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Day 5: First Husky Drafted

Who hears his name first in next spring’s NFL Draft?

Washington v Oregon Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images

Happy game week Husky fans. With five more days until toe meets leather in Husky Stadium, let’s review the top NFL prospects on the team and ask who might be drafted first. I’ve divided the choices in two categories:

Realistic First Round Talents

EDGE Bralen Trice

I have see. NFL draft scouting services rate Bralen Trice anywhere from 17th best prospect - the highest Husky on this list - to the 55th. And there’s good reason many rate him so high - he has the length, technique, and motor to be an impact pass rusher at the NFL level. He’s also produced sacks at the college level - Trice led the country in QB pressures per Pro Football Focus and had a 31.9% pass rush win rate in 2022. Joe Tryon fit a similar profile and was taken in the first round, and Trice might be even better,

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 30 Washington at UCLA Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

WR Rome Odunze

Odunze has the most “wow” factor of the group in terms of his size, strength, and movement skills. I put him up there with Trice as one of two Huskies most likely to go highest in the draft. He’s proven he can produce (75 catches, 1,145 yards, 7 TDs last year) and be the focal point of a pass game. His size at 6-3 is ideal for the NFL and if the reports of him being both stronger and faster are true (every player seemingly is stronger and faster during fall camp, right?), he will certainly more than look like a future high first round pick.

QB Michael Penix

Have to include the QB, though I think the chances are relatively low he’s taken in the first round. Even if he puts together a monster season, the injury history is enough to keep certain teams away. He would also be 24 by the time the NFL draft comes around. He could certainly play his way into first round status, but if he does, it’s likely that Rome Odunze has a huge year too, and I think he gets drafted higher if that’s the case. He does have the arm talent pocket awareness to be an NFL QB, but won’t blow teams away with his size or athleticism.

Not Likely First Round, but Possible

OL Troy Fautanu

He’s entering his fifth year of the program and could decide to turn pro instead of playing as a sixth year senior in 2024. He’s incredibly athletic and could work his way into first-round consideration. However, he is likely viewed as an interior player at the next level which is not as highly valued as his current position of LT. Unless he develops into a guard prospect the NFL views as elite, he’s probably not the first Husky taken.

Colorado v Washington Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

EDGE Zion Tupuloa-Fetui

However unlikely, if ZTF repeats his 2020 production across an entire season, he would play his way into the first round. This will be his year to prove he can produce across an entire season and be a complete player, not just a pass rush terror off the edge. He has an intriguing athletic profile with his power rushing, but to be the first Husky taken in the draft, he would need to show a more complete game across an entire season. Not impossible, but a tall task.

WR Jalen McMillan

McMillan has produced at nearly the same level as Odunze, but isn’t viewed currently as the same level of NFL prospect. He’s a bit more refined but not the same imposing athlete. That said, he’s a smooth runner who has a great feel for routes and space on the field. He’s got terrific hands and can make players miss after securing the ball. If he improves his strength against more physical defenders, he could work his way into first round consideration.

OL Roger Rosengarten

Rosengarten is poised to have a huge year after putting together a freshman All-American season in 2022. Unlike Fautanu, he’s a tackle prospect through and through which is always going to mean you have a better chance at getting drafted earlier. It’s no sure thing he would even turn pro after this season, but he if did, he plays a premium position in the NFL.


It’s between Odunze and Trice, and my choice is Odunze. He plays a position of value in today’s NFL, has the athletic traits, the production, and I think will impress teams in the interview and combine process. Trice might very well be a first rounder when it’s all said and done, but I think athletically is just not going to blow teams away in the same way Odunze will.


Which Husky is going to be drafted first in next April’s NFL Draft?

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    Bralen Trice
    (96 votes)
  • 54%
    Rome Odunze
    (185 votes)
  • 11%
    Michael Penix Jr.
    (40 votes)
  • 0%
    Zion Tupuloa-Fetui
    (1 vote)
  • 1%
    Jalen McMillan
    (4 votes)
  • 1%
    Troy Fautanu
    (4 votes)
  • 3%
    Roger Rosengarten
    (11 votes)
341 votes total Vote Now