2012 NFL Draft is a family affair

Several players in this year’s draft crop have family connections to the NFL, starting with Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.

The Colts have told Luck, the son of former NFL QB Oliver Luck — now the athletic director at West Virginia — he will be the first overall choice Thursday night.

He also apparently has a more obscure relationship, to a Pro Football Hall of Famer, William “Link” Lyman, a tackle for four pro teams, including the
Chicago Bears at the end of his career (1933-34). According to Ancestry.com, Luck is an eighth cousin to Lyman, who made the Hall of Fame in 1964 and died in 1972.

Northwestern running back Drake Dunsmore‘s father, Pat, played tight end for the Bears, and Maryland RB Davin Meggett‘s dad, Dave, won a Super Bowl with the New York Giants. Ohio State RB Dan Herron‘s brother, David, played for the Kansas City Chiefs last season and now is with the New Orleans Saints.

Jeff Fuller, the Texas A&M receiver, is son of Jeff Fuller, the former San Francisco 49ers safety who won two Super Bowls. Wisconsin wideout Nick Toon is the son of Al Toon, a first-round pick in 1985 and a star for the New York Jets before concussions cut short his career.

Southern California tackle Matt Kalil, projected to go in the top five on Thursday, is the younger brother of Ryan Kalil, a center for the Carolina Panthers.

Syracuse defensive lineman Chandler Jones is the younger brother of the Baltimore Ravens’ Arthur Jones. Texas LB Emmanuel Acho‘s brother Sam was taken in the fourth round of the 2011 draft by the Arizona Cardinals. Linebacker Jonathan Massaquoi of Troy has two cousins in the league: TE Visanthe Shiancoe of the Vikings and WR Mohamed Massaquoi of the Cleveland Browns.

Virginia CB Chase Minnifield‘s father, Frank, was a Pro Bowl cornerback for Cleveland.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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