Linebacker Nick Bolton was the only Missouri player taken in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft. But Saturday was a busy day for Tiger draftees in rounds four through seven.
The Las Vegas Raiders got things started, taking safety Tyree Gillespie in the fourth round with the 143rd overall pick. Gillespie made 144 tackles and broke up 12 passes over the last three seasons for Mizzou. He turned heads with a sub 4.4 40-yard dash on pro day in Columbia in late March.
The Raiders traded up 19 spots, giving up the 162nd and 200th overall picks in the draft to take Gillespie. He was the second safety the Raiders picked. They took TCU’s Trevon Moehring in Friday’s second round.
Gillespie was the first Tiger to have his name called on Sunday, but not the last. Offensive lineman Larry Borom, who skipped his final year of eligibility to enter the draft, went to the Chicago Bears in the fifth round. Borom played tackle at Mizzou, but projects as a guard in the NFL.
Gillespie’s partner at safety also got drafted on Sunday. Joshuah Bledsoe was taken by New England in the sixth round at pick 188. Bledsoe had 130 tackles, 18 passes defended, three fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and an interception during his career with the Tigers.
Running back Larry Rountree III–the school’s second all-time leading rusher–was the final Tiger drafted. Rountree went in the sixth round to the Los Angeles Chargers.
The five draft picks are the most Mizzou has had since seeing six players drafted in 2015. In fact, Missouri has had just six players selected total in the last four NFL Drafts prior to this year. Mizzou has had at least one player selected in 17 consecutive drafts.
Three of the five selections in this year’s draft went to the AFC West (Bolton, Kansas City/Gillespie, Las Vegas/Rountree, Los Angeles). Paired with Drew Lock and Albert Okwuegbunam in Denver, Tiger fans now have representation on every team in the division.
More Tigers are likely to be signing free agent contracts in the coming hours and days. PowerMizzou.com will keep Tiger fans updated on where all the former players land.