From Small Time to Prime Time: The 100 Best NFL Players Who Did Not Attend a Division I School of the Past 25 Years: #100-52
As I was watching the draft a couple of weekends ago, there were several names that went across the ticker that I hadn't ever heard of.
When your team selects a player that you have never heard of, it's hard to be positive about this news. Here are some players that were selected relatively high that you may not have noticed:
Dallas selected Jason Williams, a linebacker out of Western Illinois in the third round.
Jacksonville selected Derek Cox, a cornerback out of William & Mary in the third round.
Baltimore selected Lardarius Webb, a cornerback out of Nicholls State in the third round.
Detroit selected Sammie Lee Hill, a defensive tackle out of Stillman in the fourth round.
There are several more players who didn't play at Division I schools whom NFL teams are expecting to make an impact in the upcoming season, and these teams are justified in their expectations.
Over the past 25 years, there have been countless small time college players who have put together spectacular NFL careers.
So, let's remember some of the names from this draft and take a look back at some others who paved the way. Enjoy!
No. 100: Lamar King—Defensive End, Saginaw Valley State
King spent five seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, racking up 125 tackles and 12 sacks.
No. 99. Vincent Jackson—Wide Receiver:Northern Colorado
In three full seasons with the Chargers, Jackson has 130 catches for 2,233 yards and 16 touchdowns.
No. 98: Drayton Florence—Cornerback, Tuskegee
In six season with San Diego, Florence has 273 tackles and 10 interceptions.
No. 97-Leigh Bodden—Cornerback, Duquense
In six seasons in the NFL, Bodden has amassed 290 tackles and 13 interceptions.
No. 96: Patrick Crayton—Wide Receiver, Northwestern Oklahoma State
In five seasons with the Cowboys, Crayton has caught 159 passed for 2,266 yards and 18 touchdowns.
No. 95: Kevin Boss—Tight End, Western Oregon
In two seasons with the Giants, Boss has caught 42 passes for 502 yards and eight touchdowns. He was also a first alternate for the 2008 Pro Bowl team.
No. 94: Antoine Bethea—Safety, Howard
In three seasons with the Colts, Bethea has collected 256 tackles and seven interceptions and was selected to the 2007 Pro Bowl roster.
No. 93: Todd Herremans—Tackle, Saginaw Valley State
In four seasons with the Eagles, Herremans has started 50 games at the tackle position.
No. 92: David Patten—Wide Receiver, Western Carolina
In 12 seasons in the NFL with six different teams, Patten has 324 catches for 4,715 and 24 touchdowns. He also has three Super Bowl rings.
No. 91: Dominic Rhodes—Running Back, Midwestern State
In eight seasons, seven with the Colts, Rhodes has rushed for 3,114 yards and 26 touchdowns. He was also a member of the Super Bowl XLI champion Colts.
No. 90: Michael Roos—Tackle, Eastern Washington
In four seasons with the Titans, Roos has started 64 games and was selected to the 2008 Pro Bowl team. He was also an All-Pro selection in the 2008 season.
No. 89: Cortland Finnegan—Cornerback, Samford
In three seasons with the Titans, Finnegan has 235 tackles, four sacks, and six interceptions. He was also selected to the 2008 Pro Bowl and first team All-Pro.
No. 88: Corey Williams—Defensive Tackle, Arkansas State
In five seasons, four with the Packers, Williams has 141 tackles and 17.5 sacks.
No. 87: Bill Schroeder—Wide Receiver, Wisconsin-La Crosse
In 10 seasons in the NFL, Schroeder caught 304 passes for 4,583 yards and 28 touchdowns
No. 86: Terrence McGee—Cornerback, Northwestern State
In six seasons with the Bills, McGee has recorded 417 tackles, three sacks, and 16 interceptions. He also has six return touchdowns and was a 2004 Pro Bowl selection. He was also selected to the 2004 and 2005 All-Pro teams.
No. 85: Nick Harper—Cornerback, Fort Valley St.
In eight seasons in the NFL, six with the Colts, Harper has registered 544 tackles and 20 interceptions and has one Super Bowl ring.
No. 84: Lee Woodall—Linebacker, West Chester
In eight seasons, six with the 49ers, Woodall amassed 467 tackles, 10 sacks, and six interceptions. He was also a two-time Pro Bowl selection and an All-Pro selection in 1995.
No. 83-Dominique Rodgers Cromartie—Cornerback, Tennessee St.
In just one season with the Cardinals, Cromartie made his presence felt helping the Cards reach the Super Bowl. He had 42 tackles and four interceptions in his rookie season and has established himself as a shut-down corner.
No. 82: Shawn Barber—Linebacker, Richmond
In 10 seasons in the NFL, Barber had 516 tackles, 10 sacks, and seven interceptions.
No. 81: Grady Jackson—Defensive Tackle, Knoxville
In 14 NFL seasons with five different teams, Jackson amassed 476 tackles and 35.5 sacks while being stout against the run.
No. 80: Jahri Evans—Guard, Bloomsburg
In three seasons with the Saints, Evans has started all 48 of his career games.
No. 79: Jermane Mayberry—Guard, Texas A&M Kingsville
In 11 seasons in the NFL, Mayberry started 104 games and was selected to one Pro Bowl and one All-Pro team.
No. 78: Joe Flacco—Quarterback, Delaware
In his rookie season with the Ravens, Flacco threw for 2,971 yards and 14 touchdowns and led his team to the AFC Championship game. His future looks bright in Baltimore.
