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2015 NFL Draft recap: 5 Missouri players drafted, 2 sign UDFA contracts

Consider this your Sunday live thread. Mizzou Baseball goes for a sweep of Ole Miss at 1:05 p.m. CT (on SEC+) after 4-2 and 18-1 (!) wins, while Mizzou Softball tries to avoid a sweep against Florida at noon CT (on SEC+) after tough 7-6 and 9-6 losses.

Of the 10 Tigers on the 2014 poster, 7 found NFL homes, 2 are returning starters for 2015
Of the 10 Tigers on the 2014 poster, 7 found NFL homes, 2 are returning starters for 2015

Shane Ray

Denver Broncos, 23rd pick

2015 NFL draft: Denver Broncos draft wrap-up - NFL Nation - ESPN

Best move: It's intriguing to watch how things unfold at times. If Missouri outside linebacker/defensive end Shane Ray had not been stopped by police in the early morning hours of the past Monday, had he not been cited for marijuana possession and had he not slipped down the draft board, the Broncos never would have had a chance to select him without a blockbuster trade. The Broncos did their due diligence following the traffic stop and thought it was worth moving up five spots in the first round to select the SEC's Defensive Player of the Year. If Ray is true to his word that the incident was a one-time thing and "will never happen again," the Broncos have a potential long-term impact player.

Shane Ray, Denver Bronco - Columbia Daily Tribune | David Morrison

On modeling his game after Miller… "When I look at Von Miller, I see a guy that’s a great athlete, has a lot of speed and power. He uses his skill set very well. So does the defense in moving him around and being versatile in what he can do. I’ve tried to model my game after that and show people I could be the same. To be able to be here and play next to a guy like that and learn from him, I feel like it can only help me so much. I can’t wait to go out there and chase quarterbacks with him."

Broncos trade up to grab Shane Ray with 23rd pick - Columbia Daily Tribune | David Morrison

"All the teams that passed on me that were in the top 10, I feel like they made a huge mistake," Ray said in a video conference with reporters Thursday night. "And as a Denver Bronco, I plan to show them about the mistake they made." - Path to the Draft: Shane Ray

Mitch Morse

Kansas City Chiefs, 49th pick

2015 NFL draft: Kansas City Chiefs pick Mitch Morse in second round - Kansas City Chiefs Blog - ESPN

A versatile player: Morse played both center and tackle at Missouri and said some NFL teams were thinking of him as a guard, so he has the versatility Andy Reid likes in an offensive lineman. Center makes the most sense for Morse in Kansas City, given the Chiefs’ need at that position. But Morse has the flexibility to switch positions if the Chiefs need him elsewhere.

2015 NFL draft: Kansas City Chiefs bolster OL with center Mitch Morse

"If I have to move back to that position, I’ll be just fine," Morse said. "I have a lot of game time experience at center, if that’s what the Kansas City Chiefs need me to play, and I feel confident going forward I can be a good asset to the Chiefs, if need be, at center."

Five Things to Know About C Mitch Morse

Because of his short arms, Morse recently revealed that NFL teams he visited with have nicknamed him

"T-REX." David Morrison of the Columbia Daily Tribune recently asked Morse where most teams are projecting him on the offensive line.

"Some teams will work me out exclusively at guard," Morse said. "A lot of hybrid. A lot of guard, center and not so many at tackle. "I had no idea I had short arms until I got to the combine. I’m like being pounded. Everyone’s calling me a T-Rex. It helped me out in the bench, that was about it."


New Chiefs offensive linemen Mitch Morse has always been ‘part of the solution’ | KC Star

To understand how the University of Missouri’s Mitch Morse came to emerge as the Chiefs second-round draft pick on Friday night, to understand who he’ll be as a teammate and his abiding desire to make good, simply trace an arc back to when he was 4 years old.

Morse stays in-state, goes to Kansas City with 49th pick - Columbia Daily Tribune | David Morrison

Q: The Chiefs have listed you as a Center. What is going to be your mindset if you have to move back to that position, the one you played in the 2012 season?

MORSE: "If I have to move back to that position I’ll be just fine. I’ve accepted the 2012 season. I’ve learned a lot from it. I had a lot of game time experience at center if that’s where the Kansas City Chiefs need me to play. I feel confident going forward that I can be a good asset to the Chiefs if need be at center." - Path to the Draft: Mitch Morse

MUTIGERS.COM Mizzou's Morse, Golden Selected in Second Round of NFL Draft

Markus Golden

Arizona Cardinals 58th pick

2015 NFL draft total breakdown: Cardinals draft OLB Markus Golden

Can get to the QB: After sacking the quarterback 12 fewer times in 2014 than in 2013, Arizona needed to improve its pass rush, and Golden could be the answer. He has a quick first step, with 10 sacks and 20 of 78 tackles were for a loss last season. But he’s 6-foot-2, which is small for an outside linebacker. According to ESPN Stats & Information, there wasn’t a starting outside linebacker last season in a 3-4 defense who was 6-2 or shorter. He’ll have to make up for his size with quick hands and feet. He’ll be worth this pick.

