This offseason we will count down various topics from Monday through Friday, bringing you the top five of the important and definitely some not so important issues in college football. It's the Doc Five, every week until we will thankfully have actual games to discuss.
Some of the top collegiate players we have been watching play over the past few years were selected at the NFL Draft in New York City over the weekend. Players from schools all across the country achieve a life-long goal when they hear their name called or see it scroll across the bottom of the television screen, but some players with NFL dreams who were stars in college end up not being drafted.
The reality of some of last year’s top collegiate players not getting drafted, like Texas’ Jackson Jeffcoat (a consensus All-American and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year), got us thinking. Who are the players from the past 10 years who achieved remarkable success in the collegiate game in their final season, but ultimately did not get drafted?
TOP FIVE INDIVIDUAL SEASONS FOR A PLAYER WHO WENT UNDRAFTED
No. 1: Jordan Lynch – Northern Illinois (2013)
Northern Illinois’ Jordan Lynch burst onto the scene as a junior when he led the Huskies to the Orange Bowl against Florida State. Lynch and the Huskies struggled that day, but they came back in 2013 looking to show it was no fluke.
After beating Iowa in the season opener, the Huskies managed to trounce its way through the MAC regular season schedule, but the season ended in disappointing fashion. Bowling Green upset the Huskies in the conference championship game, then Lynch’s career ended in a 21-14 Poinsettia Bowl loss to Utah State, making it easy to forget some of the feats Lynch accomplished during the year.
On days when defenses targeted Lynch’s rushing prowess, he attacked opponents through the air. When defenses took away the pass, he made them pay on the ground.
Lynch showed off his arm in that season opening road win at Iowa with 275 passing yards and three touchdowns. In the next week at Idaho, the burly 216-pound QB put in work in both aspects of the offense by throwing for three touchdowns passes and running for 159 yards and two touchdowns.
Lynch registered a combined 424 yards in week three against Eastern Illinois, and then threw three touchdowns at Purdue. The Huskies continued to win, but Lynch’s numbers were modest for his standards until the Huskies traveled to Central Michigan.
Lynch set an FBS record for rushing yards by a quarterback, torching the Chippewas for 316 yards and three touchdowns while also putting up 155 passing yards and another touchdown. Most of those rushing yards – 232 of them – came in the second half alone.
Lynch continued to put up eye-popping numbers week in and week out.
He managed to throw for four touchdowns, while also running for a 30-yard score and catching a 17-yard TD pass from wideout Tommylee Lewis against Eastern Michigan. He reached the end zone five more times at UMass, then put up his best passing performance of the year with 345 yards and two scores (while also rushing for 123 and two TDs) against Ball State.
He ran for three more scores the following week against Toledo before breaking his own single-game quarterback rushing record with a ridiculous 321 yards and three scores against Western Michigan. That performance clinched a perfect 12-0 regular season for the Huskies as they headed into the postseason.
As noted above, the postseason didn’t go well for the Huskies, but Lynch managed to score five more touchdowns in those two losses. In total for the year, Lynch threw for 2,892 yards and 24 touchdowns while also running for 1,920 yards and 23 touchdowns. The rushing yards are the most by a quarterback in a single season and his per game rushing average (137.1 yards per game) also tops the NCAA record books for a single season.
Lynch went undrafted in the 2014 NFL Draft following the season, but was quickly scooped up as a free agent by the Chicago Bears. The Bears signed him as a running back and his transition is apparently off to an encouraging start.
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