Mizzou Leaves Its Mark On NFL Draft

Eric Hobbs@@E_HobbsCorrespondent IApril 27, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 29:  Jeremy Maclin #9 of the Missouri Tigers walks on the field during the game against the Kansas Jayhawks on November 29, 2008 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The University of Missouri is not known as a school that traditionally churns out NFL stars. There are only two major names who played there, Kellen Winslow and Roger Wehrli, both NFL Hall of Famers. 

That reputation may have begun to change this past weekend in the NFL draft, where six players were drafted, more than all but four teams in college football. That includes more picks than Big XII rivals Oklahoma, Texas, and Nebraska.

Jeremy Maclin was the first Tiger taken, third receiver taken, and the 19th overall pick to the Philadelphia Eagles. Maclin lands in a great situation, having Donovan McNabb as his quarterback, and having DeSean Jackson and Brian Westbrook there to divert attention.

Since he is two inches taller and 25 pounds heavier than Jackson, Maclin may prove to be more durable than the second-year receiver. The only thing that confuses me is what the future holds for Maclin as a returner, with Jackson and newly acquired cornerback and returner Ellis Hobbs already on the roster.

The final pick of the first round went to the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers, who selected Ziggy Hood. He will have a year or two to develop under current Steelers defensive linemen Casey Hampton and Aaron Smith.

Head coach Mike Tomlin referred to Hood as a "high character guy", and is known to have the high-motor style of play the Steelers demand.

William Moore was the 55th pick overall in the second round to the Atlanta Falcons. Most believe he was only available this late because of a foot injury that hampered him much of the 2008 season.

The safety is known as a ballhawk, having grabbed eight interceptions during his All-American 2007 season. With his size, at 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds, he may also be able to occasionally line up as an outside backer.

Tight end Chase Coffman was picked 98th overall in the fourth round by the Cincinnati Bengals. The 2008 Mackey Award winner as the nation's best tight end caught more passes than any tight end in the history of college football and has more touchdowns than anyone in Mizzou history.

He was projected potentially as a second-round pick before breaking his foot on the final play of his career in the Alamo Bowl. Because of the injury, he wasn't able to do anything at the combine and his stock dropped.

With the 139th pick in the fifth round, the Kansas City Chiefs selected offensive lineman Colin Brown. Many were not sure if the former college walk-on would be drafted at all, but the Chiefs are in need of a lot, and you simply cannot teach 6-foot-8 and 325 pounds. He proved to be an excellent right tackle, and has the size to help that success transfer into the NFL.

The final Tiger to be drafted was defensive end Stryker Sulak, going to the Oakland Raiders as the 199th overall pick in the sixth round. Sulak was known for his speed off the corner, often blowing by opposing linemen before they could move. Sulak may need to add 10 pounds or so of muscle to be a dominant run stopper, though.

With six Tigers drafted, Missouri has undoubtedly left its mark on this year's draft. Most teams' fans seem to be happy with the now former Tigers they have. Success in the NFL could be one of the final pieces needed to boost recruiting and take those final steps towards making Missouri Football a national power.


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