Former Canyon del Oro High School standout Ka’Deem Carey’s NFL quest begins this weekend with the draft, which starts tonight with the first-round selections.
Various forecasts have Carey, the career rushing record holder at Arizona, going anywhere from the third to fifth round.
When Carey is drafted, he will become the 24th pick born in Southern Arizona to have his name called during the selection process. A Tucson-area-born player has never been drafted in the first round. Three players born in Tucson have been chosen in the second round with former Arizona linebacker Brooks Reed (Sabino) the last in 2011.
Edward Salem, a quarterback who played for Alabama, was chosen in the second round of the 1951 draft by Washington. Eric Thomas, a defensive back who attended Tulane, was taken in the second round by Cincinnati in 1987.
Reed’s selection in 2011 was only the second in 16 years for Tucson-born players drafted in the NFL. Michael Smith, a Tucsonan who played at Sunnyside and later Utah State, was taken in the 2012 draft (seventh round by Tampa Bay).
The 1995 draft was a banner year for Tucson-born players in the NFL draft. Four were selected — Sean Harris (Tucson High/Arizona, linebacker, third round, Chicago); Steve McLaughlin (Sahuaro/Arizona, placekicker, third round, St. Louis); Michael Scurlock (Sunnyside/Arizona, defensive back, fifth round, St. Louis); and Cole Ford (Sabino/USC, placekicker, seventh round, Pittsburgh).
Here’s a look at those who the NFL lists as born in Tucson and the surrounding area (Pima, Cochise and Santa Cruz counties) who have been drafted:[table “” not found /]