The NFL Pro Bowl announced the Pro Bowl rosters yesterday and there was at least one name that Boilermaker fans will recognize. Former Purdue running back Raheem Mostert.
While at Purdue Mostert was mostly known for his great work returning kicks as he had a 99 yard return in the Little Caesar’s Bowl game against Western Michigan. He was a dynamic return man that actually broke the Purdue record for most return yards in a game when he logged 206 against Wisconsin. Mostert also set the record for the highest average return in a season at 33.5 yards.
Given the talent of Mostert it is surprising to look back at his collegiate stats. Over his four years, from 2011-2014 he attempted just 136 rushes for 759 yards which is an average of 5.6 yards per carry. He also totaled six rushing touchdowns to go along with his two rushing touchdowns.
I think it’s fair to say that most did not see the New Smyrna Beach, Florida product becoming the Pro Bowl NFL player he is now. He went undrafted in the 2015 NFL Draft but was eventually signed by the Philadelphia Eagles. His first action came for the Miami Dolphins in 2015 following being cut by the Eagles. He returned two kicks. He signed with the Baltimore Ravens just weeks later where he again returned kicks and appeared in seven games. After he was again cut he signed with the Browns, was named their primary kick returner, and played with them for their final three games.
The San Fransisco 49ers were the NFL team that really gave Mostert his big break. He was initially signed to their practice squad before finally getting a chance to appear in games at the end of the 2016 season. He finished the year with just 68 return yards and one six yard rush. Mostert would continue to hang on until a breakout year in 2019 saw him amass 137 carries for 772 yards and eight touchdowns. Mostert suffered a season ending knee injury during the 2021 season and that could have been it for a player that had just received his break.
However, Mostert rose through the injury like a phoenix and returned to the Miami Dolphins for the 2022 season. He rushed the ball 181 times for 891 yards and three touchdowns. Combined with his receiving yards of 202 Mostert was responsible for over 1,000 yards of offense.
Heading into the season finale with the high flying Dolphins’ offense, Mostert has 966 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns to go along with 171 receiving yards and two touchdowns. It’s been quite a ride for the undrafted prospect out of Purdue. I’m sure he would love to break 1,000 rushing yards, there’s likely a bonus in his contract for that, and I’m sure making the Pro Bowl means a lot to him as someone who has suffered numerous setbacks in his NFL career. Congrats to Raheem Mostert on this well deserved honor.