The trend of LSU defenders transitioning to first-round NFL picks continued Thursday night as Keke…
LSU in the NFL
In total there are 50 former Tigers set to begin camp competing for roster spots on NFL teams. Four teams – the Bears, Cardinals, Colts and Eagles – are tied with the most LSU players currently on board, each having four apiece.
Here's the list, broken down by division:
Ron Brooks – CB – Yr. 2 – Played in nine games his rookie year, and started in two of the after being drafted in the fourth round. His role for the team should continue to grow in the coming football season.
Kyle Williams – DT – Yr. 8 – Since his arrival into the NFL in 2008, Williams has been a force up the middle for the Buffalo Bills. He started all 16 games in the 2012 season and recorded 46 tackles and five sacks. His five sacks were the second most he had in his career.
New England Patriots
Stevan Ridley – RB – Yr. 3 – In 2012 Ridley cemented his role as the Patriots' starting running back, running for 1,263 YDS and 12 TDS on 290 CAR. Look for him to be a focal point of New England's offense in 2013, as he seems to be one of the only weapons returning for week one.
New York Jets
Stephen Peterman – G – Yr. 9 – He is entering into his first season with Jets, and was brought in to help sure up the offensive line. He had been a solid player for the Detroit Lions, starting every game for them the past three years.
Marcus Spears – DT – Yr. 9 – Spears spent his first eight seasons with the Dallas Cowboys after being drafted by them in the first round. He has been known as a dependable player that can play multiple positions, but he has seen his role diminish some in recent years, partially do to injuries.
Andrew Whitwoth – T – Yr. 8 – He has been a key component for the Bengals' recent success, anchoring the offensive line. He has played in every game six out of his seven years and reached the Pro Bowl in 2012.
Kendrick Adams – DL – Yr. 1 – The Browns signed Adams to the practice squad on December 13th, and now he is working hard to earn a starting spot on the NFL roster.
Chris Faulk – OL – R – He has the ability to play both right and left tackle, which should help him in his first year a he tries to earn a spot on the roster.
Ryan Clark – FS – Yr. 12 – He jumped around the league a little at the beginning of his career, but has found a home in Pittsburgh. He is entering into his eighth season with the team, lining up opposite Troy Polamalu.
Al Woods – DE – Yr. 4 – He signed with the Steelers in 2011 after playing for Seattle and Tampa Bay. He does not get a lot of playing time, but tries to take advantage of opportunities when he gets them.
Ricky Jean Francois – DT – Yr. 5 – This will be his first year in Indianapolis, after playing four years in San Francisco. He was primarily used off the bench, but despite only starting three games last year, he still recorded 22 tackles and two sacks.
LaRon Landry – S – Yr. 7 – He has become known as one of the hardest hitting safeties in the NFL, which is also shown by the 100 tackles and four forced fumbles he recorded in 2012. Those efforts earned him his first Pro Bowl appearance.
Drake Nevis – DT – Yr. 3 – The 2012 season was almost a coming of age for Nevis as he played in nine games, started three of them, recorded 16 tackles and his first career sack. His season, however, was unfortunately cut short by an injury suffered in November.
Kelvin Sheppard – LB – Yr. 3 – Started 15 of the 16 games he played in during the 2012 season for the Buffalo Bills. He now is moved to the Indianapolis Colts to help improve their defense.
Lavar Edwards – DE – R – Entering into his rookie year, Edwards will try to make an immediate impact of the defensive side of the ball.
Jacob Hester – FB – Yr. 6 – Though he did not get a lot of appearances with the Broncos in 2012, he produces when he gets a chance. In his career he has converted third-and-one or fourth-and-one 13-of-15 times during his career.
Trindon Holliday – WR – Yr. 4 – Although he makes an appearance as wide receiver every once in a while, he is primarily used as a kick returner. Last year he played in 10 games, scored one touchdown, but did have seven returns of 20+ yards and three returns of more than 40 yards.
Kansas City Chiefs
Dwayne Bowe – WR – Yr. 7 – He has been Kansas City's number one receiver since he entered the league in 2007. The best season of his career would have to be 2010, when he led the league in receiving touchdowns with 15 and made the Pro Bowl. It's been hard for Bowe to produce with a lack of a skilled QB throwing to him, but that should change with the team's acquisitions of Andy Reid and Alex Smith.
Tyson Jackson – DE – Yr. 4 – Last year he started in all 15 games he played, missed one due to a toe injury. He has thus far had a productive career as one of the Chiefs' starting defensive ends. In 2012 he recorded 43 tackles and a career high three sacks.
Matt Flynn – QB – Yr. 5 – Flynn has had a difficult time finding a starting job in the NFL. First he was drafted by the Packers and had to sit on the bench behind Aaron Rogers, and then he went to Seattle, but lost the starting job to rookie Russell Wilson, but now he hopes to have found a spot in Oakland.
San Diego Chargers
Brandon Taylor – SS – Yr. 2 – Late in the season Taylor got more playing opportunities. His best game of the year actually came in the last game of the 2012 season where he recorded three tackles and half a sack.
Morris Claiborne – CB – Yr. 2 – The Dallas Cowboys traded up eight spots in the first round of the 2012 draft in order to get Claiborne. He became a starter for them during his rookie year and recorded 55 tackles and one interception.
Nate Livings – G – Yr. 6 – Starting out as a free agent out of college, Livings really has worked his way up from the bottom. His first two years in the league were spent on the Bengals practice squad, and he eventually became a starter. He now joins the Dallas Cowboys and hopes to help strengthen their offensive line.
Danny McCray – S – Yr. 4 – McCray primarily works on special teams, and has become very good at what he does. In 2010 he recorded 28 special teams tackles, which is the third most in team history. Although most of his time is spent on special teams, he has seen his time on the defensive side of the ball increase as a reserve.
