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15 From FCS Taken in 2017 NFL Draft

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Five former student-athletes from FCS schools were taken on Day 2 of the NFL Draft, topped by DE Tanoh Kpassagnon of Villanova who was the 59th overall selection in the 2nd Round.  A total of 15 former FCS players were drafted in 2017.


Round Pick Player College NFL Team
2 59 DE Tanoh Kpassagnon Villanova Kansas City Chiefs
3 69 WR Cooper Cupp Eastern Washington Los Angeles Rams
3 83 DE Derek Rivers Youngstown State New England Patriots
3 98 WR Chad Williams Grambling State Arizona Cardinals
3 101 CB Brendan Langley Lamar Denver Broncos
4 119 RB Tarik Cohen North Carolina A&T Chicago Bears
4 125 OLB Samson Ebukam Eastern Washington Los Angeles Rams
4 130 OT Julie'n Davenport Bucknell Houston Texans
5 165 CB Jamal Agnew San Diego Detroit Lions
5 167 DE Avery Moss Youngstown State New York Giants
5 174 TE Eric Saubert Drake Atlanta Falcons
6 203 RB De'Angelo Henderson *Coastal Carolina Denver Broncos
6 217 OL Corey Levin Chattanooga Tennessee Titans
7 231 OT Jylan Ware Alabama State Oakland Raiders
7 236 OT Brad Seaton Villanova Tennessee Titans
*Coastal Carolina moving to FBS in 2017    


Kpassagnon, a native of Ambler, Pa., and a graduate of Wissahickon High School, started all 13 games for the Wildcats in 2016 and led the CAA and ranked in the top 15 nationally in both quarterback sacks (11) and tackles for loss (21.5). He also tallied 45 total tackles, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and a blocked kick. He finished the season with at least one sack in nine of the 13 games. He becomes the first Wildcat to be drafted since offensive tackle Ben Ijalana was selected in the second round of the 2011 draft.

After setting an abundance of records for the Eastern Washington University football team, Cooper Kupp has even made some history in his own family.  The sensational wide receiver officially became a third-generation player from his family to make it to the National Football League when the Los Angeles Rams picked him in the third round with the 69th pick overall in the NFL Draft on Friday (April 28) in Philadelphia, Pa.  Kupp was the seventh receiver taken in the draft, which saw three receivers get chosen among in the top nine picks in Thursday's first round.  A four-time All-American and two-time FCS Player of the Year for the Eagles, Kupp became the second-highest choice in school history, ranking only behind former 10-year NFL veteran offensive lineman Michael Roos. Roos was the 41st pick overall in the 2005 draft overall when he was taken in the second round by Tennessee, where he spent his entire career.

Former Youngstown State defensive end Derek Rivers was selected in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. Rivers was the first pick of the 2017 Super Bowl Champions and the 83rd selection overall in the draft.  Rivers becomes the first Penguin since Harry Deligianis was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 1998 NFL Draft. Rivers ended his career with 41 sacks, 56.5 TFLs and 173 tackles in 49 games played. He broke the school record for sacks by 19 and ranked in the top five in FCS history in career sacks.  He is the second-highest draft pick in school history behind the legendary Ron Jaworski who was picked 37th in 1973. He was three spots ahead of Pete Lanzi who was picked 86th by the New York Giants in 1948.

Grambling's Chad Williams hit the SWAC triple crown in receiving as he led all players in catches (90), yards (1337) and touchdowns (11). He was the only player to crack 1,000 receiving yards and average 100 yards or better per contest.  He was taken 98th overall by the Arizona Cardinals.

Lamar University All-American cornerback Brendan Langley has been drafted by the Denver Broncos with the 101st pick in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Langley becomes the first Cardinal to be drafted since the program's rebirth prior to the start of the 2010 season. It's the first time a Cardinals' name has been called during the draft since Tyrone Shavers was selected by the then-Phoenix Cardinals in the sixth round of the 1990 draft. Shavers was a member of the final Cardinals squad before the program ended following the 1989 season.  Langley becomes the Cardinals' highest draft selection since the 1968 draft when defensive back Johnny Fuller was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth round. Teammate Tom Smiley was taken in the second round of that same draft by the Cincinnati Bengals.