Former Longhorns start NFL journey

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Defensive backs highlight draft for Texas’ 2011 class with three corners chosen

Former Texas cornerback Aaron Williams looks to take a pick back against Rice earlier in the 2010 season. Williams was selected 34th overall in the NFL draft by the Buffalo Bills.

Photo Credit: Derek Stout | Daily Texan Staff

In some ways, it was an atypical year for Texas players in the NFL draft, but there was a familiar theme to the seven-round affair — UT is still the place to look for talented defensive backs.


Texas, which is colloquially nicknamed DBU, or “Defensive Back University,” by some, lived up to its moniker with three corners going in the draft. They helped the team rank No. 6 overall in pass defense last season.


In all, four young men made the official switch from Longhorn to professional over the weekend.


Former Texas cornerback Aaron Williams went first, to Buffalo with the second pick of the second round and 34th overall. Fellow corners Curtis Brown and Chykie Brown (no relation) also had their names called by Pittsburgh and Baltimore, respectively.


The program hasn’t had that many defensive backs in the annual summer draft since 2007. Michael Griffin, a safety, went to Tennessee, where he still plays, while corners Aaron Ross and Tarell Brown were also selected. Griffin and Ross both went in the first round.


In all, 12 defensive backs have been drafted from Texas to the NFL since 2000.


But it was also the first time since 2008 that Texas did not have a first-round pick. Limas Sweed went in the second round that year to Pittsburgh. Jamaal Charles, now the starting running back for Kansas City and the league’s second-leading rusher last season, was also in that draft class and went in the third round to the Chiefs.


Sam Acho was the other ex-Longhorn picked over the weekend, going to Arizona in the fourth round.


Six other former Texas players had hoped to be drafted but were not picked up as this went to print: receivers James Kirkendoll and John Chiles, offensive linemen Kyle Hix and Michael Huey, tight end Greg Smith and defensive end Eddie Jones. They are likely candidates for free agency.