98. The 137 players drafted since 1998

There are 98 days until MACtion returns. Until then, we count the days

Over the last 21 years, the Mid-American Conference has had 137 players selected as NFL Draft picks. While there have been some really exciting players to highlight some early-round moments, the majority of draft picks for the MAC usually come in the form of late-round flyers.

First rounders

To some degree, having players get drafted in the first round adds street cred to the league. Since 1998, the MAC has had 13 first rounders, including some that’ll probably make it into the Pro Hall of Fame (Randy Moss and Ben Roethlisberger, namely).

In the years 2004 and 2014, MAC players were drafted twice in each drafts’ first rounds. Add that with Eric Fisher being the first overall pick in 2013, there’s a pretty nice sample of players to add to the league’s pedigree.

School Player Position Year Round Overall Team
WMU Corey Davis WR 2017 1 5 Tennessee Titans
NIU Jimmie Ward DB 2014 1 30 San Francisco 49ers
Buffalo Khalil Mack LB 2014 1 5 Oakland Raiders
CMU Eric Fisher T 2013 1 1 Kansas City Chiefs
Temple Muhammad Wilkerson DB 2011 1 30 New York Jets
NIU Larry English DE 2009 1 16 San Diego Chargers
CMU Joe Staley T 2007 1 28 San Francisco 49ers
WMU Jason Babin DE 2004 1 27 Houston Texans
Miami-OH Ben Roethlisberger QB 2004 1 11 Pittsburgh Steelers
Marshall Byron Leftwich QB 2003 1 7 Jacksonville Jaguars
Marshall Chad Pennington QB 2000 1 18 New York Jets
EMU L.J. Shelton T 1999 1 21 Arizona Cardinals
Marshall Randy Moss WR 1998 1 21 Minnesota Vikings

Draft picks by school

School No. of draft picks
Akron 7
Ball State 7
BGSU 5
Buffalo 9
CMU 11
EMU 8
Kent State 9
Miami-OH 13
NIU 12
Ohio 10
Toledo 11
WMU 14
Marshall 12
Temple 6
UCF 3
Total 137

Western Michigan has the most NFL draft picks since 1998 with 14 drafted players, followed by Miami-OH (13), and Northern Illinois and Marshall (12). Marshall’s tied for third on this list, but it hasn’t been a part of the MAC since 2005. (For whatever it’s worth, Marshall currently has 19 players drafted since 1998.) The Broncos have had quite the surge of talent come through its program in recent years. In the three most recent drafts, seven WMU players heard their names called including a first rounder (Corey Davis), a second rounder (Taylor Moton) and a third rounder (Chukwuma Okorafor).

Temple and Central Florida made appearances on here with six and three draftees, respectively. Temple was in the MAC from 2007-2012 and UCF was with the MAC from 2002-2005. But without these three schools, the MAC wouldn’t have 13 first rounders to show for, it’d have nine. There’d also be 116 total draftees instead of 137.

Who wasn’t drafted?

This league isn’t entirely defined by its draft picks, obviously. Jordan Lynch was the man — a Heisman trophy finalist as a senior, but that doesn’t mean the NFL scouts saw much potential in him. Instead, after being a human highlight reel quarterback at Northern Illinois, Lynch went undrafted in 2014 because Lynch’s game works in college, not in the NFL. So his tenure with the Chicago Bears was very short, went on to have the game-winning touchdown for the Grey Cup with the Edmonton Eskimos. Now he’s the head coach for the high school that got him there. Proof that you don’t need a career in the NFL to live a good life in football.

Matt Johnson was a guy who didn’t get drafted. And he broke Roethlisberger’s record for most passing yards in a single season with 4,946 — talk about a name drop. Still, that was the peak of his playing career, not a bad way to be remembered. Johnson went undrafted in 2016 and is now coaching over at Kent State.

Speaking of Kent State, James Harrison wasn’t an NFL Draft pick. Now he’s finally retired in the NFL, but he can still bench press an ice cream truck with sweats on.

