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Constructing a Full NFL Roster of LSU Tigers Selected In the Draft

That’s right, all 53

NFL: NOV 28 Steelers at Bengals Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Another NFL Draft is in the books and as we’re now accustomed to, a slew of LSU Tigers were selected. What stood out to me more than the ten selections or the fourth-straight top five pick, was this fact:

I wasn’t aware that an LSU kicker had never been drafted before. However I was aware a punter and long snapper had been drafted, meaning LSU players from every position on the field have been taken in the whatever-year history of the NFL Draft. I joked that you could theoretically construct a full 53-man NFL roster using LSU player who have been drafted.

So we’re gonna do that!

First of all, let’s set up some rules. We’re gonna be sticking with post-merger so we don’t have to deal with NFL vs AFL Drafts. So apologies to YA Tittle, Steve Van Buren, Billy Cannon, Johnny Robinson, Jim Taylor and a few others.

Second rule: players will be chosen based on how good they were in the NFL, not how high they were drafted or how good they were at LSU. Thank you for everything you did JaMarcus Russell, but this is an NFL team we’re trying to build.

Third: we’re not going to adjust for era. If a player was great in the 70s, he will be chosen over a player who was pretty good in the 2010s.

Now, we’re gonna break it down position like a typical NFL roster. We’re not gonna get into who’s a starter and who’s a backup. We just want 53 talented guys. After each player’s name will be (YEAR DRAFTED: ROUND-OVERALL PICK). Players are sorted alphabetically so please don’t get mad that Joe Barksdale is listed before two Hall of Famers. Let’s get into it

Quarterbacks (3)

Joe Burrow (2020: 1-1)

Matt Flynn (2008: 7-209)

Bert Jones (1973: 1-2)

Burrow and Jones are two of the easiest locks on this list. Flynn deserves to be on here for being the greatest backup quarterback ever. If you’re building the quintessential NFLSU team, Matt Flynn’s gonna be there holding that clipboard!

Running Backs (5)

Joseph Addai (2006: 1-30)

Kevin Faulk (1999: 2-46)

Leonard Fournette (2017: 1-4)

Jacob Hester (2008: 3-69)

Dalton Hilliard (1986: 2-31)

For as many RBs as LSU has put into the NFL, none have ever really turned into a dominant every-down back. Faulk and Addai were key parts of Super Bowl teams but rotated in and out of high-powered offenses. Fournette may be on his way to a similar career. I was going to give the fifth spot to Charles Alexander or Jeremy Hill, but decided to go with Hester because we need a guy who can play fullback if we want to stay true to our LSU roots. Argue about it in the comments!

Wide Receiver (6)

Odell Beckham Jr (2014: 1-12)

Dwayne Bowe (2006: 1-23)

Ja’Marr Chase (2021: 1-5)

Justin Jefferson (2020: 1-22)

Jarvis Landry (2014: 2-63)

Eric Martin (1985: 7-179)

I was originally just gonna have five, but we’ve so many good receivers and not so many of the next position. The only potential controversy here is Jefferson and Chase whose numbers are still below the likes of Devery Henderson, Brandon LaFell and Carlos Carson, but that’s only because of youth. When it’s all said and done those two guys will be locks for this list. Also good God, imagine being a defensive coordinator trying to scheme up a way for a secondary to stop this.

Tight End (3)

Brian Kinchen (1988: 12-320)

Foster Moreau (2019: 4-137)

Robert Royal (2002: 5-160)

Not a lot of gaudy numbers here. But with those six receivers I think these three will be just fine.

Offensive Lineman (8)

Joe Barksdale (2011: 3-92)

*La’el Collins (I’ll explain)

Alan Faneca (1998: 1-26)

Kevin Mawae (1994: 2-36)

Todd McClure (1999: 7-237)

Lance Smith (1985: 3-72)

Trai Turner (2014: 3-92)

Andrew Whitworth (2006: 2-55)

Todd McClure played 13 years in the NFL and started 195 games, but would be a backup here because the other center is a Pro Football Hall of Famer. This theoretical team might be pretty good!

It wasn’t until putting this list together that I realized that LSU interior linemen tend to have significantly better NFL careers than the tackles. Andrew Whitworth is doing a lot of heavy lifting by himself. Now I did cheat by putting undrafted La’el Collins on here, but he would’ve been a no-brainer first-round pick if not for some unfortunate timing in an incident he had nothing to do with. But if you want an actual answer, I’ll give it to Ralph Norwood who was taken in the second round in 1989 but tragically lost his life 11 games into his NFL career. That’s more career starts than every other OT not already on this roster.

Defensive Linemen (8)

Michael Brockers (2012: 1-14)

Jarvis Green (2002: 4-126)

Danielle Hunter (2015: 3-88)

Leonard Marshall (1983: 2-37)

Kenny Mixon (1998: 2-49)

Marcus Spears (2005: 1-20)

Henry Thomas (1987: 3-72)

Kyle Williams (2006: 5-134)

Just like offense, the interior is stronger than the edges, but it doesn’t matter. Any offensive line would need to say their prayers against these eight. What’s also crazy is Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson just missed this cut despite being top five picks. While neither lived up to their draft status, they still had decent careers.

Linebackers (7)

Kwon Alexander (2015: 4-124)

Michael Brooks (1987: 3-84)

A.J. Duhe (1977: 1-13)

Eric Hill (1989: 1-10)

Bradie James (2003: 4-103)

Deion Jones (2016: 2-52)

Devin White (2019: 1-5)

This one was pretty hard because the NFL didn’t start tracking tackles as an official statistic until the 90s. There are so many LSU guys who played almost a decade in the NFL but I have no idea how good they are! Alexander and Jones have put up gaudy numbers throughout their careers so even though I might be screwing over the old guys, those two will still help this team win games.

Defensive Backs (9)

Jamal Adams (2017: 1-6)

Tommy Casanova (1972: 2-29)

Eugene Daniel (1984: 8-205)

Greg Jackson (1989: 3-72)

Tyrann Mathieu (2013: 3-69)

Patrick Peterson (2011: 1-5)

Derek Stingley Jr (2022: 1-3)

Tre’Davious White (2017: 1-27)

Mike Williams (1975: 1-22)

I thought aside from Casanova this position would be dominated by the current century, but Eugene Daniel, Greg Jackson and Mike Williams combined for 94 career interceptions. Also, yes I cheated again. Derek Stingley has yet to play a game in the NFL, but c’mon, every NFL team has rookies on it! He’s gonna start off as a backup behind these guys anyway so we can give him sometime to learn and develop. Apologies to Eric Reid who got squeezed out by this decision.

Special Teams (4)

Cade York (2022: 4-124)

Blake Ferguson (2020: 6-185)

Donnie Jones (2004: 7-224)

Trindon Holliday (2010: 6-197)

Yes, Trindon Holliday is here as a return specialist. He’ll get those drops under control one of these days.

So there you go, a full 53-man NFL team constructed of LSU players drafted into the NFL. Just glancing it over and... yeah there is no way this team isn’t winning the Super Bowl. The FCC might have to intervene in some of these games.