No. 77: Willie Williams—Cornerback, Western Carolina
In 13 seasons in the NFL, Williams intercepted 26 passes and returned four to the end zone. He was a member of the Super Bowl XL champion Steelers.
No. 76: Carlos Emmons—Linebacker, Arkansas St.
In 11 seasons with the Eagles and Giants, Emmons had 653 tackles with 19 sacks and five interceptions.
No. 75: Reggie Langhorne—Wide Receiver, Elizabeth City St.
In nine seasons in the NFL, Langhorne caught 411 passes for 5,446 and 19 touchdowns.
No. 74: Pierce Holt—Defensive End, Angelo St.
In eight seasons in the NFL, Holt amassed 37 sacks and was selected to one Pro Bowl and one All-Pro team. He is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.
No. 73: Dexter Coakley—Linebacker, Appalachian St.
In 10 seasons in the NFL, Coakley has collected 438 tackles, 9.5 sacks and 13 interceptions. He was also a three-time Pro Bowl selection.
No. 72: Chad Bratzke—Defensive End, Eastern Kentucky
In 10 seasons in the NFL, Bratzke collected 56.5 sacks and recovered nine fumbles.
No. 71: Robert Mathis—Defensive End, Alabama A&M
In six seasons with the Colts, Mathis has amassed 53.5 sacks and has forced 30 fumbles. He was selected to his first Pro Bowl in 2008 and has one Super Bowl ring.
No. 70: Brandon Jacobs—Running Back, Southern Illinois
In four seasons with the Giants, Jacobs has rushed for 2,620 yards and 35 touchdowns. He also has one Super Bowl ring.
No. 69—Marques Colston—Wide Receiver, Hofstra
In three seasons with the Saints, Colston has caught 215 passes for 3,000 yards and 24 touchdowns.
No. 68: Al Harris—Cornerback, Texas A&M Kingsville
In 11 seasons with the Eagles and Packers, Harris has collected 286 tackles and 19 interceptions. He has been selected to two Pro Bowls and one All-Pro team.
No. 67: Rashean Mathis—Cornerback, Bethune Cookman
In six seasons with the Jaguars, Mathis has made 374 tackles and intercepted 25 passes. He was selected to the 2006 Pro Bowl and All-Pro teams.
No. 66: Bart Scott—Linebacker, Southern Illinois
In seven seasons with the Ravens, Scott made 433 tackles, 16 sacks, and three interceptions. He was also a 2006 Pro Bowler and All-Pro selection.
No. 65: Jumpy Geathers—Defensive End, Wichita St.
In 13 seasons in the NFL, Geathers sacked the quarterback 63 times and recovered nine fumbles.
No. 64: Donnie Abraham—Cornerback, East Tennessee St.
In nine NFL season, Abraham intercepted 38 passes and returned three for touchdowns. He was also selected to the 2000 Pro Bowl team.
No. 63: Chris Warren—Running Back, Ferrum
In 11 NFL seasons, Warren rushed for 7,696 yards and 52 touchdowns. He was also a three-time Pro Bowl selection.
No. 62: Mark Kelso—Safety, William & Mary
In eight NFL seasons, Kelso intercepted 30 passes and recovered eight fumbles. He may be most remembered, however, for the strange double-helmet he wore to prevent concussions.
No. 61: Adam Timmerman—Guard, South Dakota St.
In 12 NFL seasons, Timmerman started 172 games and was selected to two Pro Bowls. He also was a part of two Super Bowl championship teams.
No. 60: Kurt Schulz—Safety, Eastern Washington
In 10 seasons in the NFL, eight with the Bills, Schulz amassed 429 tackles and 30 interceptions.
No. 59: Ashley Ambrose—Cornerback, Mississippi Valley St.
In his 13 NFL seasons, Ambrose intercepted 42 passes and returned three to the end zone. He was also selected to one Pro Bowl and one All-Pro team.
No. 58-Tim McKyer—Cornerback, Texas Arlington
In 12 NFL seasons with seven different teams, McKyer intercepted 33 passes and was a member of three Super Bowl champions.
No. 57: Anthony Pleasant—Defensive End, Tennessee St.
In 14 NFL seasons with six different teams, Pleasant amassed 531 tackles and 58 sacks. He was also a member of two Super Bowl championship teams.
No. 56: Aaron Smith—Defensive End, Northern Colorado
In 10 seasons with the Steelers, Smith has collected 376 tackles and 42 sacks. He has been selected to one Pro Bowl and has two Super Bowl rings.
No. 55: Donald Driver—Wide Receiver, Alcorn St.
In 10 seasons with the Packers, Driver has caught 577 passes for 7,989 yards and 43 touchdowns. He has been selected to three Pro Bowls and one All-Pro team.
No. 54: Jeremiah Trotter—Linebacker, Stephen F. Austin
In 10 seasons in the NFL, Trotter has amassed 642 tackles, 12.5 sacks, and nine interceptions. He is also a four-time Pro Bowl selection.
No. 53: Don Beebe—Wide Receiver, Chadron St.
In nine NFL seasons, Beebe 219 passes for 3,416 yards and 23 touchdowns. He played in an incredible six Super Bowls, coming away victorious only once.
#52-Marcellus Wiley-Defensive End-Columbia
In his ten NFL seasons, Wiley made 324 tackles and collected 44 sacks. He was also selected to one Pro Bowl and one All-Pro team.
For the rest of the list, check out parts II and III