MAC players drafted since 2018

School Player Position Year Round Overall Team
Toledo Logan Woodside QB 2018 7 249 Cincinnati Bengals
Ohio Quentin Poling LB 2018 7 227 Miami Dolphins
WMU Darius Phillips DB 2018 5 170 Cincinnati Bengals
CMU Tyler Conklin TE 2018 5 157 Minnesota Vikings
WMU Chukwuma Okorafor T 2018 3 92 Pittsburgh Steelers
Buffalo Mason Schreck TE 2017 7 251 Cincinnati Bengals
EMU Pat O’Connor DE 2017 7 250 Detroit Lions
WMU Keion Adams DE 2017 7 248 Pittsburgh Steelers
Toledo Treyvon Hester DT 2017 7 244 Oakland Raiders
Ohio Blair Brown LB 2017 5 148 Jacksonville Jaguars
Toledo Michael Roberts TE 2017 4 127 Detroit Lions
NIU Kenny Golladay WR 2017 3 96 Detroit Lions
Toledo Kareem Hunt RB 2017 3 86 Kansas City Chiefs
Ohio Tarell Basham DE 2017 3 80 Indianapolis Colts
WMU Taylor Moton T 2017 2 64 Carolina Panthers
WMU Corey Davis WR 2017 1 5 Tennessee Titans
WMU Daniel Braverman WR 2016 7 230 Chicago Bears
EMU Darius Jackson RB 2016 6 216 Dallas Cowboys
CMU Kavon Frazier DB 2016 6 212 Dallas Cowboys
Akron Jatavis Brown LB 2016 5 175 San Diego Chargers
WMU Willie Beavers T 2016 4 121 Minnesota Vikings
NIU Da’Ron Brown WR 2015 7 233 Kansas City Chiefs
Buffalo Kristjan Sokoli DT 2015 6 214 Seattle Seahawks
CMU Leterrius Walton DT 2015 6 199 Pittsburgh Steelers
Miami-OH Quinten Rollins DB 2015 2 62 Green Bay Packers
NIU Ken Bishop DT 2014 7 251 Dallas Cowboys
Ohio T. J. Carrie DB 2014 7 219 Oakland Raiders
Ball State Keith Wenning QB 2014 6 194 Baltimore Ravens
Ball State Jonathan Newsome DE 2014 5 166 Indianapolis Colts
Kent State Dri Archer RB 2014 3 97 Pittsburgh Steelers
NIU Jimmie Ward DB 2014 1 30 San Francisco 49ers
Buffalo Khalil Mack LB 2014 1 5 Oakland Raiders
Miami-OH Zac Dysert QB 2013 7 234 Denver Broncos
Ohio Eric Herman G 2013 7 225 New York Giants
BGSU Chris Jones DT 2013 6 198 Houston Texans
Buffalo Steven Means DE 2013 5 147 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kent State Brian Winters G 2013 3 72 New York Jets
CMU Eric Fisher T 2013 1 1 Kansas City Chiefs
NIU Chandler Harnish QB 2012 7 253 Indianapolis Colts
WMU John Potter K 2012 7 251 Buffalo Bills
WMU Jordan White WR 2012 7 244 New York Jets
Ohio LaVon Brazill WR 2012 6 206 Indianapolis Colts
Temple Tahir Whitehead LB 2012 5 138 Indianapolis Colts
Temple Evan Rodriguez TE 2012 4 111 Detroit Lions
Miami-OH Brandon Brooks G 2012 3 76 Houston Texans
Temple Bernard Pierce RB 2012 3 76 Baltimore Ravens
Buffalo Josh Thomas DB 2011 5 143 Dallas Cowboys
Temple Jaiquawn Jarrett DB 2011 2 54 Philadelphia Eagles
Temple Muhammad Wilkerson DB 2011 1 30 New York Jets
Kent State Jameson Konz TE 2010 7 245 Seattle Seahawks
CMU Antonio Brown WR 2010 6 195 Pittsburgh Steelers
Buffalo James Starks RB 2010 6 193 Green Bay Packers
CMU Dan LeFevour QB 2010 6 181 Chicago Bears
Ohio Taylor Price WR 2010 3 90 New England Patriots
Miami-OH Jake O’Connell WR 2009 7 237 Kansas City Chiefs
Kent State Julian Edelman WR 2009 7 232 New England Patriots
WMU E. J. Biggers DB 2009 7 217 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ball State Nate Davis QB 2009 5 171 San Francisco 49ers
EMU T.J. Lang T 2009 4 109 Green Bay Packers
Ball State Robert Brewster T 2009 3 75 Dallas Cowboys
Temple Terrance Knighton DT 2009 3 72 Jacksonville Jaguars
Ohio Mike Mitchell DB 2009 2 47 Oakland Raiders
WMU Louis Delmas DB 2009 2 33 Detroit Lions
NIU Larry English DE 2009 1 16 San Diego Chargers
Buffalo Jamey Richard C 2008 7 236 Indianapolis Colts
Ohio Landon Cohen DT 2008 7 216 Detroit Lions
Toledo Jalen Parmele RB 2008 6 176 Miami Dolphins
Buffalo Trevor Scott DE 2008 6 169 Oakland Raiders
