The Missouri Tigers are no strangers to sending players to the NFL draft. They aren’t on the same level as LSU or Alabama, but they routinely churn out a ton of talent on a consistent basis.
Some of Missouri’s prospects need strong showings at the NFL combine to ensure their draft position, and they tend to have fewer first-round possibilities on a year-by-year basis than other collegiate powerhouses. That doesn’t take anything away from them.
It is a bigger testament to their developmental program that players get to the NFL and then stick once they arrive. Missouri has done that more than most. Twenty former Tigers are currently in the NFL, a respectable total—and one that’s bound to grow, even if only by a little, next season.
Though Missouri doesn’t tout any superstar prospects ahead of the upcoming draft, three players have a viable shot at getting called up to the podium. Two of these players have a strong chance to go in the top 100.
Defensive lineman Jacob Elliott is their highest rated prospect at the moment. He transferred to Missouri after spending a year at Texas and sitting out the 2017 season entirely. Through his two go-rounds with the Tigers, he racked up a total of 76 tackles, 5.5 sacks and 18 hits for a loss of yardage. A team like the Denver Broncos could use him to shore up their pass rush and run defenses.
Tight end Albert Okwuegbunam is another Missouri player on the radar of NFL teams. He spent three seasons with the Tigers, through which he totaled 23 touchdowns and nearly 1,200 receptions—rock solid numbers for someone who wasn’t considered a primary offensive option. Teams at the pro level will value him for his 6’5”, 255-pound frame and what he can do for them as a run-blocker and situational pass-catcher.
Inside offensive lineman Trystan Colon-Castillo is the final Missouri player expected to get called off the NFL draft board. He is 6’4” and 315 pounds and sports striking nimbleness for his size. Teams in need of more protection for their quarterback and blockers for their running backs would do well to take a flier on him in or around the fourth or fifth rounds.
Missouri has had more productive years in terms of sending players to the NFL. They’ve also had worse. They’ll invariably ship some undrafted guys to the pros, and more importantly, the three prospects expected to hear their name called all have the potential to chisel out lengthy careers.