Hau’oli Kikaha Friday became the fourth Washington Huskies player selected in the NFL draft, going to the New Orleans Saints with the 44th overall pick in the second round. A senior linebacker in 2014, Kikaha made first-team All-Pac-12 after leading the Huskies — and FBS — with 19 sacks. His 36 career sacks is a school record.
Kikaha follows DT Danny Shelton (No. 12 to Cleveland), CB Marcus Peters (No. 18 to Kansas City) and LB/RB Shaq Thompson (No. 25 to Carolina), all selected in the first round, as the latest Huskies to enter the NFL.
This is the first time in more than a decade that Washington has had four (or more) players selected in the NFL draft. In 2004, WR Reggie Williams went ninth overall to Jacksonville, DT Terry (Tank) Johnson in the second round to Chicago, LB Marquis Cooper in the third round to Tampa Bay and QB Cody Pickett in the seventh round to Jacksonville.
This is also the first time since 1992, when DT Steve Emtman was the No. 1 overall pick by Indianapolis, that the Huskies have had four defensive players selected in the same draft.
Kikaha, projected after the NFL Combine as a second-round pick, had 40 tackles for loss over his junior and senior seasons and forced six fumbles.