Kent State Jack Williams DB 2008 4 119 Denver Broncos
Akron Reggie Corner DB 2008 4 114 Buffalo Bills
BGSU Kory Lichtensteiger C 2008 4 108 Denver Broncos
Toledo John Greco T 2008 3 65 St. Louis Rams
EMU Jason Jones DE 2008 2 54 Tennessee Titans
CMU Drew Mormino C 2007 6 199 Miami Dolphins
NIU Doug Free T 2007 4 122 Dallas Cowboys
NIU Garrett Wolfe RB 2007 3 93 Chicago Bears
Akron Andy Alleman G 2007 3 88 New Orleans Saints
Kent State Usama Young DB 2007 3 66 New Orleans Saints
CMU Dan Bazuin DE 2007 2 62 Chicago Bears
CMU Joe Staley T 2007 1 28 San Francisco 49ers
Toledo Bruce Gradkowski QB 2006 6 194 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
BGSU Omar Jacobs QB 2006 5 164 Pittsburgh Steelers
Akron Domenik Hixon WR 2006 4 130 Denver Broncos
WMU Tony Scheffler TE 2006 2 61 Denver Broncos
WMU Greg Jennings WR 2006 2 52 Green Bay Packers
BGSU Scott Mruczkowski C 2005 7 242 San Diego Chargers
EMU Chris Roberson DB 2005 7 237 Jacksonville Jaguars
Ball State Reggie Hodges P 2005 6 210 St. Louis Rams
Ball State Justin Beriault DB 2005 6 208 Dallas Cowboys
Ball State Dante Ridgeway WR 2005 6 192 St. Louis Rams
CMU Adam Kieft T 2005 5 153 Cincinnati Bengals
Miami-OH Alphonso Hodge CB 2005 5 147 Kansas City Chiefs
CMU Eric Ghiaciuc C 2005 4 119 Cincinnati Bengals
Toledo Nick Kaczur G 2005 3 100 New England Patriots
Akron Charlie Frye QB 2005 3 67 Cleveland Browns
UCF Michael Gaines TE 2004 7 232 Carolina Panthers
BGSU Josh Harris QB 2004 6 187 Baltimore Ravens
NIU Michael Turner RB 2004 5 154 San Diego Chargers
Miami-OH Jacob Bell G 2004 5 138 Tennessee Titans
Marshall Darius Watts WR 2004 2 54 Denver Broncos
WMU Jason Babin DE 2004 1 27 Houston Texans
Miami-OH Ben Roethlisberger QB 2004 1 11 Pittsburgh Steelers
Toledo Carl Ford WR 2003 7 256 Green Bay Packers
EMU Kevin Walter WR 2003 7 255 New York Giants
UCF Mike Mabry C 2003 7 250 Baltimore Ravens
Marshall Steve Sciullo OT 2003 4 122 Indianapolis Colts
UCF Asante Samuel DB 2003 4 120 New England Patriots
Marshall Chris Crocker FS 2003 3 84 Cleveland Browns
Marshall Byron Leftwich QB 2003 1 7 Jacksonville Jaguars
Marshall Chris Massey C 2002 7 243 St. Louis Rams
NIU Darrell Hill WR 2002 7 225 Tennessee Titans
Toledo Chester Taylor RB 2002 6 207 Baltimore Ravens
Akron Jake Schifino WR 2002 5 151 Tennessee Titans
Ohio Dave Zastudil P 2002 4 112 Baltimore Ravens
Miami-OH Alex Sulfsted G 2001 6 176 Kansas City Chiefs
NIU Justin McCareins WR 2001 4 124 Tennessee Titans
NIU Ryan Diem T 2001 4 118 Indianapolis Colts
Akron Dwight Smith DB 2001 3 84 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Marshall Paul Toviessi DE 2001 2 51 Denver Broncos
Marshall Chad Pennington QB 2000 1 18 New York Jets
Marshall Rogers Beckett DB 2000 2 43 San Diego Chargers
Miami-OH Travis Prentice RB 2000 3 63 Cleveland Browns
Marshall Doug Chapman RB 2000 3 88 Minnesota Vikings
Miami-OH Trevor Gaylor WR 2000 4 111 San Diego Chargers
Marshall James Williams WR 2000 6 175 Seattle Seahawks
Kent State Jason Gavadza TE 2000 6 204 Pittsburgh Steelers
Buffalo Drew Haddad WR 2000 7 233 Buffalo Bills
Miami-OH JoJuan Armour LB 1999 7 224 Oakland Raiders
Kent State Eugene Baker WR 1999 5 164 Atlanta Falcons
Miami-OH Paris Johnson DB 1999 5 155 Arizona Cardinals
EMU L.J. Shelton T 1999 1 21 Arizona Cardinals
Miami-OH Damian Vaughn TE 1998 7 222 Cincinnati Bengals
Marshall John Wade C 1998 5 148 Jacksonville Jaguars
Toledo Clarence Love DB 1998 4 116 Philadelphia Eagles
EMU Charlie Batch QB 1998 2 60 Detroit Lions
Kent State Bob Hallen G 1998 2 53 Atlanta Falcons
Marshall Randy Moss WR 1998 1 21 Minnesota Vikings

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