UT's release on Diggs' selection:
Diggs picked in sixth round of NFL Draft by Detroit
Defensive back is fourth Longhorn selected this year, goes 200th overall Saturday
Texas had its fourth player selected in the 2015 NFL Draft when defensive back Quandre Diggs was picked by the Detroit Lions with the 24th choice (200th overall) duringSaturday’s fifth round.
Earlier in the day, the New York Giants chose defensive back Mykkele Thompson in the fifth round. New England selected defensive tackle Malcom Brown with the final pick inThursday’s first round and Philadelphia took linebacker Jordan Hicks in Friday’s third round of the draft, which has spanned the last three days in Chicago.
The Longhorns now have had at least four players selected nine times in the last 13 years. Diggs is the seventh UT defensive back to be picked in the last six drafts.
Texas has had two defensive backs taken in four of the last 10 years with the last occurrence in 2011 with Aaron Williams (second round, Buffalo) and Curtis Brown (third round, Pittsburgh).
Diggs is looking forward to the transition to the NFL and excited to be taken in the same draft as one of his closest friends.
“It’s great,” Diggs said of Thompson and he being drafted on the same day. “Mykkele’s my brother, that’s my best friend. He’s one of the people who definitely pushed me. I’m sure we’ll see each other, and it’s a blessing that we’ve got this chance. With us being roommates in college and friends and coming in together and both going out getting drafted together, it’s a blessing.”
Diggs becomes the first UT player selected by Detroit since 2006 (offensive tackle Jonathan Scott, fifth round). Longhorns selected by Detroit since 1994 have also included wide receiver Roy Williams (first round, 2004), defensive end Cory Redding (third round, 2003), defensive tackle Shaun Rogers (second round, 2001), cornerback Bryant Westbrook (first round, 1997) and safety Van Malone (second round, 1994).
Last season, Diggs was a key cog in a defense that ranked No. 25 nationally in total defense (348.5 yards per game), No. 11 in both passing yards allowed (184.2 pg) and sacks (3.08 pg), and 22nd in third-down conversion defense (35.3 percent).
“A lot of people are going to question his size, but he plays very big,” head coach Charlie Strong said of the 5-foot-10, 195-pounder. “He can cover and may not have top end spend, but he makes up for it with his intelligence. He plays within himself, studies receivers, studies splits, studies everything the offense does. He can do those things because he’s such a smart player and he loves working at it.”
A four-year starter and three-time All-Big 12 selection (2011, 2013, 2014), Diggs ended his career tied for ninth on the UT all-time interceptions list (11) with Mossy Cade (1981-83) and William Graham (1979-81). Diggs' 37 career pass breakups are also tied for ninth with Cade on the school's all-time list.
Diggs ended his career with 241 tackles, including 157 solo stops and 17 tackles for loss, and four forced fumbles. He had a career-high 73 tackles in 2014.
A native of Angleton, Texas, Diggs joins his brother, former Longhorn player Quentin Jammer, on the NFL Draft list. Jammer, an All-America cornerback and a member of the Texas Athletics Men’s Hall of Honor, was selected with the fifth overall pick in 2002 by San Diego where he played for 11 seasons (2002-12). He also spent 2013 with Denver.
Diggs’ selection has special meaning to his family.
“It means a lot,” Diggs said. “It’s big for my family. I was actually the first one to graduate, and now me and my brother have this great thing for my family. That’s what’s important to me, just putting up my family and being respectful for them. I love them to death. I’m going to enjoy the rest of the day with them and soak it all in.”
Diggs envisions playing a similar role in the secondary as he did at Texas.
“I think I’m going to playing a lot of nickel and inside out,” Diggs said. “They like my versatility. I just have to go out and prove myself. It’s the same thing I did when I was at Texas.”