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The Missouri Tigers Legends Draft: Round XVII

“Defensive Disruption” is the theme of Round 17!

Just jumping in? Here are the previous rounds of the Missouri Tigers Football Draft:

Round XII (this has the halfway point breakdown and links to rounds 1-11)

Round XIII

Round XIV

Round XV

Round XVI

Welcome, Tiger fans, to #PeakOffseasonContent. Despite a lack of championships, the Missouri Football Tigers have had some excellent players throughout the years, both at the college and professional levels. There have been excellent ambassadors on and off the field, as well as some that changed the program or revolutionized a position. So what better time than now to draft a hypothetical team of these exquisite athletes?

BK and I will build a team of 22 starters (sorry, specialists!) to craft a team to play against the other. For simplicity’s sake, we’re limiting our selections to guys who played on the 2000 team going forward, including the current roster in 2020. Each Round will alternate who goes first and we’ll provide our reasoning/explanations/defense afterwards.

At the end, you all will be able to vote for who you think has the best team! And of course, we’d love to hear your picks for each round as well and why we are dumdums who don’t know what we’re talking about.

Back in Black! BK kicks off our next round of picks:

Round XVII, Pick 33: BK selects MLB Cale Garrett

Troy v Missouri Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Alright, this was a tough selection. One of the most difficult I’ve made thus far. But I wanted to solidify my front seven, and the last spot I need to fill is at middle linebacker. Frankly, there are a lot of solid options without any great options.

Brock Christopher deserves credit for what he did in ‘07 & ‘08, but he was also a beneficiary of playing alongside Sean Weatherspoon.

Michael Scherer was a force in the middle of one of the best Mizzou defenses in the last 20 years, but I’m not sure he had enough wow plays to push him over the top.

Really, those were my other options not named Cale Garrett. I just believe Garrett popped more than either of them. And, had he stayed healthy in 2020, I think he would have been the clear-cut, no-brainer choice.

In five games this season, Garrett finished with 39 tackles, 4 tackles-for-loss, a sack, three interceptions and two touchdowns.

If you pace that out over a 12-game regular season, Garrett was on pace for 94 tackles, 10 tackles-for-loss, seven interceptions and five touchdowns. Yes, I know rate statistics change over time.

BUT THAT’S INSANITY!

Garrett’s 2020 season deserves some of the same discussion we have about Pig Brown’s ‘07 season. Brown played eight games that season, and his presence was felt each and every week. The same could be said for Garrett’s short season in 2020.

Round XVII, Pick 34: Nate selects DE/OLB Charles Harris

NCAA FOOTBALL: OCT 15 Missouri at Florida Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

I need an outside linebacker for my 3-4 scheme, someone who can play the run and be decent in coverage to offset my TIGER pass rusher on the other side (Shane Ray). I wavered between Stryker Sulak and Charles Harris but went with the more athletic (and Missouri native, ahem) Harris for this position.

Harris is one of the best recruiting day stories out there, a kid who signed out of Kansas City on signing day 2013 that NO ONE had heard of, not even the recruiting specialists. He had only started playing football his senior year and had been playing basketball for most of his high school days. Pinkel and Kuligowski saw him play, though, and saw the extreme athleticism he brought to the position and took a chance on a project player.

That project paid dividends.

Harris first saw the field in 2014, spelling an injured Markus Golden in the Indiana game. He had spots throughout the rest of the ‘14 campaign but fully took over in ‘15 and ‘16, become an effective weapon (and the only weapon in ‘16) for the vaunted Missouri d-line.

34.5 tackles for loss and 18 sacks might not sound like much, but he did the bulk of that in two years, and one of those years he was the only threat opposing offensive lines had to worry about! He might not have made his name in the NFL, but he was incredible in his time in Columbia.