The Missouri Tigers are known for getting their defensive linemen and a couple other players into the NFL, but this year, they did much more than that.
While four former Tigers, including Kony Ealy, Justin Britt, E.J. Gaines, and Michael Sam, all were selected in the NFL draft, many other Tigers hit free agency as soon as Mr. Irrelevant was chosen. Now, almost every Tiger that left got a shot with an NFL team this fall.
Andrew Wilson, who led the Tigers in tackles last season, has received an offer to join the Miami Dolphins this fall. He has a chance to compete for the back-up middle linebacker position for the Dolphins.
Eric Waters, a tight end who was largely underutilized in Missouri’s offense, will get an opportunity to be a Pittsburgh Steeler. As Steeler starting tight end Heath Miller continues to age, look for Waters to get a shot to prove he deserves to be next.
Fan favorite Henry Josey has had a long journey to get to where he is today, but it has paid off for him. The running back who obliterated his knee in 2011 signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles traded Bryce Brown to the Bills on Saturday, meaning Josey has a legitimate chance to get meaningful snaps for their high-octane offense.
Marcus Lucas, a wide receiver from the Kansas City area, has been offered a contract by the Carolina Panthers. Carolina is extremely thin at the wide-out position, giving Lucas an opportunity to make an impact for a playoff contender.
Quarterback James Franklin has to be excited about the team he signed with on Saturday. He will be heading north to Detroit, where he will get the opportunity to throw to Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, and rookie Eric Ebron.
Lastly, L’Damian Washington will go to Jerry’s World and become a Dallas Cowboy. Washington, who was overcome by the locker room and stadium while at AT&T Stadium for the Tiger’s Cotton Bowl appearance, may be playing his home games in that stadium this fall.
The only Missouri player that even had a chance to get signed in the NFL was Max Copeland, who decided to make the transition from offensive line to fullback this winter. While he has not signed yet, that doesn’t mean he won’t find a team before the season starts, or even when a fullback gets hurt in the thick of the season.
When a university has a season like the Tigers did in 2013, the NFL takes notice. The amount of Tigers that will move from playing on Saturdays to playing on Sundays is a testimony to that.
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