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Revisiting the 2007 NFL Draft for the Bearcats

Two players from UC were taken in the draft 10 years ago.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to day two of the NFL Draft. There were a number of trades made, quarterbacks taken and Cleveland Browns mentions in yesterday’s first round, but no Cincinnati Bearcats. That’s just fine. Its not as if we were expecting UC’s first first round pick since Greg Cook in 1969.

Today we get toward the middle rounds, where the Bearcats have had the bulk of their draft luck over the years. Today also marks the 10-year anniversary of the 2007 NFL Draft. That was the year JaMarcus Russell went No. 1 overall and also the same one that brought Calvin Johnson, Adrian Peterson and Patrick Willis into the league. It was also a year that broke a one-year absence from the draft by the Bearcats, as there were two taken in, you guessed it, the middle rounds. Here’s a look at those picks and what they’ve been up to since then.

John Bowie - 11th pick, Fifth Round, Oakland Raiders

Bowie ended up with the Raiders thanks to the trade that sent Randy Moss to the New England Patriots. Bowie was chosen for his strong play in 2006, the only full season he played with the Bearcats. In that year he recorded 38 tackles, including 2.5 for loss, while also snagging two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown. UC was still in the Big East those days and the Raiders weren’t the up and coming squad they are today. Bowie was unable to make much of an impact at the professional level as he played in only five games combined in 2007 and 2009 for the Raiders. He missed the 2008 season on injured reserve and never was able to crack into a permanent role, even after signing with the Browns and later the Bengals as a practice squad member.

Brent Celek - 25th pick, Fourth Round, Philadelphia Eagles

The Cincinnati native is one of the more successful Bearcats to be drafted. A second-team All-Big East honoree, Celek was a predecessor to Travis Kelce as a UC tight end that made it (relatively) big in the NFL. Celek played in 16 games as a rookie and quickly became a permanent fixture at the top of the depth chart, starting in seven games in 2008 and then at least 13 in seven-straight years from there. During his career he has accumulated 4,868 yards and 30 touchdowns on 385 receptions. He slowed down last season at the age of 31, partially due to the emergence of Zach Ertz. He played in all 16 games, but only started in half of them and finished with only 14 receptions, being relegated to more blocking duty than receiving duty during the rookie season of first round pick quarterback Carson Wentz.

We’ll see if players like Eric Wilson, Mike Tyson and Zach Edwards can join Bowie and Celek by becoming mid or late-round picks in the next two days.