The University of Missouri saw six players taken in this year’s NFL draft, the most Tigers taken since 1981 and more than any other Big 12 team. Undrafted Missouri players including Chase Daniel have signed on with NFL teams as undrafted free agents.
19 Overall: Jeremy Maclin:
I’m really surprised that a talent like Maclin fell all the way to 19. He was a consensus top-10 pick but when there are owners out there like Al Davis in Oakland, not even the great Mel Kiper Jr. can predict what’s going to happen. Despite being the third receiver taken, I think the situation in Philly will work out well for Maclin. Lining up with another speedy game-changer like DeSean Jackson, Maclin will get the benefit of being the team’s second receiver, thus rarely receiving a double-team. It always helps to have a great quarterback like Donovan McNabb throwing to you too.
Philadelphia wanted Maclin so bad they traded up to get him. Head Coach Andy Reid was thrilled that Maclin was still available at number 19.
“Actually we thought he was going to go quite a bit higher than what he did, so this was not who we had targeted,” Reid said. “He just happened to be one of those guys who fell a little bit and kind of fell into our laps there so we wanted to take advantage of it.”
The Eagles official website called Maclin a, “prolific playmaker,” and a “threat to score from anywhere on the field.” ESPN.com’s Jeffri Chadiha liked the pick as well, ranking Maclin as one of his 10 players put in the best situation to succeed. To see that full article see this website: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/draft09/columns/story?columnist=chadiha_jeffri&id=4102535 (you’ll see Ziggy Hood on that list as well). Speaking of Hood…
32 Overall: Ziggy Hood
For only the second time in Missouri football history were two Tigers taken in the first round. While Ziggy Hood just barely snuck into the first round, he, like Maclin, finds himself in a good situation as he joins the defending world champion Steelers. A lot of credit goes to the Mizzou coaching staff for developing Hood into the talent he has become. He was considered a 3-star recruit by rivals.com and ranked as only the 35th best weakside defensive end coming out of high school. From there, Hood developed into a star and it’s hard not to cheer for a guy as hard working as Hood. His high energy style and hard working mentality will fit in perfectly with the Steelers.
The entire Steelers organization seemed extremely happy to pick up Hood with their first round pick.
“Ziggy Hood is a Steeler type of player – there are no holes in this guy,” said Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. “He is a high character guy; he plays; he has a hot motor. He loves the game of football.”
Pittsburgh director of football operations Kevin Colbert also had glowing remarks about Hood.
“We are extremely excited and happy to get a young man like Evander ‘Ziggy’ Hood,” he said. “He is a special guy – he really is. That was evident the first time that we met this kid…Again, he is a high-quality guy. He has already graduated. There are so many superlatives about this kid that we are excited to get him in here and get to work.”
55 Overall: William Moore
How sick is Willy Mo going to look in a Falcons jersey? For that reason alone I love this pick. At one point Moore was projected as a first round pick, but after an inconsistent senior season, Moore slipped into the second round . Atlanta is still getting a valuable player in Moore, who leaves Mizzou after racking up 284 tackles, 11career interceptions, and four defensive touchdowns. In Atlanta, Moore will come in and immediately compete for playing time on a team that is safety depleted.
The Falcons organization was happy that they were able to pick up Moore with the 55th overall selection.
“He’s going to add speed and urgency: Everything we’ve talked about with our defense,” Atlanta GM Thomas Dimitroff said. “We’re fortunate he dropped to 55.”
Moore also seemed optimistic about his new opportunity with the Falcons.
“I know what I can do and I know what type of player I am,” Moore said. “When I slipped, I just thought about what my mom said. Everything happens for a reason and this has to be the reason.”
It is believed that Moore will wear number 25 in the NFL. A tribute to Aaron O’Neal.
98 Overall: Chase Coffman
The trend of Mizzou players falling lower than initially expected continued with Chase Coffman. His list of college accomplishments is second to none. He was a Mackey Award winner, which goes to college football’s best tight end. He was a first team All American selection. He caught more passes than any other tight end in college football history. This past season he led all tight ends in catches, receiving yards, and touchdowns. However, questions about Coffman’s health, blocking ability, and the fact that he plays in a non-pro-style offense at Missouri caused him to fall to the Bengals at 98. The Bengals have been regarded by many to have had one of the best drafts of any team. He joins Andre Smith, Rey Maualuga, and Michael Johnson as Cincinnati’s most heralded picks.
After being selected by the Bengals, Coffman was saying all the right things in a conference call with the team.
“I’m excited and I can’t wait to get up there,” Coffman said. “They’re going to get 100 percent of what I’ve got.”
139 Overall: Colin Brown
The Chiefs pick up a hometown guy in Colin Brown with the 139th pick. As a kid, Brown attended Chiefs games as a fan. Now he will attend them as a participant. A Big 12 honorable mention selection in 2008, Brown has the size (6’8” 325 lbs. according to espn.com) to be a solid tackle in the future.
After being selected Brown had no problem communicating how happy he was to join the Chiefs.
“This is a dream come true,” he said. “To be able to be right here staying at home and playing for the Chiefs is unbelievable, a dream come true. I really had no idea what to expect this morning when I woke up. I was just hoping to get a chance.”
199 Overall Stryker Sulak
The Raiders, who have been widely criticized for their draft class addressed a need on defense by taking the versatile Sulak. Sulak, a two time All Big 12 performer, led the Tigers with 10.5 sacks last season. Only Brian Orakpo and Brandon Williams had more sacks in the Big 12 last year. At 6’5” 250 lbs. he is slightly undersized for a defensive end and nfl.com projects he will switch to outside linebacker to fit Oakland’s 3-4 scheme.
Undrafted Mizzou players:
Chase Daniel: Signed a free agent contract with the Washington Redskins.
Brock Christopher: Signed a free agent contract with the Atlanta Falcons
Tommy Saunders: Will tryout for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an attempt to earn a free agent contract.
Chase Patton: Will tryout for the Chicago Bears in an attempt to earn a free agent contract.
Jeff Wolfert: Will tryout for the Chicago Bears in an attempt to earn a free agent contract.