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Mizzou Morning Matters: NFL Draft Edition

092223_Mizzou Morning Matters

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The 2024 NFL draft is history — and it was a historic one for the Missouri Tigers. No, Mizzou didn’t break the program’s single-year record of seven draft selections, coming one short of the 1981 and 1943 drafts with six selections. But for just the sixth time since the NFL-AFL merger, the Tigers produced three of the draft’s top 100 picks. After the draft, five more Tigers signed with teams as undrafted free agents. Here’s the total haul:

First Round: DL Darius Robinson, Arizona, No. 27

Second Round: CB Ennis Rakestraw, Jr., Detroit, No. 61

Third Round: LB Ty’Ron Hopper, Green Bay, No. 91

Fourth Round: OL Javon Foster, Jacksonville, No. 114

Fifth Round: CB Kris Abrams-Draine, Denver, No. 145

Fifth Round: LB/S J.C. Carlies, Indianapolis, No. 151

Undrafted signings: RB Cody Schrader, San Francisco; RB Nate Peat, Dallas; OL Xavier Delgado, Tampa Bay; OL Marcellus Johnson, New York Giants; PK Harrison Mevis, Carolina

Some quick takeaways from Mizzou’s latest draft class.

1. D-LINE ZOU LIVES: Mizzou’s tradition of producing defensive linemen continued with Robinson’s selection by the Cardinals. He becomes the program’s 10th first-round pick this century, and, remarkably, the seventh defensive linemen taken in the first round since the 2001 draft. Another nine Mizzou defensive linemen have been drafted in later rounds this century. Here’s the full list of first-round D-linemen since 2001:

2001: Justin Smith, Cincinnati, No. 4

2009: Ziggy Hood, Pittsburgh, No. 32

2011: Aldon Smith, San Francisco, No. 7

2013: Sheldon Richardson, New York Jets, No. 13

2015: Shane Ray, Denver, No. 23

2017: Charles Harris, Detroit, No. 22

2024: Robinson, Arizona, No. 27

Syndication: Detroit Free Press

The history isn’t lost on Robinson, which comes as no surprise. He left Mizzou as one of the program’s true ambassadors in the modern era.

“It’s awesome,” Robinson said. “I feel that I’m setting the standard going forward. But that’s the thing: Mizzou is known as ‘D-Line ZOU.’ I’m just adding to the family. And now I feel like I’m set setting the standard for my younger teammates, that this is attainable if you work really hard, be consistent and really trust your strength coach.”

The best part of Robinson’s press conference Friday in Arizona: Sitting alongside fellow first-round pick and Ohio State Buckeye Marvin Harrison Jr., Robinson made sure to be wearing his Cotton Bowl championship ring.

2. TIGER TURNS LION: The Detroit Lions targeted the secondary and spent its first two picks on Southeastern Conference cornerbacks, first adding Alabama’s Terrion Arnold and then Mizzou’s Rakestraw. Ennis became Mizzou’s highest-drafted cornerback since four-time Super Bowl winner Eric Wright, who went to the 49ers at No. 40 in that loaded 1981 draft class.

“Going to Terrion, we talked about the personality and just big energy and big personality very, very confident,” Lions general manager Brad Holmes told reporters. “Ennis is actually different. You feel the confidence in him. Me and (head coach) Dan (Campbell) talking to him, I kind of felt dog exuding out of him.

“Terrion and Ennis both of them you really felt like, ‘OK, these guys fit what we’re about and these guys fit our culture. But it was something about Ennis, just the competitiveness, the drive, how he talked about his story, how he talked about his process, how he talked about the details of how he came out of high school in Texas and just the whole recruiting process and when he got to Missouri and his whole thing about the receivers he’s been against.”

3. NEW HOME, NEW ROLE: Carlies was an incredibly productive safety in Mizzou’s scheme the last three years, but with his combination of size (227 pounds), speed (4.5 40-yard dash) and length (80-inch wingspan), the Colts will move him to linebacker to take advantage of all those measurables.

