When trying to figure out the draft prospects for folks moving on from UNC, it’s understandable that everyone thought that anyone from the defensive side of the ball wouldn’t have much of a shot considering how historically bad they had been.
Turns out we shouldn’t have been so hasty.
Vohasek’s story is really one that is admirable, and if he manages to hold on to his spot with the Jaguars should be one followed by anyone with a dream of playing in the league. Out of high school, he started his college career at College of Dupage, a junior college in Illinois. He joined the Tar Heels for the 2019 season after one season at Dupage, and thanks to the Covid year granted to all players in the 2020 season, he was able to get four full years at Carolina. He started fast, appearing in 12 games of that 2019 season, and by the 2020 season was a full-time starter on the defensive line.
The reason his selection is a mild surprise is the season-ending injury he suffered after the Virginia Tech game. He only appeared in five games because of it in 2022, but clearly Jacksonville was intrigued at someone who hit the ground running on the defensive line for four years, earned an All-ACC Honorable Mention in 2021 despite how poor the defense was overall, racked up nearly 100 tackles, 5.5 sacks, and 17 tackles for loss in his career. He had already gotten 14 tackles before the injury against Virginia Tech, and the Tar Heels’ struggles at defense partly came as a result of not having Vohasek there to provide pressure from a line as they learned a new system via Gene Chisik.
Congratulations to Raymond Vohasek for the selection! From junior college to three year starter to NFL Draft pick! Good luck in Jacksonville!