With Super Bowl 54 being played last night and the 2019 NFL season coming to a close, let’s take a look at how the former Boilermakers in the league did this year.
Former Boilermakers active in the NFL:
- Ricardo Allen, CB, Atlanta Falcons
After missing all but three games in 2018, Ricardo came back in 2019 with one of his better seasons statistically since coming into the league in 2014. He racked up 84 total tackles starting all 16 games for the Falcons who struggled mightily this year. He also set a new career high for TFL with 4 on the year and picked off two passes. Allen signed a three year deal worth $19.5 million before the start of the 2018 season, so he is coming up on a contract year during 2020.
- Kawann Short, DT, Carolina Panthers
Short played only two games in 2019 due to a partially torn rotator cuff that put him on Injured Reserve after only missing two games total in his first 6 seasons in Carolina. His numbers have gone down since his stellar 2015 season in which he had 11.0 sacks and 16 TFL’s and was named to the Pro Bowl. He signed a 5 year deal worth $80 million in April of 2017 and will look to rebound from a lost year heading into 2020.
- Anthony Brown, CB, Dallas Cowboys
Brown had a bit of a disappointing season in 2019 with the Cowboys as he suited up for 9 games before going on Injured Reserve with a triceps injury and saw his replacement Jourdan Lewis do well in his absence. Anthony is set to be a free agent, and it will be interesting to see if Dallas retains him as they will potentially shell out a lot of money on the trio Amari Cooper, Dak Prescott and Byron Jones.
- David Blough, QB, Detroit Lions
After a stellar career in West Lafayette, Blough got his opportunity to make his NFL debut on Thanksgiving and played well against the Bears. He started 5 games and had some good moments but mostly struggled during his rookie campaign throwing 4 touchdowns to 6 interceptions. With Matthew Stafford’s future in Detroit uncertain and the possibility of the Lions drafting a quarterback, it will be interesting to see where Blough fits in with Detroit.
- Terry Wright, WR, Miami Dolphins
Wright bounced around during his rookie season spending time with the Seahawks, Steelers and is now on the Miami Dolphins roster with the opportunity to make the team coming into the 2020 season.
- Ja’Whaun Bentley, LB, New England Patriots
The former Boilermaker captain played all 16 games in 2019 with the Patriots a year after playing only 3 games due to injury. Bentley racked up 39 total tackles and had two TFL’s. His role will continue to grow with in New England as his career progresses.
- Jordan Roos, OG, Seattle Seahawks
Roos bounced around from waivers, Seattle’s practice squad and the active roster during the 2019 season and was mostly a special teams player in the 7 games he appeared in this season.
- Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
The GOAT dealt with a thumb injury that kept him out of 5 games this season but he still had a tremendous year. He threw for nearly 3,000 yards and 27 touchdowns while only having 4 interceptions. He also broke Peyton Manning’s career touchdown record of 539 and now sits 6 above Tom Brady on that list with 547 touchdowns. He was the only Purdue product to make the Pro Bowl this season as well. There has been speculation that Brees is mulling retirement, but with the sour taste in his mouth after losing to the Vikings in the playoffs, it is more likely that he comes back for one final season with the Saints as he is still one of the best quarterbacks in the league even at age 41.
- Raheem Mostert, RB, San Francisco 49ers
The former Purdue running back turned receiver had one of the best stories of the 2019 season. After being cut by 6 different NFL teams and dealing with injuries since leaving Purdue, Mostert turned in his best season by far in 2019. He rushed for 772 yards with 8 scores to go along with 180 receiving yards and two touchdown catches. The highlight of his season was his insane 220 yard performance in the NFC Championship game where he found the end zone a record 4 times to carry his team to the Super Bowl. He is on the books through 2021 with the 49ers and will look to build off of his breakout campaign going forward.
- Jacob Thieneman, SS, San Francisco 49ers
It is hard to not root for Jacob Thieneman, he came to Purdue as a walk-on, earned a scholarship, worked hard in the classroom, bounced around the league as a practice squad player and eventually stuck on with the 49ers and went to the Super Bowl. He did not play in a regular season game this year, but he is an extremely hard worker who could very well get an opportunity to play in the future.
- Dennis Kelly, OT, Tennessee Titans
The heaviest NFL player to catch a touchdown pass in a postseason game came from West Lafayette in the form of Dennis Kelly. Playing 15 games for the Titans this season, Kelly started 4 of those while starting tackle Taylor Lewan served a 4 game suspension at the beginning of the season. He played little after that, but did catch two, yes TWO, touchdown passes this season. One was against the Chiefs in the AFC Championship game and the other was in Week 12 when the Titans played the Jaguars.
- Kevin Pamphile, OT, Tennessee Titans
Pamphile did not play a game for the Titans this season due to a lingering knee injury, but has 35 career starts over his 5 year NFL career.
- Ryan Kerrigan, OLB, Washington Redskins
After having over 11.0 sacks in each of his last three seasons for the Redskins, Ryan Kerrigan missed 4 games this year because of a leg injury and put up just 5.5 sacks, 6 TFL’s and 14 quarterback hits. He has put together a very solid career in his 9 year career with 90.0 sacks and will be in the final year of his 5 year, $57.5 million contract during the 2020 NFL season.
It is likely that both Markus Bailey and Brycen Hopkins among other former Boilermakers will join this group after the 2020 NFL Draft in April.