Utah State All-American defensive back Nevin Lawson became the second Aggie picked in the 2014 NFL draft as he was selected in the fourth round by the Detroit Lions with the 133rd pick.
With its two NFL Draft picks in 2014, Utah State has now had eight players selected in the past four years, including four defensive backs.
Lawson joins USU all-Mountain West safety Maurice Alexander who was also taken in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams with the 110th overall pick. Including these two players, Utah State has now had 118 players selected in the NFL Draft.
Lawson is the ninth Aggie ever to be drafted by the Lions organization joining tackle Howie Hansen in 1945, end Ralph Maughan in 1947, tackle Moroni Schwab in 1948, tackle Dale Panter in 1949, end Charley Hatch in 1955, running back Altie Taylor in 1969, quarterback Eric Hipple in 1980 and defensive back Henry Henderson in 1980.
Lawson will join 10 other former Aggies who are currently on NFL rosters, including Alexander, defensive back Jarrett Bush who is with the Green Bay Packers, defensive back Will Davis who is with the Miami Dolphins, wide receiver Chuck Jacobs who is with the San Francisco 49ers, defensive back Curtis Marsh who is with the Philadelphia Eagles, offensive tackle Donald Penn who is with the Oakland Raiders, running back Michael Smith who is with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, running back Robert Turbin and linebacker Bobby Wagner who are with the Seattle Seahawks, and running back Kerwynn Williams who is with the San Diego Chargers.
Lawson, a 5-foot-10, 186-pounder from Lauderhill, Florida (Piper High School), was named a third-team All-American by College Sports Madness and received first-team all-Mountain West honors following his senior season.
During the 2013 season, Lawson ranked third in the Mountain West and 25th in the nation in passes defended (1.21 pg), and tied for eighth in the conference and tied for 82nd in the nation in interceptions (0.29 pg). Lawson finished the year first on the team in passes defended (17) with 13 pass breakups and four interceptions, which ranked first and second on the team, respectively. Lawson was also tied for fifth on the team in total tackles with 57 (33 solo, 24 assist), and he was sixth on the team with 5.0 tackles for loss.
As a senior, Lawson was named the Mountain West's Defensive Player of the Week against Boise State and UNLV. Against the Broncos, he recorded a career-high two interceptions, returning one 65 yards for his first career touchdown, while adding a career-high five passes defended and tying his career high with nine tackles. Against the Rebels, he recorded four tackles, including one for loss on a fake field goal, to go along with two pass breakups and one interception in the end zone. Lawson, who also had a career-high five pass breakups against Hawai'i, concluded his season by recording four or more tackles in eight games and having three games with multiple passes defended.
In all, Lawson was part of the winningest class in school history with 31 victories.
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Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.