New York Giants
Chase Clement – TE – R – Entering into first year in the NFL, Clement will look to make as much of an impact on his team as he can.
Rueben Randle – WR – Yr. 1 – He work primarily on special teams returning punts, but also gets playing time on offense. In 2012 he had 19 receptions, three touchdowns, and averaged 15.7 yards a catch.
Corey Webster – CB – Yr. 9 – Originally drafted in the second round of the 2005 draft, Webster has spent ever year of his professional career with the Giants, and has become a staple of their defense. Although he is 31 years old he shows no signs of slowing down, as his 58 tackles in 2012 were a career high.
Donnie Jones – P – Yr. 10 – Jones has had a successful career as a punter, ranking fifth all time in both gross (45.6) and net punting average (39.0). He also reached the pro bowl twice while playing in St. Louis, where he holds multiple franchise records.
Bennie Logan – DT – R – He hopes to continue his successful career as a defensive lineman at the professional level, after being a key part of one of the most dominating lines in college football during the 2012 season.
Russell Shepard – WR – R – After completing his college career, Shepard joined the Eagles franchise as a rookie free agent. He offers a lot as far as athletic ability, playing running back and wide receiver for the Tigers.
Brad Wing – P – R – Wing joined the Eagles in the 2013 offseason as a rookie free agent. A native from Australia, Wing originally came to the United States as an exchange student prior to his senior year in high school.
Devery Henderson – WR – Yr. 10 – Spending his entire year in New Orleans, he sometimes got lost in the large group of talented receivers the Saints have. For the 2013 season he brings his talents to the nation's capital where he will look to record his first career 1,000 receiving yard season.
Perry Riley – LB – Yr. 3 – Riley took full advantage of his first year as a full time starter in Washington. He was able to record 129 tackles, 3.5 sacks and forced one fumble. All these stats are career highs for him, along with the 16 games he started in during the 2012 season.
Keiland Williams – RB – Yr. 3 – Williams has had a hard time finding a home so far in his career, as the start of the 2013 season will mark the fifth change for him already. Washington, however, is the location of three out of those changes.
Michael Ford – RB – R – With Matt Forte in firm position Ford might struggle for playing time. He will, however, be in competition for the back up job, and if he secures it, he should get playing time while Forte rests.
P.J. Lonergan – C – R – Lonergan will participate in training camp in the 2013 offseason, and work to earn a spot on the Chicago Bears' roster.
Craig Steltz – S – Yr. 6 – Used mainly on special teams, but gets plying time on defense when injuries occur. In 2012 Steltz recorded 13 tackles and a forced fumble in 13 games.
Terrence Toliver – WR – Yr. 1 – Toliver will compete to earn a spot on the Bears' roster in the 2013 offseason. With Chicago looking to vamp-up their receiving core, Toliver should have a great chance at doing so.
Brandon LaFell – WR – Yr. 4 – LaFell has seen a steady increase in nearly all receiving categories in each of his three years at Carolina. He is a deep threat for the Panthers, and currently holds the franchise record of 14.9 yards per catch.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jacob Cutrera – LB – Yr. 4 – Cutrera has played in eight games each of his first three years. In 2012 he recorded three tackles and a forced fumble. He will look to improve on those stats and earn more playing time during the 2013 season.
Tyrann Mathieu – S – R – Although he played cornerback in college, Arizona has decided to try him out at safety. So far it has been going well and his instinctual skills have impressed man people within the Cardinal's organization.
Kevin Minter – ILB – R – Drafted in the second round, Minter will more than likely get plenty of playing time in the 2013 season. He will also be on a level playing field with everyone else since the Cardinals are bringing in a new coaching staff this year.
Patrick Peterson – CB – Yr. 3 – In his rookie year of 2011 he was named to the Pro Bowl and was named first team All-Pro as a kick returner. Although most of his stats dropped in 2012 (except interceptions which increased) he still had a successful year, and will look to further improve in 2013.
Curtis Taylor – S – Yr. 3 – After spending the first two years of his career in San Francisco as a back up, Taylor has now moved on to Arizona where he hopes to compete for more playing time in the 2013 season.
St. Louis Rams
Joe Barksdale – T – Yr. 3 – After originally being drafted in the third round by the Oakland Raiders, he was eventually released by them and then picked up off waivers by the Rams. He is primarily used on special teams in St. Louis, but did get some action at left tackle.
Michael Brockers – DT – Yr. 2 – Brockers was St. Louis' first round draft pick in 2012 with the 14th overall pick. He missed the first three games of the season do to injury, but still managed to lead all Rams' defensive linemen in tackles with 63.
San Francisco 49ers
Glenn Dorsey– DL – Yr. 6 – Originally drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2008 draft with the fifth overall pick. Dorsey was a solid starter for the Chiefs, but he was never the game changing presence that they were hoping he would be. After a disappointing 2012 season that was plagued with injuries, Dorsey will look to make a new start in San Francisco and look to be the game changer many people thought he would be.
Eric Reid – S – R – Drafted by the 49ers, who traded up with the Cowboys, was drafted with the 18th overall pick. Reid is expected to make an immediate impact in the defensive backfield during the 2013 season.
Tharold Simon – CB – R – Being drafted in the fifth round does not leave him out of the running to get playing time on the field in 2013, but with the Seahawks' great defense, Simon will definitely have his work cut out for him.
Spencer Ware – FB – R – After playing running back in college, Ware has the challenge of learning a new position if he hopes for playing time. The Seahawks' sixth round draft pick, if he earns the starting spot, will have the opportunity to block for one of the top running backs in the nation.
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