Three Tigers set to start NFL career after draft

Evan Boehm, Connor McGovern and Kentrell Brothers were all selected in the NFL Draft.
Coach Gary Pinkel speaks with senior center Evan Boehm (77) before kickoff at Faurot Field on Nov. 21, 2015. Mizzou lost to Tennessee, 19–8.

Three former Missouri Tigers fulfilled lifelong dreams on Saturday.

It wasn’t until the fourth round of the NFL Draft that a Missouri football player was picked. The first was the school’s leader in career starts.

Former center Evan Boehm was selected with the 30th pick of the fourth round by the Arizona Cardinals. He is expected to compete for the starting center spot with current Cardinals center A.Q. Shipley.

Fellow lineman Connor McGovern was selected 16 picks later by the Denver Broncos. McGovern, who established himself as one of the strongest players in the draft by benching 225 lbs. 33 times, will look to help fill the void left by four-time pro bowler Ryan Clady.

With the selection of both Boehm and McGovern, Missouri has sent four offensive linemen to the NFL in the past three seasons. Along with Boehm and McGovern, former linemen Justin Britt and Mitch Morse started on the 2013 offensive line for the Tigers.

In perhaps one of the more surprising picks in the draft, former senior linebacker Kentrell Brothers was selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the 23rd pick of the fifth round.

Brothers finished his senior season as the nation’s leader in tackles (152), was first team all-SEC and was a first team All-American. But Brothers was one of the final All-American linebackers to be picked.

Before the NFL Combine, Brothers was expected to be picked in the second or third rounds. However, after running only a 4.82-second 40-yard dash while already being considered undersized, Brothers’ stock took a major hit.

Brothers will most likely play behind current Vikings linebackers Eric Kendricks and Chad Greenway for his inaugural season in Minnesota.

While Boehm, McGovern and Brothers were the only three Tigers selected in the draft, three other Tigers have a chance to impress on NFL rosters.

Shortly after the draft ended, former defensive back Kenya Dennis signed with the Cleveland Browns as a free agent. Dennis recorded 35 tackles during his senior year in 2015 as well as one interception.

Former kicker Andrew Baggett also earned a tryout with the Browns. Baggett hit 16 of his 20 attempts last season and was named the most valuable player in the NFL Players Association Collegiate Bowl.

Former running back Russell Hansbrough signed a contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Hansbrough was poised for a breakout year in his senior season in 2015 but was injured on Missouri’s first drive of the season.

Meanwhile, former defensive back Ian Simon has yet to sign with a team. He recorded 46 tackles and two interceptions during his senior season.

Edited by Peter Baugh | pbaugh@themaneater.com

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