Missouri football will have to update its record book after the conclusion of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Tyree Gillespie became the first Missouri safety to be drafted in more than 10 years Saturday when the Las Vegas Raiders selected him at No. 143 overall late in the fourth round. Then, safety Joshuah Bledsoe was selected in the sixth round as the No. 188 pick by the New England Patriots. He’s the first Tiger to be drafted by Bill Belichick’s team since 2000.
The pair being drafted marks the first time since 1983 that two MU secondary players have been selected in the same draft class. William Moore was the last Tiger safety to find his way to the pros via the draft when he was selected No. 55 overall in 2009.
Gillespie finished his college career with 146 total tackles, 12 pass breakups, two sacks and one forced fumble. Bledsoe recorded one interception, 19 pass breakups and one forced fumble.
The draft concluded Saturday with five MU players finding new homes, making it the largest Tiger draft class since 2015. Missouri has now had at least one player chosen in 17 consecutive drafts.
Offensive lineman Larry Borom was drafted in the fifth round by the Chicago Bears as the No. 151 overall pick. Borom was largely predicted to fall later in the draft, in the sixth or seventh round.
He’s the first Tiger drafted at his position since 2016 and the 13th Tiger ever to be drafted by the Bears.
“I play with that demeanor and chip on my shoulder that I’ve had since I was younger,” Borom said via the Bears twitter page. “I’m never going to lose that.”
The last of the bunch to be drafted was Larry Rountree III, the 12th of 18 running backs to be selected. Rountree was picked No. 198 overall by the Los Angeles Chargers. He’ll play alongside former Tiger quarterback Chase Daniel.
Rountree finished his career at Missouri as the program’s all-time leading rusher among running backs and tied for the most touchdowns by a running back. The Chargers also drafted running backs in 2018 and 2020 — Justin Jackson and Joshua Kelley.
Zach Davidson, a tight end from Central Missouri, was picked No. 168 overall by the Minnesota Vikings. He participated in MU’s pro day in March, logging a time of 6.95 seconds in the three-cone drill and completing 17 reps during the bench press portion.