No Gophers selected in the first round of 2020 NFL Draft

Minnesota has not had a player selected in the first round since 2006.

Gophers Head Coach P.J. Fleck converses with a referee at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Wednesday, Jan. 1. Minnesota holds a 24-17 lead over Auburn heading into the third quarter of the Outback Bowl. (Kamaan Richards / Minnesota Daily)

Kamaan Richards

Gophers Head Coach P.J. Fleck converses with a referee at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Wednesday, Jan. 1. Minnesota holds a 24-17 lead over Auburn heading into the third quarter of the Outback Bowl. (Kamaan Richards / Minnesota Daily)

Nick Jungheim

Coming off its most successful football season in decades, Minnesota is expected to see multiple players selected in the 2020 NFL Draft. However, the Gophers prospects will have to wait  a little longer to hear their names called.

Thursday night’s first round came and went without any Minnesota players selected. No Gopher has been picked in the first round since the New England Patriots selected Laurence Maroney in 2006. Now, that drought will last at least one season longer.

The Gopher most likely to hear his named called was safety Antoine Winfield Jr., who was a first-round hopeful. Winfield was one of 58 players the NFL selected to set up cameras in their home for the virtual event. Many predict Winfield will get chosen tomorrow in the second round of the draft.

Other Gophers likely to hear their names called are wide receiver Tyler Johnson and linebackers Carter Coughlin and Kamal Martin. Some experts project Johnson to come off the board tomorrow as a third-round pick. Coughlin and Martin are considered day three prospects. Cornerback Chris Williamson has also met with teams and garnered attention as a potential late-round round pick.

Although no Minnesota players were selected on Thursday, the Big Ten had a number of players chosen. Five players from the Big Ten were selected, tied for the Big 12 for the second most of any conference, behind only the SEC which saw 15 players drafted.