Every year the NFL draft is filled with a lot of hype and news coverage around a small class of elite talent. At times you may hear about the guy from your state school who was a stand out, but mostly it’s about the major division one stars.
Even more sparsely will you hear about the rare guy who has a chance to not only make it the league after playing in Division II but getting drafted in the process. During the 2021 NFL draft for three players from the Division II level received that anxiously awaited call.
Zach Davidson from Central Missouri
It wasn’t until the fifth round that a Division II school was represented, but with the 186th overall selection the Minnesota Vikings changed that narrative by selecting Zach Davidson, a tight end from Central Missouri.
After being the 12th player in program history to be selected, Davidson had a slow preseason. Only catching two passes for 15 yards on eight targets was not enough to earn a spot on the 53 man roster to start the year, but Davidson will be staying with the Vikings on their practice squad.
Mike Strachan from Charleston (WV)
Next to go from the Division II football world this year was pick 229, WR out of Charleston (WV), Mike Strachan. Strachan broke a school record in 2019 hauling in 19 touchdown passes in the single season on his way to a college career with just over 2,300 yards in three seasons.
The Indianapolis Colts rolled the dice on Strachan who had an impressive preseason catching 10 passes for 130 yards over three games. Strachan is on the opening day roster for the Colts and will most likely see a few snaps on opening Sunday.
Chris Garrett from Concordia-St. Paul
The last Division II player to go off the big board was at number 252. Outside linebacker Chris Garrett forced the most fumbles (15) in Division II football history. The Los Angeles Rams saw the potential with Garrett and picked him up in the 7th round.
Garrett had an exciting preseason, including a strip sack and two tipped passes, giving Rams fans a feeling that they may have found a diamond in the rough. However, Garrett is currently on the NFL’s COVID list and will probably miss the season opener, but keep your ears out for him down the road to make some noise.