The last year that Purdue did not have a player drafted in the NFL draft was 1997. That wasn't much of a shock, as that was the season before Joe Tiller revived a dormant Program. Purdue had gone 3-8 the previous season and was so bad that Indiana broke a 15 game Big Ten losing streak against the Boilers.
Will 2014 match that year? We've already seen a lengthy Big Ten losing streak fall by the wayside thanks to Purdue, as Illinois had dropped 20 consecutive Big Ten games before winning at Purdue 20-16 on November 23.
As the NFL Draft goes into day 3 and the final four rounds it really is a legitimate question: Will Purdue be shut out?
First, a quick refresher. Here are all the players from Purdue that were drafted since that 1997 shutout:
2003: Joe Odom (LB, Bears)
2004: Nick Harwick (C, Chargers), Stu Schweigert (S, Raiders), Gilbert Gardner (LB, Colts), Landon Johnson (LB, Colts), Shaun Phillips (DE, Chargers), Niko Koutouvides (LB, Seahawks), Kelly Butler (T, Lions), Craig Terrill (DT, Seahawks), Jacques Reeves (CB, Cowboys)
2005: Kyle Orton (QB, Bears)
2010: Mike Neal (DT, Packers)
2011: Ryan Kerrigan (DE, Redskins)
As you can see, 2004 was the best year with nine selections, plus five more guys that were regulars that played that season and were drafted the next two years. I still believe that the 2003 team was Joe Tiller's overall best, and it is light years ahead of the 2013 team, which might be the worst in school history.
Still, there are a handful of guys that have at least a chance of getting drafted:
Ricardo Allen - CB - Allen is undersized by NFL standards, but the kid has the heart of a warrior and often played bigger than his size. He leaves Purdue as one f my favorite players to ever wear Old Gold and Black and as the Big Ten record holder in INTs returns for touchdowns with four. Any team that drafts Rico will look at his production and see his heart. They will see that the kid played his ass off and will do so in the NFL. Does that override his physical limitations, however? Chance he gets drafted: 50%
Bruce Gaston - DT - Gaston has almost the opposite problem of Allen. He is a huge physical talent, but never put up the numbers that should be on par with that talent. What number he did get were often in the shadow of two guys that went in the first 50 picks of their respective draft years (Kerrigan and Short). Gaston has all the physical tools, but there has never been a huge year from Gaston where you can say, "yes, this is an NFL player." If he gets drafted, it will be on his physical tools. Chance he gets drafted: 45%
Cody Webster - P - Teams rarely draft punters. It is just a fact. There are only 32 spots in the league, no backups, and often 30 of the 32 spots are already locked in. It is probably harder to make the league as a punter than at any other position because at least kickers get cut all the time for missing kicks. Punters get in the league and stay for about 20 years if they are good. Last year, just two punters got drafted in 254 picks. The year before that only two guys got drafted. In 2011 only one punter got drafted. The reigning Ray Guy winner Tom Hornsey is expected to get drafted, so that leaves Webster fighting for possibly a single spot. Chance he gets drafted: 10%
Outside of these three guys I would be very surprised if anyone gets drafted. Guys like Rob Henry, Kurt Freytag, and Will Lucas have done enough to get at least an undrafted free agent look, but there simply is not enough there to warrant a pick.