Missouri has a tradition of sending players to the NFL. Last season, there were 23 players on a practice squad or roster that were #MizzouMade. This is a place that despite not always recruiting at an elite level, has found a way to get players to the next level.
That number looks to get larger later tonight with the NFL draft kicking off. With that being the case, we’re going to look at the guys with the best chance of getting drafted and in what round that may be.
Tyler Badie, RB
Badie was awesome at Missouri, and in his final season he showed what he truly could be when given the usage. At the next level, he may be used as a third down back initially but don’t be surprised if you’re picking him up in fantasy football in week six or seven. Badie is almost a sure thing to be drafted, and has been mocked from the late second to early fourth rounds but I think he gets surprised and gets taken on day two.
Projected Round: Late 3rd to Early 4th Round
Keke Chism, WR
Keke made the jump from D-II to the SEC during a pandemic, and debuted during the All-SEC Covid season in 2020. Expectations were high, but as he got his feet wet he continued to make an impact as a big bodied possession guy with a little bit of wiggle. In 2021, the passing game in general was held back by inconsistencies at quarterback but Chism did manage a decent season with 518 receiving yards.
Chism was a solid player at the collegiate level, and has some physical characteristics that teams may like. That big 6’5 frame may be attractive enough to make a team take a shot on him, but it would probably be in the later parts of day three or even as a undrafted free agent.
Projected Round: Mid 7th Round-UDFA
Michael Maietti, C
Maietti came to Missouri as an ironman from the east coast, and immediately solidified Missouri’s center position after the departure of Trystan Colon-Castillo’s departure. He was very effective, and very durable as he started every game in his Missouri tenure. Maietti showed a lot of nice skills, and graded out well finishing first among SEC centers.
Michael Maietti in 2021:— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 26, 2022
89.1 PFF Grade (1st among SEC Centers)
90.9 Run Blocking Grade (1st)@MizzouFootball pic.twitter.com/9l1j173ePV
Before this year, Maietti was looking to find himself in the UDFA range and with a good 2021 season, has now made being drafted a legitimate possibility. He has had a lot of buzz, in the past few weeks and could find himself with a team sometime at the end of day three.
Projected Round: Early to Mid 7th Round
Akayleb Evans, CB
Evans followed his DB’s coach Aaron Fletcher from Tulsa and to Missouri when he entered the transfer portal last year. He ended up at Missouri holding down an starting spot for most of the season where he showed flashes of what made him such a hot commodity in the transfer portal. He has the length that executives love from cornerbacks. I like Evans’ game and think he’s well worth a pick in the later rounds as a developmental piece.
Projected Round: Late 6th to Early 7th Round
Allie Green IV, CB
Green IV left Tulsa for Missouri as well this past offseason, alongside his partner mentioned above and his defensive backs coach, Aaron Fletcher. At Missouri, Green showed off some physical play that made him a bit of a boom or bust candidate. He was very handsy and aggressive in his press-man looks, and at times it would rattle receivers as he’d redirect them out of their break. At other times, he made himself liable to penalties and getting beat because of poor technique and overreaching.
Green was a solid player at the collegiate level and his mentality and aggressiveness will be a good fit for a team, but he will probably be one of those priority free agents that are signed after the draft is over.
Projected Round: Late 7th Round to UDFA