“We always think guys with length that can run have an advantage,” Colts GM Chris Ballard said. “It’s going to fit him well inside.”

There’s no doubt Carlies can track ball-carriers and make the transition closer to the line of scrimmage based on his college production: He led the Tigers in tackles each of the last two seasons with 145 stops.

4. DON’T DOUBT CODY: Count out Schrader at your own risk. Twenty running backs were selected, but, inconceivably, not the player who led the nation in rushing yards per game. If there’s anyone who’s proven he can take the long way to the finish line, it’s Schrader, the former Division II transfer and walk-on who’d go on to set Mizzou’s single-season rushing record and lead the conference in rushing. Let’s not forget, Cody finished the 2023 season with more rushing yards (1,627) than any SEC player since the 2018 season. He joins a 49ers roster that includes perennial MVP candidate Christian McCaffrey and three more veterans. The Niners also spent a fourth-round pick on a running back, Louisville’s Isaac Guerendo.

Here’s good karma for Schrader: In 1997, Brock Olivo set Mizzou’s career rushing record but went undrafted the following spring. He’d sign a free-agent contract with … the 49ers and later caught on with Detroit and spent parts of five years in the NFL, playing mostly special teams. Olivo watched Cody’s remarkable season up close as Mizzou’s special teams analyst.

5. TIGER TALES: Foster, an All-SEC left tackle, could move inside to guard in Jacksonville, where he’ll get a chance to learn from one of the NFL’s best interior blockers and team leaders and most accomplished players to come out of Mizzou this century: center Mitch Morse, who signed with the Jaguars this offseason after several years in Buffalo. … Can Mevis win the kicking job in Charlotte? The Panthers return veteran Eddy Pinerio, but he’ll have to hold off the rookie in training camp. If nothing else, Mevis could use preseason exposure to gain notice from other teams needing stability at the position. … Chase Daniel further made his case as one of the best NFL analysts in the making all weekend with his commentary on NFL Network and on his social media platforms. Forget coaching – Chase is becoming one of the NFL media industry’s next stars. 


1. Which current NFL franchise has gone the longest since drafting a Mizzou player?

2. Which NFL franchise in its current city has drafted the most Mizzou players? (For example,  we’re only counting Tigers drafted by the Arizona Cardinals, not the Chicago/St. Louis/Arizona Cardinals.)

3. Two current NFL teams have only drafted one Mizzou player in their current city. Which two teams?


MONDAY, April 29

Softball vs. No. 18 Mississippi State, SEC Network, 6 p.m.

TUESDAY, April 30

Baseball vs. Lindenwood, SEC Network, 6 p.m.


Softball at South Carolina, SEC Network+, 5 p.m. (Columbia, South Carolina)

Baseball vs. South Carolina, SEC Network+, 6 p.m.


Baseball vs. South Carolina, SEC Network+, 3 p.m.

Softball at South Carolina, SEC Network, 5 p.m. (Columbia, South Carolina)


Baseball vs. South Carolina, SEC Network+, 1 p.m.

Softball at South Carolina, SEC Network+, 2 p.m. (Columbia, South Carolina)


1. Washington and the New York Giants have not drafted a Mizzou player since 1984.

2. The Pittsburgh Steelers have drafted 14 Mizzou players, just ahead of the Chicago Bears (13), Detroit Lions (13), Green Bay Packers (12) and Washington Redskins/Commanders (12).

3. The Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans.


Mizzou opens the 2024 football season Aug. 29 against Murray State at Memorial Stadium. The Tigers also host home games against Southeastern Conference opponents Vanderbilt, Auburn, Oklahoma and Arkansas, plus nonconference contests against Buffalo and Boston College. Purchase your 2024 season tickets now by calling 1-800-CAT-PAWS or buying online.

Those interested in learning how to support Mizzou Athletics can contact the Tiger Scholarship Fund Office at 573-882-0704 and visit


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This article is provided by University of Missouri Athletics