Missouri’s Gary Pinkel puts young defensive linemen in NFL conversation
Missouri coach Gary Pinkel has proved that he can produce talent on the defensive line, and more could be on the way soon.
Since 2001, when Pinkel took the coaching job at Missouri, some notable defensive linemen have been selected in the NFL Draft.
That list includes Justin Smith (4th overall pick in 2001), Aldon Smith (7th pick in 2011), Sheldon Richardson (13th pick in 2013), Ziggy Hood (32nd pick in 2009), Kony Ealy (60th pick in 2014) and Michael Sam (249th pick in 2014).
Also this past spring, the Tiger football program saw Shane Ray (23rd pick) and Markus Golden (58th pick) got their names called alongside Lucas Vincent, who was signed by the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent.
On Wednesday, during the SEC teleconference, Pinkel spoke highly of redshirt sophomore Charles Harris and freshman Terry Beckner Jr., as he puts them in the same conversation of former Mizzou players who have gone on to play in the NFL.
Beckner Jr., a former 5-star prospect, has immense potential to go along with amazing athleticism. The freshman has proved his worth already, and was listed as the starting defensive tackle for this weekend’s game against Kentucky.
Harris, who looks like a prototypical Mizzou pass rusher, is coming off the edge with speed. So far this season, he has 13 tackles, eight tackles for loss, three sacks and a forced fumble. Do not be surprised to hear these two players names’ called during the NFL Draft in the next few years.
Pinkel says Charles Harris & Terry Beckner Jr. are in same "conversation" as MU's past NFL players from D-line.
— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) September 23, 2015