The University of Missouri has produced a decent amount of NFL talent in years past, but the 2009 NFL Draft looks like it will include a barrage of Tigers, including many picks on the draft's first day.
While players like Jeremy Maclin and Ziggy Hood have been greatly enhancing their draft status, and others like William Moore and Chase Daniel are struggling, there has already been a lot of news regarding these future pros.
Peter Fleischer previews the Missouri Tigers that have a good chance at making themselves a lot of money in late April.
Maclin's draft status started off high and has only gotten higher since he declared. Initially predicted as a late first rounder, he is now predicted to go somewhere in the top 10, possibly as early as No. 7 overall to the Oakland Raiders.
I obviously have a strong bias, going to school and actually attending a couple of classes with Maclin, but I really believe he has the potential to be the best receiver in this draft.
His speed is top notch (look for him to run a sub-4.3 in workouts), his route running has improved in his time at school, and his hands and acrobatic ability to make catches give him literally every tool he needs.
I'd feel bad for him if he ended up in Oakland playing for Al Davis, but even if he slides a bit, with teams like the Jaguars, Jets, Texans, and Bears in the top 20, there's no way he falls too far. J-Mac is the best pro prospect Missouri has this year.
Willy Mo might be kicking himself for not entering the draft last season, where he was projected to go as a surefire top-15 pick, but he should still go somewhere in the first or second round in 2009. Moore's ball skills, good size, and versatility make him a great option for teams starved for secondary help.
Moore played through foot and ankle injuries for all of his senior season, and his stock has taken somewhat of a hit because of that.
But he has fantastic size, and has reportedly shed 15 pounds from his college playing weight of 230 in order to showcase better speed. And his hitting has never been under question.
Although he has apparently struggled somewhat at the Senior Bowl this week, Moore's ballhawking skills and tackling abilities will make him an early pick on draft day.
If any Tiger has caused his draft stock to rise in the past few weeks, it's the beast that goes by the name of Ziggy Hood. Hood stands at 6'3'', around 300 pounds, and has the strength and speed to play on the interior of the line and possibly as an outside rusher in the 3-4 scheme.
Hood has impressed all the scouts at the Senior Bowl immensely this week, routinely dominating one-on-one drills with some of the nation's best linemen.
As mentioned, Hood has fantastic size, speed, and strength. He showed his tenacity as a run-stopper at times during his senior season and also showed a knack for getting at the quarterback for a bigger player.
Originally projected as a third rounder, some gurus even have him sneaking into the first round.
Chase Coffman's draft stock has been just like his demeanor—steady and strong. After winning the Mackey trophy as the best tight end in college football as a senior, Coffman will help some NFL team as an extraordinary pass catcher. But because he has little experience in the trenches as a blocker, Coffman will probably not be picked in the first round.
Coffman has nearly perfect size for a tight end, at 6'6'' 250, and has the size and speed to make him an elite passing threat even in the professional ranks. The biggest question is definitely his blocking and health.
Chase probably has room to put even more weight on his tall frame, but has almost no experience blocking defensive ends or linebackers, much less in the NFL. Also, he has been plagued by injuries in each of his final two collegiate seasons.
All in all, Coffman is going to catch a lot of passes for some NFL franchise in the coming years. He probably won't slide into the first round, even with stunning workouts, but he's a lock to go on the draft's first day.
Stryker Sulak is an intriguing prospect. He's got decent size for a defensive end at 6'4'', 235 pounds, and has been rumored to actually have put on around 15 pounds in preparation for the rigors of the next level.
He's definitely not a star prospect, but Sulak still should get drafted and have a chance to make an impact at the next level.
Stryker has always had good speed for an end, but there are concerns that he relies on his quickness too much, a dependency that will be exposed in the NFL. If he can improve his strength and technique, Sulak could definitely help a team in passing situations as a late-round pick.
Talk about a tale of two completely different players and stories. Everybody knows Chase Daniel as the short and stout quarterback who put up gaudy numbers at Missouri, and most people know about Chase Patton, the perfect prototype for an NFL quarterback who backed Daniel up for three years.
But regardless of how different their college careers are, they're probably looking at similar experiences in the 2009 NFL Draft.
I am one of many believers that doesn't think that Daniel has the tools or experience to succeed in the NFL. He's too short, has no experience in systems outside of the spread offense, and has a below average arm.
Although his accuracy and mobility are fairly good, I doubt that an NFL team will take a late-round flier on him.
Patton is, again, completely different. He's got picture-perfect size for a QB, at 6'5'', 220 pounds, and has an absolute rocket for an arm. But he was never a starter in college and some scouts are concerned about his dedication to football; Patton has already been accepted to dental school.
I think it's likely that both players will at least get workouts with NFL teams after the draft, but again, it's doubtful that either gets drafted. If they could combine experience and skills, they'd make one heck of a quarterback, but separately, they're probably not anything special.
Kickers rarely get drafted, but Jeff Wolfert is sure to at least get some looks as a place kicker in the NFL. He is the most accurate kicker in Missouri history, an All-Big 12 selection two years running, and a Groza finalist as well.
Wolfert's accuracy is unquestioned, but his strength can definitely be seen as a question mark. He sometimes struggles outside of 50 yards, but he is as good as automatic from 40 and within, and absolutely has the potential to make an NFL roster come the fall.
-Colin Brown (OL, 6'6'', 330): Brown has the size to be an NFL tackle or lineman, but as a former walk-on, he still has a long way to go as far as technique is concerned.
He played well at times for Mizzou, but was inconsistent. A possibly prospect for a team in the future.
-Brock Christopher (LB, 6'2'', 230): Decent size and speed for a linebacker but was never a star in his time in Columbia. Christopher does have a nose for the ball but might not have the measurables or work out times to earn a draft pick. He'll probably be in somebody's training camp though, and might earn a roster spot due to work ethic.