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. 2: Danario Alexander – Missouri (2009)
Missouri had a ton of production to replace on offense after the 2008 season. Chase Daniel, a three-year starter at quarterback, had graduated. His three favorite targets were gone too. Jeremy Maclin (102 catches, 1,260 yards, 13 TDs) opted to enter the NFL draft after his redshirt sophomore year and tight end Chase Coffman (90 catches, 987 yards , 10 TDs) and wideout Tommy Saunders (72 catches, 833, yards and 7 TDs) both graduated.
Who would pick up the slack?
Enter Danario Alexander.
The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Alexander had been a solid contributor in his first three years on campus, tallying 78 catches for 997 yards and eight touchdowns. But he was just getting started as his production in his senior season would surpass his first three years combined.
Blaine Gabbert, the Tigers’ new starter at quarterback, and Alexander quickly established a rapport in the season opener at Illinois. Mizzou was dominant and Gabbert found Alexander often. The senior hauled in 10 passes for 132 yards, clearly establishing himself as the team’s No. 1 receiver in a 37-9 win.
Alexander followed up the Illinois win with seven catches in a win over Bowling Green and his first two receiving touchdowns of the season in a 52-12 win over Furman. Mizzou kept up its winning ways in Week 4 at Nevada and Alexander played a large role with nine catches for 170 yards and two scores.
Once the Tigers entered Big 12 play, the team’s successes were harder to come by. Alexander was largely held in check (six catches for 43 yards) in a home loss to No. 21 Nebraska, but then was all over the field making plays in the following week at No. 16 Oklahoma State. His nine catches, 180 yards and one touchdown were not enough to pull out a win and the Tigers dropped to 4-2.
The losing skid continued against third-ranked Texas the following week, but the Tigers finally rebounded on Halloween at Colorado. Gabbert found Alexander eight times for 123 yards and two scores in the team’s first conference win of the year.
Mizzou was hoping to build off the Colorado win, but instead they suffered a disappointing defeat at the hands of 3-5 Baylor. Alexander put up career-highs in the loss with 13 catches and 214 yards. He also found the end zone twice.
The Tigers sat at 5-4 and had three conference games remaining. Alexander made sure to make his mark on the program in his last three regular season games. Against Kansas State, Iowa State and Kansas (all Mizzou wins), Alexander hauled in a combined 36 catches for 606 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Alexander ended a banner individual season with six catches for 137 yards and one score in a disappointing 35-13 Texas Bowl loss to Navy to end the year.
His season totals can be found all over the Missouri record books. His 113 receptions, 1,781 yards and 14 touchdowns are all school single-season records. He also set a school record for receiving yards in a career with 2,778 yards.
Alexander was considered to be a mid-round draft selection before injuring his left knee at the senior bowl. Unable to participate in Mizzou’s pro day or the NFL combine, Alexander went undrafted.
Alexander signed an undrafted free agent contract with the St. Louis Rams. He was cut in September 2010, but then the Rams added him to the team’s practice squad. After being elevated to the active roster, Alexander caught 20 passes for 306 yards and a touchdown in eight games.
In 2011, Alexander started five games for the Rams and caught 26 passes for 431 yards and two touchdowns. He then signed with the San Diego for the 2012 season and set career highs with 37 catches, 658 yards and seven touchdowns. Alexander suffered another knee injury in August 2013 and missed the entire season. He is currently a free agent.
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