Tigers prepared for the draft

Eight players from last year’s Missouri football team have a chance to be taken in this weekend’s NFL Draft.
Thursday, April 24, 2008 | 8:33 p.m. CDT; updated 2:52 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Eight players from last year’s Missouri football team have a chance to be taken in this weekend’s NFL Draft:

Martin Rucker, tight end

The knock on Rucker is his weak blocking, not an emphasis in Gary Pinkel’s spread offense. He is projected to be taken between the third and fifth rounds. Although the Carolina Panthers have shown interest, he won’t have the chance to play with his older brother Mike Rucker, who recently announced his retirement from the Panthers.

Will Franklin, wide receiver

Franklin receptions increased in each of his four seasons at Missouri, going from six as a freshman to 49 last year, but there are concerns about his durability. He is projected for the second day.

Adam Spieker, center

Despite being a finalist for the Rimington Award, Spieker is having trouble getting respect from the NFL. If he is drafted, Spieker is projected to go towards the end.

Pig Brown, safety

Brown’s status is not high because of a ruptured Achilles’ tendon he suffered against Iowa State. He is not likely be drafted, but if he recovers by the time training camps begin, some scouts believe he could be a steal.

Lorenzo Williams, defensive tackle

Williams is another player having trouble getting respect. He was a first-team All-Big 12 selection, but he is projected to go in the seventh round. Like Spieker, it is believed that Williams might not have the body to succeed at the next level.

Darnell Terrell, cornerback

Some question Terrell’s ability to succeed in man-to-man coverage, though he could be moved to safety. He is viewed as a possible sixth or seventh-round choice.

Tony Temple, running back

Temple chose not to appeal the NCAA for an extra year of eligibility, but that decision might not pay off. He is projected to be taken late or to go undrafted.

Tyler Luellen, offensive tackle

Luellen has the longest odds of being selected. His best hope is that a team calls with an offer after the draft ends.

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