (ArkansasRazorbacks.com) - The University of Arkansas football team had four players selected in the 2012 NFL Draft, including a record-tying three wide receivers, during the three-day event from Thursday through Saturday at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
Arkansas tied a draft record with three wide receivers taken in a single draft and became the sixth school to have all three taken in the first four rounds. Joe Adams was picked 104th overall by the Carolina Panthers, Jarius Wright was the 118th overall selection by the Minnesota Vikings and Greg Childs was taken 134th overall by the Vikings.
Defensive end Jake Bequette was the first Razorback selected as the 90th overall pick by the New England Patriots on Friday evening. He joined the defending AFC champions, who took former UA quarterback Ryan Mallett in the third round of last year's draft. Bequette was the first defensive player selected out of Arkansas since defensive tackle Marcus Harrison was taken in the third round of the 2008 Draft by the Chicago Bears and first defensive end since Jamaal Anderson was the eighth overall selection in 2007 by the Atlanta Falcons. Bequette was the 19th Razorback defensive linemen to be drafted.
"I am so proud of Jake Bequette," Arkansas defensive ends coach Steve Caldwell said. "Jake was a tremendous leader during his time here at Arkansas. He was a two-time team captain and was one of the players that laid the foundation and set the expectations for future Razorbacks. Jake has a motor that doesn't quit and was one of the best in the nation at being a disruptive force on the defensive side of the ball. He is a complete person that brings a good work ethic, on-field production and intelligence to the NFL, and I know he can be a factor at the next level."
Adams was the 12th wide receiver drafted from Arkansas and first since Marcus Monk was a seventh-round pick by the New York Giants in the 2008 draft. Adams' fourth-round selection was the earliest a former Razorback wide receiver had been drafted since Matt Jones was picked 21st overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2005 NFL Draft.
"I am extremely proud of Joe Adams," Arkansas head coach John L. Smith said. "He is a thrilling player to watch and he provided Arkansas fans with many moments of excitement during his career. Joe has an incredible amount of athletic ability and the tools to be successful in the NFL. He and I had a great relationship and I enjoyed the opportunity I had to be his coach and a mentor. Joe was a member of special senior class that laid the foundation for the future of this program. I wish all of the departing players the very best in their lives and thank them for all they gave to the Razorbacks."
Wright's pick marked the second time in school history Arkansas had multiple wide receivers selected in the same draft and first time two have been taken in the first four rounds. In 2000, Anthony Lucas was a fourth-round selection by the Green Bay Packers and Emanuel Smith was chosen in the sixth round by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
"I am proud of Jarius Wright for realizing one of his dreams by being drafted today," Arkansas wide receivers coach Kris Cinkovich said. "Jarius was an exceptional leader for our team and set an example of how to come to work every day. His production on the field was a direct result of all the hard work he put in over his four years at Arkansas, and I couldn't be happier for him. He enjoyed a great senior season that showed his talent to the entire country. With his skills, abilities and work ethic, I am confident he can be successful at the next level."
With Childs' selection, 2012 marked the 14th time a school has had three wide receivers taken in the same draft. It is the third time in SEC history and first time an SEC team has had three wide receivers selected in one draft since Tennessee in 1983. Florida also had three wide receivers taken in 1978. Childs also was the third draft pick from Arkansas by the Vikings in the last two years, joining Wright and offensive tackle DeMarcus Love, a sixth-round selection by Minnesota in 2011.
"I am extremely happy for Greg Childs," Cinkovich said. "He fought through a sometimes frustrating senior season while recovering from an injury, but he was determined to help his team during his last year. He has shown throughout the pre-draft process, beginning with the Cotton Bowl, that he is as dangerous on the field as he was before the injury. Greg is a player with tremendous ability that can be a factor in all aspects of the passing game, and the Vikings made a wise pick selecting him."
Arkansas has had at least one player drafted in 17 straight NFL Drafts, the second-longest streak in school history. The record for the most consecutive drafts with a Razorback selected is 23 from 1965-87. This year's four selections were the most since six were drafted in 2008.