Liberty Flames' highest NFL draft picks since 1970

Written by:
February 24, 2022
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Liberty Flames' highest NFL draft picks since 1970

While most colleges and universities field a football team as part of its general athletics program, there are some for which football is more than merely a sport—it’s akin almost to a religion. Devotion to the team and its colors is as important to that school’s culture as a religious icon is to a believer. These programs actively scout and recruit notable high school players, and are in turn rigorously applied to by matriculating seniors eager to make a name for themselves at the collegiate level.

Among the most notable college football empires are Notre Dame, the universities of Alabama, Michigan, Texas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma, Penn State, Ohio State—the list goes on and on.

But for every touchstone football school, there is an outlier that has produced some of the most successful and cherished players in the game. Think Jackson State, which gave us “Sweetness” himself, Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton. Or Mississippi Valley State, which yielded 3-time Super Bowl champion and #1 Player in NFL History, as voted by the NFL Network, ‘49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice.

Each year, the college draft serves as a source of renewal to professional football and a testament to the quality of college programs nationwide. With the 2022 NFL draft set to take place April 28-30 in Las Vegas, Stacker compiled a list of the highest NFL draft picks from the Liberty Flames using data from Pro Football Reference. Ties were broken by the most recent year drafted.

#8. Richard Shelton (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 11, #292 overall in 1989
- Drafted by: Denver Broncos
- Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#7. Donald Smith (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 10, #271 overall in 1990
- Drafted by: Minnesota Vikings
- Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#6. Rashad Jennings (RB)
- Draft pick: Round 7, #250 overall in 2009
- Drafted by: Jacksonville Jaguars
- Years as a starter in NFL: 5 (0 Pro Bowls)

#5. Fred Banks (WR)
- Draft pick: Round 8, #203 overall in 1985
- Drafted by: Cleveland Browns
- Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#4. Antonio Gandy-Golden (WR)
- Draft pick: Round 4, #142 overall in 2020
- Drafted by: Washington Football Team
- Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#3. Walt Aikens (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 4, #125 overall in 2014
- Drafted by: Miami Dolphins
- Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#2. Kelvin Edwards (WR)
- Draft pick: Round 4, #88 overall in 1986
- Drafted by: New Orleans Saints
- Years as a starter in NFL: 1 (0 Pro Bowls)

#1. Eric Green (TE)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #21 overall in 1990
- Drafted by: Pittsburgh Steelers
- Years as a starter in NFL: 6 (2 Pro Bowls)

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