The SEC led all conferences with 53 players selected in the NFL draft – the 12th year in a row that has happened – but that doesn’t mean all the SEC standouts from last season heard their name called over the weekend.
There were a handful of notable SEC players who are going to have to try making their mark as an undrafted free agent, among them LSU defensive tackle Christian LaCouture, Tennessee returner Evan Berry, Georgia defensive tackle Trenton Thompson, Auburn defensive lineman Jeff Holland, LSU offensive lineman KJ Malone, Auburn safety Tray Matthews and Florida kicker Eddie Piniero.
For inspiration, those guys can look at the 16 Pro Football Hall of Famers from the draft era (1938 on) – including Lou Groza, Dick “Night Train” Lane, Larry Little and John Randle – who entered the NFL as free agents. And while none of the 16 are SEC alums, the league nevertheless can claim a distinguished list of undrafted stars of its own.
Here’s a look at 10 of the best players from the SEC who weren’t taken in the NFL draft but went on to make a big impact.
(This list doesn’t include distinguished SEC players from before the draft era.)
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