Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana hosts sixth round of NFL Draft

In 1971, Augustana football player Ken Anderson waited in his apartment near campus for a phone call. When the phone rang, the Cincinnati Bengals announced they would be selecting him in the third round of the NFL Draft.
After 48 years, Anderson, who played as the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback from 1971 to 1986, watched as four names were announced for the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft in the Ken Anderson Academic All-American Club at Augustana.
“It’s the 100th anniversary of the NFL and Rock Island was an original city, so to tie all that together at Augustana is a pretty good day,” Anderson said.
Hundreds of community members made their way to Augustana’s Austin E. Knowlton Outdoor Complex on Saturday, April 27 to witness football history. Fans wore jerseys from almost every NFL team while taking part in the activities.
Rock Island was selected as one of the “hometowns” to host the NFL Draft because the first official NFL game was played in Rock Island in 1920. Because of Rock Island’s rich football history, it seemed like the perfect location to announce four draft picks.
Augustana junior Matt Schipiour is a major football fan, so he saw this event as a once in a lifetime opportunity, especially in a smaller community like the Quad Cities.
“I think it’s a pretty big deal,” Schipiour said. “You don’t really think of a small school like us being involved in something as big as the NFL Draft. It’s been a really cool opportunity to come and experience this.”
The day started with Augustana football players holding a youth football clinic. After that, there was a recreation of the first NFL game played in Rock Island. The game was paused to conduct the NFL Draft picks.
The weather unfortunately was not ideal for the outdoor activities. However, the rain and cold didn’t stop loyal football fans from showing up and cheering loud as the picks were announced.
Augustana’s director of public relations and social media, Ashleigh Johnston, said the city of Rock Island and Augustana worked well together to make sure fans enjoyed their time even if the weather wasn’t what they expected.
“We were all a little bit worried about the weather. It’s certainly not what we had hoped for. But it just shows how excited people are to have this type of event in our community,” Johnston said. “We’re loving it. We think the community really turned out.”
Augustana’s vice president and dean of student life, Wes Brooks, witnessed how special it was for the fans to welcome Anderson back at Augustana.
“Just seeing Ken Anderson in the building has been really exciting as well,” Brooks said. “Having truly an NFL legend in the building and having him be a part of the Augustana community is really special.”
To end the day’s festivities, Ken Anderson announced the Cincinnati Bengals’ sixth round pick. With hundreds of fans cheering on the football field behind him, this moment truly showcased the passion the Quad City community has for football.

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Augustana hosts sixth round of NFL Draft