Washington State safety Deone Bucannon was selected in the first round of the 2014 National Football League Draft as the No. 27 overall pick by the Arizona Cardinals Thursday.
Bucannon is the first Cougar taken in the first round since cornerback Marcus Trufant was the No. 11 overall selection in the 2003 draft by the Seattle Seahawks. Bucannon is the first WSU defensive back drafted since safety Eric Frampton was taken in the fifth round by the Oakland Raiders in 2007 and is Washington State’s 13th overall first-round pick.
Bucannon closed out his Cougar career with one of the best seasons in WSU history after receiving a number of All-America honors . He was named a First-Team All-American by the Associated Press, Second-Team All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation, to the All-America Third Team by CBS Sports, All-America First Team by Athlon Sports, and Honorable Mention All-America from Sports Illustrated. Bucannon was the first Cougar to earn All-American first-team honors since Jerome Harrison in 2005 and the first defensive player since defensive tackle Rien Long in 2002. He was also named a Jim Thorpe Award Semifinalist, given to the top defensive back in college football, becoming the first Cougar to be named a semifinalist since Jason David in 2003.
As a senior this season, the Fairfield, Calif. native was an All-Pac-12 First Team selection after leading the Pac-12 with 114 tackles and tying for the conference lead with six interceptions. Bucannon, a three-time all-conference pick, also made 106 tackles in 2012. His 114 stops this season were the most by a Cougar since James Darling made 136 stops in 1996 and gave him his second straight 100-tackle season after making 106 in 2012, the first back-to-back 100-tackle seasons since Billy Newman (1999-2000). Bucannon’s six interceptions were the most by a Cougar since Erik Coleman’s seven in 2003, and he also owned team-highs of three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He was named a Midseason All-American by SportsIllustrated.com and to the Midseason All-America second team by CBSSports.com.
The 6-1, 215-pound Bucannon notched his name near the top of both the NCAA and the WSU record books this season. He finished his career fourth in WSU history in career tackles (384), second in career solo tackles (268) and third in career interceptions with 15. He closed the season as the NCAA’s active career leader in solo tackles, tied for the lead in career interceptions and fifth in career total tackles. He posted four double-digit tackle games this season and 16 in his career. Bucannon also played on the kickoff and punt coverage teams this season and finished tied for second on the team with seven special teams tackles, five coming on kickoff.