Maryland Football: Best Maryland NFL Draft picks of all-time

Nov 14, 2015; East Lansing, MI, USA; General view of a Maryland Terrapins helmet on the field prior to a game against the Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 14, 2015; East Lansing, MI, USA; General view of a Maryland Terrapins helmet on the field prior to a game against the Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports /

The 2017 NFL Draft will get underway in Philadelphia on Thursday evening.

With that in mind, we decided to take a look at the most successful Maryland players that have been selected in the draft process.

2017 could mark the first year since 2012 that the Terrapins don’t have a player selected. Cornerback/return man Will Likely stands the best chance to hear his name called, but his 5’7 frame and ACL injury hurt his stock.

2016 was one of the better years in terms of Maryland players being drafted in quite some time. Three Terps heard their names called during the first five rounds of the NFL Draft.

Sean Davis went off the board first to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round (No. 58 overall). The versatile defensive back was followed by defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, who was scooped up by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the third round (No. 69).

Defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson rounded out the trio in the fifth round (No. 147) when he was picked by the Seattle Seahawks.

Here’s some of the more decorated Terps that went on to have very successful NFL careers.

Gary Collins

Selection: Round 1, No. 4 (Cleveland Browns)
Measurables: 6’5/215 lbs.
The Skinny: Gary Collins is one of the most talented wideouts that most Maryland fans have probably never heard of. Collins called College Park home from 1959 to 1961 and finished eighth in the Heisman Trophy voting during the 1961 season. He went on to play his entire 10-year career with the Browns. He accumulated 331 receptions for 5,299 yards and 70 touchdowns. Collins caught three touchdown passes against the Baltimore Colts in the 1964 NFL Championship game. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the game for his efforts.

Randy White

Selection: Round 1, No. 2 (Dallas Cowboys)
Measurables: 6’4/257 lbs.
The Skinny: Randy White is arguably the greatest player to ever come through College Park regardless of sport. White started off his collegiate career as a fullback but quickly blossomed into one of the country’s most intimidating defensive linemen. The star defensive tackle won the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award in 1974 in addition to being a First team All-American. White was a nine-time Pro Bowler with the Cowboys and the co-MVP of Super Bowl XII. The former Terp was a ferocious run stuffer with a crazy amount of athleticism.

Boomer Esiason

Selection: Round 2, No. 38 (Cincinnati Bengals)
Measurables: 6’5/220 lbs.
The Skinny: Maryland isn’t exactly known for producing marquee quarterbacks. However, Boomer Esiason was easily the most talented and went on to have a very strong NFL career. He threw for 6,169 yards and 42 touchdown during his time at Maryland and set 17 school records. Esiason went on to be a four-time Pro Bowler with the Bengals and New York Jets. The New York native also was named the NFL MVP for his performance during the 1988 season. Esiason goes down as arguably the best Maryland signal caller of all-time.

Kris Jenkins

Selection: Round 2, No. 44 (Carolina Panthers)
Measurables: 6’5/360 lbs.
The Skinny: When you think of great Maryland defensive tackles, obviously Randy White is the first one that comes to mind. However, Kris Jenkins was incredibly productive during his time at Maryland and later in the NFL with the Panthers and New York Jets. Jenkins accumulated 279 tackles (220) solo, 24 sacks, and eight defended passes during his 10-year NFL career. He was also a four-time Pro Bowl selection and helped lead the Panthers to a berth in Super Bowl XXXVIII. Jenkins was a great run stuffer that was an integral part of Carolina’s success during the 2000s.

Vernon Davis

Selection: Round 1, No. 6 (San Francisco 49ers)
Measurables: 6’3/248 lbs.
The Skinny: When Vernon Davis came out of Maryland in 2006, he was an athletic freak and about to make a team very happy in the passing game. Davis was a Consensus All-American and an All-ACC First team selection as a junior in 2005. The former Dunbar (D.C.) standout was also a finalist for the Mackey Award, which is given to the top tight end in college football. Davis has totaled 505 receptions for 6,424 yards and 57 touchdowns during his 11 NFL seasons. The former Terp still remains extremely productive as he’s coming a 583-yard season with the Washington Redskins in 2016.

Next: Justin Jackson declares for NBA Draft