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Mississippi State NFL Draft Tracker: Following the Bulldogs in the Draft

Mississippi State’s 2020 draft class is on the board, as junior linebacker Willie Gay has been selected by the Kansas City Chiefs with the 63rd pick by the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.

Gay left MSU after a roller coaster junior season that saw him suspended for eight games, ejected from one of the games he played in, then allegedly involved in a scuffle with freshman quarterback Garrett Shrader that saw the Bulldog signal caller miss the Music City Bowl with injury. When he was on the field, Gay was incredibly productive, racking up 28 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss, one forced fumble, two recoveries, and an interception returned for a touchdown. Gay joins former Bulldogs Chris Jones, Martinas Rankin, and Braxton Hoyett in Kansas City.

Cam Dantlzer was the second Bulldog selected, going to Minnesota with the 89th pick in the third round.

Dantzler is the second Bulldog to be drafted this year after leaving school as a junior. Dantzler started 22 games in his MSU career, picking off five passes and being credited with twenty breakups. Dantzler drew praise for his performance against LSU, limiting star receiver Jamarr Chase to five catches for only 48 yards. He was named second team All-SEC as a sophomore, part of the nation’s #1 rated defense in 2018.

The final pick of the night was a Bulldog, as Baltimore selected offensive lineman Tyre Phillips with the 106th pick.

Phillips was only a one year starter for MSU out of East Mississippi Community College, but his frame and long arms made him a fast riser on draft boards. Pro Football Focus ranked him as the second best offensive lineman in the SEC, only surrendering two sacks in 13 starts.

In a surprising move, the New Orleans Saints traded back into the seventh round to pick MSU quarterback Tommy Stevens with the 240th pick.

Stevens endured an up and down season at Mississippi State after transferring in from Penn State. He got off to a hot start but battled injuries throughout the year, finishing 97-161 for 1155 yards, 11 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. He also rushed for 381 yards and four touchdowns. Stevens spoke prior to the draft about finding a role in the NFL similar to current Saint Taysom Hill, himself an injury plagued quarterback in college who has found a niche as a jack of all trades under Sean Payton.

Another Bulldog finds his way to the NFC North, as safety Brian Cole joins Dantzler in Minnesota.

Cole was one of the leaders on defense for Mississippi State in 2019, with 67 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, and an interception. He’s a versatile player who can also make an impact on special teams.

This page will be updated as the draft continues.

Photo courtesy of Mississippi State athletics

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