NFL dreams come true for 6 Tigers taken in the 2024 draft

The Missouri Tigers had six players selected in the 2024 NFL Draft along with a few players signed as undrafted free agents.
Sep 17, 2022; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Missouri Tigers defensive back Ennis Rakestraw Jr. (2) celebrates after forcing a turnover.
Sep 17, 2022; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Missouri Tigers defensive back Ennis Rakestraw Jr. (2) celebrates after forcing a turnover. / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Missouri football had six former players drafted in the 2024 NFL Draft. After only having a total of three players drafted in the last two years, the Tigers doubled those numbers this year with six, a lot of that thanks to head coach Eli Drinkwitz.

The Tigers extended their streak of having at least one player selected in the draft to 21 straight years. That streak was almost lost last year until Isaiah McGuire was drafted in the fourth round by the Cleveland Browns.

The Tigers had one player drafted in each of the first four rounds, two in the fifth, but none in the sixth or seventh. Here is who was taken during the draft and any players signed or invited to minicamp as undrafted free agents.

. Darius Robinson. player. 32. Mizzou draft. Darius Robinson. DE. Round 1, Pick 27. .

Darius Robinson was the lone Tiger to be taken in the first round of the draft by the Arizona Cardinals with the 27th pick. Robinson was actually the Cardinal's second pick in the first round and will probably be a starter in his rookie season.

Robinson was drafted to fill the void on the Cardinal's defensive line, which was ranked 31st in rushing defense in 2023. Robinson finished his career with the Tigers with 111 total tackles, 21 tackles for loss, and 13 sacks. Robinson knows how to get to the ball quickly and can be elusive against blockers to get to the quarterback.

. 50. Mizzou draft. . Round 2, Pick 61. Ennis Rakestraw Jr.. . Ennis Rakestraw Jr.. player. CB

The Detroit Lions took Ennis Rakestraw Jr. with the 61st pick in the second round of the draft. Rakestraw was drafted to help build up a Lions secondary that was ranked 27th in passing yards allowed in 2023.

Rakestraw will join first-round pick Terrion Arnold as likely starters in 2024. The former Missouri Tiger had good speed to stay up with receivers and a good turn to run with them. He reads receivers and routes well and can fight off blocks in the run game. He also knows how to make good open-field tackles in order to stop big plays.

Round 3, Pick 91. Ty'Ron Hopper. Ty'Ron Hopper. Mizzou draft. . 49. . LB. player.

The Green Bay Packers took Ty'Ron Hopper in the third round with the 91st pick to help round out their defense which struggled in 2023. Hopper is smaller for a linebacker, but he has a good ability to burst through openings on the line and be disruptive in the backfield for quarterbacks and running backs.

The Packers finished 28th in rushing defense in 2023, so building up their defensive line and linebacker core to improve on those numbers in 2024. Hopper was the second linebacker the Packers took in this draft, which shows they are serious about defending the run better next season.

. player. 52. Javon Foster. OT. Round 4, Pick 114. . Mizzou draft. . Javon Foster

The Jacksonville Jaguars had a complete meltdown at the end of the season that cost them a spot in the playoffs. Part of that meltdown was due to injuries to star quarterback Trevor Lawrence due to bad protection from the offensive line. Well, the Jaguars reinforced their offensive line in the draft with the help of draft offensive tackle Javon Foster.

Foster started 39 games over three seasons with the Tigers mostly at left tackle, but has also played right tackles, making him versatile. Foster holds his ground well with good power off the line to push defenders out of the way to make good running lanes. With an explosive running back like Travis Etienne, good rushing lanes will add more to the offense for Jacksonville.

. Round 5, Pick 145. Mizzou draft. . . player. 45. Kris Abrams-Draine. Kris Abrams-Draine. CB

The Denver Broncos have released several players in order to save cap space, with many of those players coming from the defense. They released star safety Justin Simmons which hurt their defense severely. So it is no surprise that the Broncos beefed up their defense in the draft, some of those players to help is Kris Abrams-Draine who the Broncos took in the fifth round.

Abrams-Draine led the SEC in passes defended in 2023 and had seven interceptions in his career at Missouri. The former wide receiver now cornerback shows good speed and an ability to track a ball in the air with receivers. He also has a good mind for reading routes as a former receiver. He also is hard-nosed and isn't afraid to get in the trenches of the run game to make a tackle.

. Jaylon Carlies. 46. Mizzou draft. . Jaylon Carlies. Round 5, Pick 151. . S. player

Jaylon Carlies was the final Missouri Tiger to be taken in the NFL draft by the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts also need help in their secondary, especially with their division loading up on wide receiver talent. Carlies will have to lock down the middle of the field and be a ballhawk for the Colts.

Carlies has a good blend of speed, size, and length that not many players have. He had nine interceptions in his career at Missouri in three seasons, so he tracks the ball well and has a good catch radius with an ability to pick passes out of the air.

Undrafted Free Agents

  • RB Cody Schreader: San Fransisco 49ers
  • RB Nate Peat: Dallas Dallas Cowboys
  • OL Xaiver Delgado: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • K Harrison Mevis: Carolina Panthers
  • OL Marcellis Johnson: New York Giants