Today we highlight the NFL draftees who played their college ball in the Big Eight region (excluding the Bronco-land Colorado Buffaloes. Hey, guilt by association.):
OT Aaron Brant, Chicago Bears (seventh round, 241st) – Brant is a massive man at 6’6″ and 320 pounds. He will at least get the chance to make the team, and I see him winding up on the practice squad for this upcoming season.
* RB Jon Cornish (pictured) – As expected, Cornish has signed with the Calgary Stampeders and will continue his football career in the Canadian Football League.
WR Yamon Figurs, Baltimore Ravens (third round, 74th) – Figurs, a player who can do a variety of things, was taken earlier than I expected. Yamon is talented, but his slim frame might make it difficult for him to get off the line. He was the fastest player in the draft, so I see him helping the Ravens stretch the field with his speed and serving as an return specialist.
RB Thomas Clayton, San Francisco 49ers (sixth round, 186th) – Man, I had such high hopes for this guy when I was at K-State. I thought he would excel after Sproles left, but Clayton didn’t have the O-Line that Sproles did and had a falling out with two different coaches — Synder and Prince. Prince ultimately benched him and that was it for Clayton at K-State. I think he could be a productive back in the NFL if he decided that he wanted to, but I think that it’s too late for that.
ILB Zach Diles, Houston Texans (seventh round, 218th) – Well, I loved Diles back at Manhattan, and I also have to give him props for spelling his first name the proper way. Zach has the explosiveness and speed to play at the next level (4.6 40 time). One problem is that he is undersized for the inside linebacker position. At best I can see him becoming like Monty Beisel.
OLB Brian Smith, Jacksonville Jaguars (fourth round, 113th) – Some view Smith as a reach in the fourth round. However, he is young and has raw pass-rushing abilities. He might develop into a good situational pass rusher.
Missouri Southern State
OT Allen Barbre, Green Bay Packers (fourth round, 119th) – Here is Adam’s breakdown of him from his second day draft review: “My boy went to school with Barbe, back when this kid first arrived in Joplin, MO. He says he must have willed himself into the player he has become, because he wasn’t anything special as a freshman. That’s a lot of will, because Barbe is arguably the most-athletic tackle in this draft.”
Green Bay made a solid pick. Surprisingly to some, Barbre might become a pretty good right tackle.
DE Adam Carriker, St. Louis Rams (first round, 13th; pictured) – We really liked Carriker going into the draft and feel he will contribute this season. He might be the best DE to come out of Nebraska since Grant Wistrom.
Interesting side note: Grant Wistrom has retired and will be an assistant football coach at Parkview High School in Springfield, MO.
RB Brandon Jackson, Green Bay Packers (second round, 63rd) – Jackson was picked a little early because the Packers needed a RB after missing out on Lynch. He has a quick burst, but will need to add strength to make up for his lack of size.
OLB Stewart Bradley, Philadelphia Eagles (third round, 87th) – The Eagles made a safe pick with Bradley, as he could become a decent player. The Eagles continue to overhaul their linebacking corps, and Bradley looks to get an opportunity as a result.
DE Jay Moore, San Francisco 49ers (fourth round, 104th) – I love this kid’s intensity — he really represents Cornhusker football well. He adds even more to a 49ers defense that already vastly improved this offseason. Moore will be a hard worker who could eventually find himself in the starting rotation.
RB Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings (first round, 7th) – I think he wanted to be selected third overall, as did Brady Quinn. I thought the Texans might trade up and get him, but they didn’t. Adrian has the chance to become one of the league’s premier running backs. He will have a good supporting RB in Chester Taylor, which will allow him to get acclimated to the NFL. The Vikings made a great pick here at the seventh spot, now all Adrian has to do is stay healthy.
OLB Rufus Alexander, Minnesota Vikings (sixth round, 176th) – Alexander was a solid player while playing for those Boomer Sooners. A safe pick in the sixth round, and I think he will make the 53-man roster and see limited playing time this season.
DE CJ Ah You, Buffalo Bills (seventh round, 239th) – Say his name five times really fast. He has to be on my all-name team.
DT Ryan McBean, Pittsburgh Steelers (fourth round, 132nd) – People rave about this kid’s talent. He lacks the size to play the NT in the the 3-4, which has led some people to believe that the Steel Curtain might finally switch to a 4-3. Either way, if McBean can be more consistent he could play at DT in the 4-3 or DE in the 3-4. Casey Hampton will be a good mentor for him.
OT Corey Hillard, New England Patriots (sixth round, 209th) – Hillard gives the Patriots another possibility to build to their offensive line in the future. Belichick knows talent, but does Corey actually have it?