LUBBOCK, Texas – Zech McPhearson and Jack Anderson both heard their names called on the final day of the NFL Draft Saturday with McPhearson going to the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth round and Anderson three rounds later to the Buffalo Bills.
For McPhearson, he becomes the first Red Raider defensive back to be selected in the top-four rounds since Darcel McBath went to the Denver Broncos in the second round in 2009. He is the first Red Raider to go to the Eagles since fellow cornerback Eric Everett was picked in the fifth round of the 1988 draft.
Texas Tech has now sent an offensive lineman to the league in each of Matt Wells' two seasons as Anderson joins undrafted free agent Terence Steele, who started 14 games this past year for the Dallas Cowboys. Anderson is the first Red Raider to be picked by Buffalo in more than 30 years as the Bills last chose a Texas Tech letterwinner in 1987 with the selection of cornerback Roland Mitchell in the second round.
In his two years as a Red Raider, McPhearson developed into one of the nation's top defensive backs as he earned All-Big 12 first team accolades as a senior this past season. McPhearson, a native of Columbia, Maryland, became only the second Red Raider cornerback in the Big 12 era to garner first-team honors from the conference coaches.
McPhearson was constantly near the ball as a senior as he picked off four passes and recovered a pair of fumbles. He ended the year ranked tied for eighth in the FBS and second in the Big 12 for interceptions as he was the lone conference player and one of only four players nationally with at least four interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
The Eagles' selection makes McPhearson the latest member of his family to join the professional ranks as his father, Gerrick, played for the New England Patriots and his brother, Gerrick McPhearson Jr., was picked in the seventh round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. Two of his other brothers, Derrick and Ezekiel McPhearson, both played professional baseball. Ezekiel McPhearson has since joined the Red Raider football program as a defensive back.
Anderson, meanwhile, sealed his legacy as one of Texas Tech's top offensive lineman as he garnered All-Big 12 first team honors as a junior in 2020. He was previously an All-Big 12 second team honoree as a sophomore in 2018 as well as a Freshman All-American by both ESPN and USA Today as a true freshman in 2017.
Anderson, a native of Frisco, Texas, was a regular right guard the past four seasons, making 38 starts over his career. He earned his starting spot quickly after stepping foot on campus as he started in every game he played, missing only nine games in 2019 due to injury.
In addition to the selection of both Anderson and McPhearson, defensive lineman Eli Howard has signed a free agent agreement with the Atlanta Falcons, while wide receiver T.J. Vasher agreed to join the Dallas Cowboys. Additional free agent signings will be posted via @TexasTechFB on Twitter as they are confirmed.
NFL DRAFT RESULTS
123 (4th Round) – Zech McPhearson, DB (Philadelphia Eagles)
236 (7th Round) – Jack Anderson, OL (Buffalo Bills)
NFL FREE AGENT AGREEMENTS
Eli Howard, DL – Atlanta Falcons
T.J. Vasher, WR – Dallas Cowboys
TEXAS TECH NFL DRAFT NOTES
Zech McPhearson became the 10th Red Raider to be selected by the Eagles, joining the likes of cornerback Eric Everett (5th Round, 1988), linebacker Dwayne Jiles (5th Round, 1985), split end Calvin Jones (16th Round, 1975), defensive end Roger Gill (12th Round, 1963), offensive lineman Pat Holmes (3rd Round, 1963), fullback James Sides (13th Round, 1956), Bernie Winkler (30th Round, 1947), Charley Dvoracek (19th Round, 1942) and Texas Tech's first-ever draft selection Herschel Ramsey (6th Round, 1938).
Zech McPhearson is the first Red Raider defensive back to be selected since Jamar Wall was taken in the sixth round of the 2010 draft by the Dallas Cowboys. He is the highest defensive back to be drafted since Darcel McBath was chosen in the second round of the 2009 draft.
Zech McPhearson was the first Big 12 cornerback to be selected in this year's draft and one of four from the conference to be selected overall.
Jack Anderson is the fourth Red Raider all-time to be drafted by the Buffalo Bills, joining the likes of cornerback Roland Mitchell (2nd Round, 1987), free safety Stan David (7th Round, 1984) and defensive tackle Leon Lovelace (13th Round, 1969).
Jack Anderson is the first Red Raider offensive lineman to be selected since Le'Raven Clark was picked in the third round of the 2016 draft by the Indianapolis Colts. He is the sixth Red Raider offensive lineman since 2000 to be drafted, joining Dylan Gandy (4th Round, 2005), E.J. Whitley (7th Round, 2006), Manuel Ramirez (4th Round, 2007), Louis Vasquez (3rd Round, 2009) and Clark.
Texas Tech now has four NFL Draft selections in just two years under head coach Matt Wells as Jordyn Brooks was taken in the first round a year ago followed by Broderick Washington Jr. in the fifth. Wells is the first head coach to deliver multiple NFL Draft picks in each of his first two seasons since Jerry Moore in the 1982-83 drafts.
Texas Tech has boasted multiple NFL Draft picks in back-to-back years for the first time since the 2004-05 seasons. Texas Tech had wide receiver Carlos Francis (4th Round) and quarterback B.J. Symons (7th Round) selected in 2004 and then offensive linemen Dylan Gandy (4th Round) and Daniel Loper (5th Round) a year later as well as linebacker Mike Smith (7th Round).
Texas Tech has now had three defensive players selected under Matt Wells, its most in a two-year period since the 2009-10 drafts. McBath was joined by defensive lineman Brandon Williams in the fourth round of the 2009 draft followed by Wall in the sixth round a year later.