Jeff Gladney, first-round pick in the NFL draft, dies in tragic accident

Dallas, Texas - Former first-round draft pick Jeff Gladney of the Arizona Cardinals has died.

Jeff Gladney (r.), who played in the NFL for the Minnesota Vikings (l.), has died at the age of 25.
Jeff Gladney (r.), who played in the NFL for the Minnesota Vikings (l.), has died at the age of 25.  © Collage: Screenshot / Facebook/ Jeff Gladney & Hannah Foslien / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

The former Texas Christian University (TCU) standout, who became a first-round NFL draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings, was killed in a car accident in Dallas on Monday morning. He was 25.

His death was confirmed by his agent Brian Overstreet and his current NFL team, the Arizona Cardinals.

Gladney was a star cornerback at TCU and played in the school's 2020 Senior Bowl before being drafted by the Vikings in the NFL's first round as the 31st overall pick.

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He started in 15 of his 16 game appearances with the Vikings in 2020 for a total of 81 tackles, including seven tackles for loss, with three passes defended and one forced fumble.

Most recently, Gladney had signed a two-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals in March, looking to rebound his NFL career after a missed last season.

Gladney's teammates and alma mater mourn his loss

Jeff Gladney (r.) was father to a one-year-old son, Kingston Gee (l.).
Jeff Gladney (r.) was father to a one-year-old son, Kingston Gee (l.).  © Collage: Screenshot / Facebook/ Jeff Gladney & Screenshot / Instagram / almighty__gee

Jalen Reagor, wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles, is a former TCU teammate of Gladney's, and posted a heartbreaking message on Monday afternoon after learning of his friend's death.

"Lost my Brother, my best friend, my right hand man… ain’t too much more I can take," Reagor tweeted.

TCU athletic director Jeremiah Donati also released a statement via Twitter sharing Gladney's close relationship with his school after graduating.

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"Our TCU Athletics family, and especially our football program, was very devastated to learn of the passing of Jeff Gladney.

"After earning his degree and continuing his playing career in the NFL, Jeff maintained his close ties to TCU. He loved everything about his alma mater. He was a frequent visitor to campus and was at our spring practices and spring game this year, proudly joined by his young son."

Gladney is survived by his parents, siblings, and his one-year-old son, Kingston Gee.

Cover photo: Collage: Screenshot / Facebook/ Jeff Gladney & Hannah Foslien / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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