Golden: 'Markus Golden was built off people doubting me' - Columbia Daily Tribune | David Morrison

How did you handle all the talk about your measurables leading into the draft?

"With me, the thing about me is I’ve been getting talked about my whole life. This ain’t nothing new at all. Since I first started little league at the Boys & Girls Club, people have been overlooking me. That’s the good thing about it. Markus Golden was built off people doubting me when it comes to football. That ain’t nothing new. Once you do it, you’re just adding fuel to my fire. I knew these coaches were watching my film and seeing what I do on film. I just knew if I don’t go in the first round, I’m going to go in the second. I just know. I worked too hard. The coaches watching my film, I knew somebody was going to take me."

Markus Golden goes 58th to Arizona - Columbia Daily Tribune | David Morrison

"Shane Ray is the more athletic, better football player on that team, but the unquestioned leader was Markus Golden," ESPN analyst Todd McShay said. "No. 33, if you walked into the locker room and he didn't like something, he was going to let you know about it, and everyone in that locker room was going to respond. You get a high-character, tough, physical football player. The Cardinals are going to like this guy."

Mizzou’s Markus Golden drafted by Arizona Cardinals in second round | KC Star

Golden said he wasn’t surprised to be selected so high. "I’d be lying if I said I was surprised," he said. "I’ve worked so hard all these years. … I felt like I deserved to go at least the first or second round. I’m just glad the Arizona Cardinals saw the same things on film and they picked me."

Matter's Mizzou draft blog: Golden, Morse, Green-Beckham selected : Dave Matter

"It feels good because I’m back to my old ways," he said. "I’m really a linebacker. I’ve been playing linebacker my whole life. I’m just thankful because the Cardinals watched my film, studied me and watched me through the drills and didn’t judge me off being in a three-point stance. They believed in me that I can play linebacker. They know I move well and I can drop back in coverage." - Path to the Draft: Markus Golden

Bud Sasser

St. Louis Rams, 201st pick

2015 NFL draft total breakdown: Rams draft WR Bud Sasser in Round 6

Mizzou magic? The Rams struck gold in the sixth round in the 2014 NFL draft when they ventured just down Interstate 70 to take a player from Missouri. That was cornerback E.J. Gaines, who turned into an immediate starter and now figures prominently into the team's long-term defensive plans. Sasser obviously plays a different position but profiles in a similar way as a productive college player who probably didn't get enough credit entering the draft. If the Rams even get half the production they got from Gaines as a rookie, they might need to make drafting a Tiger in Round 6 an annual tradition.

This Bud's for you, Rams : Dave Matter

Legally, the Sassers named him Larry Jr., but he’s forever been Bud. And now he’s a football player in the city famous for brewing Budweiser.

Sasser caught 77 passes for 1,003 yards and 12 touchdowns. Only Alabama’s Amari Cooper had more receptions in the SEC last year. A native of Denton, Texas, Sasser was part of MU’s receiver platoon for three years until becoming the team’s No. 1 target last year. He wasn’t invited to the NFL scouting combine but produced impressive results at Mizzou’s pro day. - Path to the Draft: Bud Sasser

Marcus Murphy

New Orleans Saint, 230th pick

2015 NFL draft total breakdown: Saints draft RB Marcus Murphy in 7th

My take: The Saints finished with a fun choice who could potentially light up a preseason game or two. The 5-foot-9, 198-pounder is a runner/receiver/kick returner who had more than 5,000 all-purpose yards and 25 touchdowns in his career -- including three kickoff returns and four punt returns. He had a career-high 924 rushing yards as a senior after serving as more of a part-time player earlier in his career. But the return game is his likely path to the roster.

Return candidate: Coach Sean Payton said the Saints identified Murphy as one of two return men they liked in this year's draft (the other being receiver Tyler Lockett, who went earlier) and called Murphy an "important pick."

Saints take Marcus Murphy in 7th round, 230th overall - Columbia Daily Tribune | David Morrison

Coach Sean Payton just said that he had you as one of the top two returners in the draft on their board. How much did you know going in that your return ability would factor into the teams that were interested in you?

"I knew coming out of college and going into this process that my return skills and things that I did in the return game would help me out in the draft. I knew that a lot of teams would be looking at me as a returner, so I just wanted to stay patient. I knew that if I just stayed patient, and continued to wait, I would find the right fit. I’m glad that I am a Saint."

Mizzou’s Marcus Murphy hopes return skills will impress NFL teams | KC Star

Undrafted Free Agents

Lucas Vincent - Tennessee Titans

Jimmie Hunt - Green Bay Packers

DT Vincent, WR Hunt sign free-agent deals - Columbia Daily Tribune | David Morrison

Braylon Webb -