WPIAL football has NFL draft streak that’s more than 2 decades long

Thursday, April 23, 2020 | 8:49 PM

The WPIAL has had at least one former player picked each year in the NFL draft since 1994, a remarkable streak that could be extended again this week.

New Castle’s Geno Stone (Iowa), Cornell’s Dane Jackson (Pitt), Imani Christian’s Kenny Robinson (West Virginia) and McKeesport’s Khaleke Hudson (Michigan) are the most likely WPIAL alumni to hear their names called at some point in the seven-round draft that started Thursday night.

A recent NFL.com mock draft predicted Stone, Jackson and Robinson all would be chosen in the fourth round. An earlier CBS Sports mock included Hudson as a late-round selection. Round 1 is Thursday, Rounds 2-3 are Friday and Round 4-7 are Saturday.

The last time the WPIAL had no player drafted was 1993.

The highest draft pick from the WPIAL in the past 26 years was North Hills’ LaVar Arrington, who went second overall in 2000 to the Washington Redskins. In all, the WPIAL has had 16 former players selected in the first or second rounds during that span.

Aliquippa alone had three players become first-round picks: Ty Law (No. 23 in 1995), Darrelle Revis (No. 14 in 2007) and Jon Baldwin (No. 26 in 2011). Penn Hills’ Aaron Donald (No. 13 in 2014) and New Castle’s Malik Hooker (No. 15 in 2017) also were first-round talents.

There were 10 second-round picks including three from Woodland Hills: Miles Sanders (2019), Rob Gronkowski (2010) and Shawntae Spencer (2004).

Also picked in the second round were Clairton’s Tyler Boyd (2016), Central Catholic’s Stefen Wisniewski (2011), Hopewell’s Paul Posluszny (2007), Upper St. Clair’s Sean Lee (2010), Aliquippa’s Charles Fisher (1999), Steel Valley’s Charlie Batch (1998) and McKeesport’s Mike Logan (1997).

Here’s a look at the first WPIAL player off the board in each of the past 26 NFL drafts:


Miles Sanders, Woodland Hills

Round 2, Pick: 53, Philadelphia Eagles


Troy Apke, Mt. Lebanon

Round 4, Pick 109, Washington Redskins


Malik Hooker, New Castle

Round 1, Pick 15, Indianapolis Colts


Tyler Boyd, Clairton

Round 2, Pick 55, Cincinnati Bengals


Jesse James, South Allegheny

Round 5, Pick 160, Pittsburgh Steelers


Aaron Donald, Penn Hills

Round 1, Pick 13, St. Louis Rams


Eric Kush, Chartiers Valley

Round 6, Pick 170, Kansas City Chiefs


Gino Gradkowski, Seton LaSalle

Round 4, Pick 98, Baltimore Ravens


Jonathan Baldwin, Aliquippa

Round 1, Pick 26, Kansas City Chiefs


Rob Gronkowski, Woodland Hills

Round 2, Pick 42, New England Patriots


Scott McKillop, Kiski Area

Round 5, Pick 146, San Francisco 49ers


Justin King, Gateway

Round 4, Pick 101, St. Louis Rams


Darrelle Revis, Aliquippa

Round 1, Pick 14, New York Jets


Bruce Gradkowski, Seton LaSalle

Round 6, Pick 194, Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Justin Geisinger, Mt. Lebanon

Round 6, Pick 197, Tennessee Titans


Shawntae Spencer, Woodland Hills

Round 2, Pick 58, San Francisco 49ers


Steve Sciullo, Shaler

Round 4, Pick 122, Indianapolis Colts


Jake Schifino, Penn Hills

Round 5, Pick 151, Tennessee Titans


Will Peterson, Laurel Highlands

Round 3, Pick 78, New York Giants


LaVar Arrington, North Hills

Round 1, Pick 2, Washington Redskins


Charles Fisher, Aliquippa

Round 2, Pick 33, Cincinnati Bengals


Charlie Batch, Steel Valley

Round 2, Pick 60, Detroit Lions


Mike Logan, McKeesport

Round 2, Pick 50, Jacksonville Jaguars


Tom Tumulty, Penn Hills

Round 6, Pick 178, Cincinnati Bengals


Ty Law, Aliquippa

Round 1, Pick 23, New England Patriots


Tony Peterson, Ringgold

Round 5, Pick 153, San Francisco 49ers

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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