BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Western Kentucky University safety Jonathan Dowling was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the seventh round with the 247th overall pick on Saturday at the 2014 National Football League Draft, held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
Along with Andrew Jackson’s earlier selection, the Hilltoppers now have a pair of draftees for the first time since the 2002 NFL Draft. That year, Joseph Jefferson was selected by the Colts and Mel Mitchell went to New Orleans. WKU has had multiple draftees also in 1990, 1975, 1974, 1971 and 1965.
A two-time All-Sun Belt First Team performer, Dowling led the nation in forced fumbles in 2013 with six while also breaking up seven passes and tallying three interceptions. Over the past two seasons, Dowling tallied 135 tackles (95 solo) with 23 passes defended (nine interceptions) and eight forced fumbles. He started 23 games for the Hilltoppers over his two-year career.
Against Kentucky in 2012, Dowling intercepted quarterback Max Smith three times, the most by any Hilltopper in a single game since 1978 and tied for the most in the nation that season. At the NFL Combine, Dowling ran the fifth fastest 40-yard dash (4.52) and 3-cone drill (7.04) of any safety in Indianapolis while his time on the 60-yard shuttle (11.52) was second among safeties.
Dowling becomes WKU’s 30th draftee all-time and the first ever to go to the Raiders franchise.
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