When NFL teams think big at the NFL draft, they think of Mississippi State.
The Bulldogs have a history of producing the wide bodies that populate NFL defensive fronts. Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox has gone to the last six Pro Bowls for the Philadelphia Eagles, and Chris Jones the last two for the Kansas City Chiefs. In 2018, Jones collected 15 ½ sacks and Cox 10 ½.
Edge rusher Preston Smith collected 12 sacks for the Green Bay Packers in 2019 and now has 40 ½ in his six-year career. Pernell McPhee picked up a Super Bowl ring with the Baltimore Ravens and has 37 sacks in his 10 NFL seasons.
Tackle Jeffery Simmons and edge rusher Montez Sweat were both first-round picks in 2019, Simmons by the Tennessee Titans and Sweat by Washington. Simmons has started both of his seasons for the Titans, posting five sacks, and Sweat has 16 sacks in his two seasons.
Ends Ellis Wyms and Robert Young and tackles Ron Fields, Antonio Johnson and Alvin McKinley all left the Mississippi State campus to enjoy NFL careers of at least six seasons. Wyms picked up a Super Bowl ring as a member of the 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Here is Mississippi State’s all-time NFL team:
QB Dak Prescott 2 Pro Bowls, 2016 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year
HB Jerious Norwood 6 years, 2,056 yards rushing, 10 TDs
FB Hoyle Granger 2 Pro Bowls, 6 years, 3,653 rushing yards, 19 TDs
WR Eric Moulds 3 Pro Bowls, 4 1,000-yard seasons, 49 TDs
WR Chuck Gelatka Pro Bowl, 4 years, NFL champion 1938
TE Donald Lee 10 years, 209 catches, 19 TDs
OT Tom Neville Pro Bowl, Boston Patriots 1960s all-decade team
OT David Stewart 8 years, 116 starts
OL Gabe Jackson 7 years, 99 starts
OL Randy Thomas 11 years, 143 starts
OL Elgton Jenkins Pro Bowl in 2nd year (2020) with Green Bay
Edge Preston Smith 40 ½ career sacks, 12 for Green Bay in 2019
Edge Pernell McPhee 10 years, 37 sacks, Super Bowl ring
DT Fletcher Cox 6 Pro Bowls, 54 ½ career sacks, Super Bowl ring
DT Chris Jones 2 Pro Bowls, 40 ½ career sacks, Super Bowl ring
OLB Joe Fortunato 1950s NFL all-decade team, 1963 NFL champ
MLB D.D Lewis 13 years, 134 starts, 2 Super Bowl rings
OLB K.J. Wright Pro Bowl 10 years, 941 tackles, Super Bowl ring
CB Darius Slay 3 Pro Bowls, 20 career interceptions
CB Walt Harris Pro Bowl, 35 career interceptions
S Steve Freeman 13 years, 134 starts, 23 INTs, 3 TDs
S Bill Stacy Pro Bowl, 3rd overall pick of 1959 draft, 5 years, 20 INTs
P Logan Cooke 3 years, Led NFL in net ave in 2019 at 44.5 yards
KR Ode Burrell 33 career KR, 25.4-yard average, TD
ST Fred McCray 15 special-teams tackles in 1999
LS Hunter Bradley Current Green Bay deep snapper