You’d probably expect the Tigers to be on D-Line U. But ESPN Stats and Information believes Mizzou football belongs in a different category.
On Tuesday, ESPN released its rankings of top-10 programs for each position that are best at sending talent to the NFL.
The Missouri Tigers are ranked at one of the positions. That spot goes to the tight ends, not the position where they have branded themselves over the past decade.
Mizzou is not listed in the top 10 for defensive line.
A simple google search of “D-Line U” gives you plenty of Missouri articles and posts. But ESPN doesn’t see the Tigers as a top-10 program there.
But few would argue that tight end also is not deserving of elite status.
Mizzou is slated at No. 4 in the tight ends position. Notable players on the list include Martin Rucker, Chase Coffman, Michael Egnew and Dwayne Blakley. And the best is sure to come … Albert Okwuegbunam.
Rucker was drafted in the fourth round in 2008 while Coffman went in the third round in 2009. Egnew also was a third round pick, in 2012, giving the Tigers three players go in the top half of the draft in five seasons. All three were All-Americans.
Blakley went undrafted in 2002.
Those four players spent multiple seasons in the NFL despite not having the same productivity they had for the Tigers. Coffman bounced around for eight years, Blakely spent seven seasons in the NFL, Rucker was in the NFL for four years while Egnew last three.
Miami in No. 1, Iowa is No. 2 and Stanford is No. 3.
As for “D-Line U”, Alabama, Clemson, Penn State, LSU and a host of others get the nod over the Tigers of the SEC East, according to ESPN. Still, “D-Line Zou” is too good of a nickname to give up now.
Terry Beckner Jr. is the latest to go in the NFL Draft from the Tigers defensive line, following the likes of Charles Harris, Shane Ray, Markus Golden and many, many others.