NFL Draft: Two of top three picks played in 2016 Sun Bowl

PHILADELPHIA, Penn. - The early stages of the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft certainly brought back memories from the 2016 Sun Bowl. 

Two players who participated in the game were drafted within the first three picks - one from North Carolina and one from Stanford.

The Bears traded three draft picks to the 49ers to move up one spot to take North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky with the second overall pick. 

The 49ers then selected Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas with the very next pick. 

Trubisky threw for 280 yards and two touchdowns in the 2016 Sun Bowl. 

But his Tar Heels fell short against the relentless rush of the Cardinal and Solomon Thomas.  Thomas was named Sun Bowl MVP for his efforts, which included a sack against Trubisky on what could have been the game-tying two-point conversion. 

Stanford went on to win the 2016 Sun Bowl by a final of 25-23. 

The Sun Bowl could have had three of the top eight picks in this year's NFL Draft had Stanford star running back Christian McCaffrey not sat out the game.  

McCaffrey, chosen eighth overall by the Carolina Panthers, decided not to make the trip to El Paso back in December so he could focus his attention on the upcoming draft. 




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