On a wall in the tunnel connecting the home locker room to the tunnel, there is a collection of portraits of former Princeton players with NFL experience. During this weekend’s NFL draft, we will find out whether any recent graduates will earn a precious spot on that wall. The likeliest candidate is quarterback Chad Kanoff, who broke all-time University records in career passing yards, single season passing yards, and completion percentage in the 2017 season and has drawn the attention of scouts from several NFL teams. In any case, in anticipation of the most exciting days of the long football offseason, we have compiled a list of Princeton players who have heard their names called in the draft over the past few years.
Seth DeValve ’16 (2016, Round 4, Overall 138)
Despite missing a significant number of games as a junior and senior at Princeton due to an injury, DeValve enjoyed a productive collegiate career as a tight end and wide receiver. He finished his Princeton career with 122 receptions and 1,336 receiving yards, good for 10th and 13th all-time respectively in University record books. Drafted in the fourth round by the Cleveland Browns in 2016, DeValve has spent his first two years in the league with one of the worst-performing teams in NFL history. Nonetheless, he has had success as a tight end, with 43 receptions, 522 yards, and three touchdowns in two seasons. He also made headlines last season as the first white NFL player to kneel with his black teammates as part of the national anthem protests.
Caraun Reid ’14 (2014, Round 5, Overall 158)
Throughout his Princeton career, Reid, a defensive tackle, was one of the most dominant defensive players in the Ivy League. A member of the All-Ivy League first team for three consecutive seasons, he helped lead Princeton to an Ivy League title in 2013 with 11 tackles for a loss and 6.5 sacks on the season. He was drafted by the Lions in 2014 and has since then played for the Chargers, the Redskins, and, most recently, the Colts.
Mike Catapano ’13 (2013, Round 7, Overall 207)
Catapano, a defensive lineman, was also named to an All-Ivy team three times in his career at Princeton. As a senior, he led the Ivy League in sacks with 12, and was second in the league in tackles for a loss with 15.5. Drafted by the Chiefs, he played two seasons for the Chiefs and another two for the Jets, starting in four games for them in 2016.
This weekend, Kanoff could follow in the footsteps of these exceptional players, becoming the fourth Princeton player selected in the past six years. Scouts representing 12 teams attended Princeton’s Pro Day to watch him throw, and he recently participated in a private workout for a member of the Patriots’ staff. He is projected as either a late round pick or a top-priority, undrafted free agent.
The draft begins Thursday at 8 PM on ESPN. The second and third rounds will take place on Friday, and rounds four through seven will happen on Saturday.