Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Flying under the radar to NFL success
By Chris Low
Missouri's Michael Sam wasn't the only star player from the SEC to go in the lower rounds of the NFL draft or not be drafted at all last week.
In fact, 10 position players from the 2013 coaches' All-SEC team (first and second teams) went in the fifth round or lower. Seven more players who earned All-SEC honors from the coaches last season -- Auburn cornerback Chris Davis, LSU defensive tackle Anthony Johnson, Vanderbilt safety Kenny Ladler, South Carolina defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles, Tennessee offensive tackle Antonio Richardson, Alabama offensive guard Anthony Steen and Mississippi State safety Nickoe Whitley -- weren't drafted at all.
Still, just because you're not drafted very highly you can find success at the next level.
We've seen all sorts of example over the years in the SEC.
Below are just a few former SEC players who've had success in the NFL after being drafted in the latter rounds or signing as an undrafted free agent. The round they were drafted in is listed in parentheses. FA means they were a free agent:
- Riley Cooper, WR, Florida (fifth round, 2010)
- Arian Foster, RB, Tennessee (FA, 2009)
- Ramon Foster, OG, Tennessee (FA, 2009)
- Ricky Jean Francois, DE, LSU (seventh round, 2009)
- Wallace Gilberry, DE, Alabama (FA, 2008)
- Greg Hardy, DE, Ole Miss (sixth round, 2010)
- Denarius Moore, WR, Tennessee (fifth round, 2011)
- Captain Munnerlyn, CB, South Carolina (seventh round, 2009)
- Zac Stacy, RB, Vanderbilt (fifth round, 2013)
- Danny Trevathan, LB, Kentucky (sixth round, 2012)
- Scott Wells, C, Tennessee (seventh round, 2004)
- Wesley Woodyard, LB, Kentucky (FA, 2008)