LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Athletics) – Kentucky senior cornerback Brandin Echols was chosen in the sixth round by the New York Jets as the 200th overall pick in the 2021 National Football League Draft on Saturday afternoon in Cleveland.
Echols, of Southaven, Mississippi, transferred to Kentucky in 2019 from Northwest Mississippi Community College and made an immediate impact. In two seasons at Kentucky, he played in 24 career games, starting in 22 straight. He totaled 108 tackles, 11 pass breakups, 4.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and an interception, helping the Wildcats advance and win the Belk Bowl (2019) and the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl (2020).
In 2020, he ranked fourth on the team in tackles with 54, while also adding two tackles for loss, two pass breakups and his first career interception in the win over North Carolina State in the Gator Bowl.
Echols graduated in December of 2020 with a degree in community and leadership development and as a junior in 2019, he was a member of the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll, the First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll and the Dean’s List.
Kentucky/NFL Draft Notes:
· Echols is the 16th player drafted under head coach Mark Stoops at Kentucky, the fourth in the 2021 NFL Draft, joining linebacker Jamin Davis who was chosen in the first round by the Washington Football Team, cornerback Kelvin Joseph, the 44th overall pick in the second round by the Cowboys, nose guard Quinton Bohanna, the 192nd pick in the sixth round.
· Echols is the 11th defensive player (Avery Williamson, Bud Dupree, Za’Darius Smith, Josh Forrest, Josh Allen, Lonnie Johnson, Mike Edwards, Jamin Davis, Kelvin Joseph, Quinton Bohanna) drafted under Stoops at Kentucky (since 2013), the fourth defensive back (Joseph, Edwards, Johnson).
· For the second time in the last three years, Kentucky had a first- and second-round pick in Jamin Davis, first round and Kelvin Joseph, second round. Prior to that, you have to go back 42 years to find two UK picks in the first two rounds (Warren Bryant and Randy Burke, first round 1977).
· This marks the second time in the last three years that Kentucky has had four or more draft picks (five in 2019).
· There have been seven other Wildcats who have played for the Jets’ franchise in Bob Butler (1963), John Conner (2010-12, 14), Babe Parilli (1968-69), Dewayne Robertson (2003-07), Bob Talamini (1968), Avery Williamson (2018-present) and Bob Winkel (1979-80).
· Echols is the first Wildcat drafted by the Jets since John Conner in 2010.
· Echols will join former Wildcat linebacker Avery Williamson (UK 2010-13) on the Jets’ defense.