Rivals Era: Best of the Show-Me
We started ranking recruits in 2002. We now have nearly two full decades of data. During this time with no live sports, we decided to take a look back at the best team that could be put together from the state of Missouri. Today, we will simply list the top-ranked players from each position to fill out a roster of 25 players. Last week, simply put together the list of the most highly-ranked players at each position. This week, we're going with the best players (a combination of college and pro achievements) to come out of the state in the Rivals era). We did not include a kicker on the team this time.
This pick is probably a bit premature. But Lock became the Broncos' starter midway through his rookie year and looks to be the future in Denver. The other contenders were Blaine Gabbert and Josh Freeman. Lock put up better numbers than both in college. Gabbert started for parts of three seasons, Freeman for all or part of four. If Lock simply hangs on to the job through his rookie contract, he's probably the best quarterback the state has produced in the last two decades.
This was a slam dunk. The only other back even in the conversation would be Montee Ball, who put up ridiculous numbers in college, but didn't have the NFL success of either Elliott or Maroney.
The state has put out quite a few highly touted receivers over the years, but a lot of them have not gone on to be incredibly productive. Franklin had a productive career at Mizzou and was drafted in the fourth round by the Chiefs. He had seven catches for 83 yards as a rookie, but was waived after the season and never stuck in the league. Chesson had 1,600 yards at Michigan and was also drafted by Kansas City with a similar pro resume to Franklin. Maclin is the standout of the bunch, a two-time all-American at Missouri and an eight-year pro with nearly 7,000 yards.
Coffman beats out teammate Martin Rucker and Alabama alum Hale Hentges for the nod here. Neither Rucker or Coffman put up big numbers in the NFL, but both were wildly productive in college.. Hentges could ultimately have a longer pro career, but is a different type of tight end than the two Tigers.
These five all played in the NFL. Britt, Boehm and Johnson are still there. The only other potential pick was Tyler Evans, who was probably headed to the NFL before two knee injuries ended his career.
Clayborn was a no-brainer. Smith's career (at least prior to his current comeback attempt with the Cowboys) was shorter than it should have been due to off-field problems, but he was so productive he got the nod over Charles Harris and Kony Ealy.
There aren't many other candidates at one of the toughest positions to recruit in football. The Davis brothers (Khalil and Carlos) were both drafted late out of Nebraska and could turn into players, but these are the only two productive pros at the position so far.
Compton and Lee were productive college players who have contributed in the NFL (Compton has had a long career, Lee is entering his fourth season). Munson was a two-time all-Mountain West pick at San Diego State who has played sparingly so far in the league, but is hanging on. The closest player to replacing him was probably Cale Garrett who had a very good college career and is hoping to make his mark at the next level.
Not a real difficult debate here as Byrd and Gaines are pretty clearly the top two.
Moore was listed as a wide receiver, but was also slated to be a defensive back. Plus, we needed him here. Gilmore played in 27 games and made 54 tackles at Miami (OH)
Both of these athletes were productive college linebackers. Kirksey is now entering his sixth NFL season.
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