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Vanderbilt in the NFL Draft: The Past Decade

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Vanderbilt has three fringe NFL Draft prospects in 2015, but a look at their recent history shows a rich tradition of Commodores in the big leagues. Here's how Vandy alums have fared on draft day since 2005.

Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

There isn't much intrigue lingering over the 2015 NFL Draft for Vanderbilt fans. The Commodores are low on draft prospects after an underclassman-laden roster stumbled to a 3-9 finish in 2014. Only three players, lineman Joe Townsend, outside linebacker Kyle Woestmann, and long snapper Andrew East, have an outside shot of hearing their names called this weekend. None are likely to be picked before the late rounds commence on Saturday.

That would be an unlikely blanking for Vandy alums at the draft, but recent history shows that it wouldn't be unprecedented. In the past 10 years, the Commodores have gone without representation at Radio City Music Hall only twice. Since then, Vanderbilt football vets have been selected in all seven rounds by 14 different NFL teams. Some have made lasting impacts at the next level. Others failed to catch on after leaving Nashville. Here's a closer look at the 'Dores in the NFL Draft since 2005.

2005: Jovan Haye - Carolina Panthers (6th round, 189th overall), Justin Geisinger - Buffalo Bills (6th round, 197th overall).

Overall Impact: Haye caught on with the Buccaneers in 2006 and started on Tampa's defensive line in 2007 and 2008. Geisinger played in six games over a five year NFL career.

2006: Jay Cutler - Denver Broncos (1st round, 11th overall).

Overall Impact: One day, Jay Cutler will live up to expectations and become the All-NFL quarterback we all knew he could be.

2007: None.

Overall Impact: Offensive lineman Brian Stamper spent some time with the Saints as an undrafted free agent, but otherwise there wasn't any NFL talent in the graduating class of 2007.

2008: Chris Williams - Chicago Bears (1st round, 14th overall), Earl Bennett - Chicago Bears (3rd round, 70th overall), Jonathan Goff - New York Giants (5th round, 156th overall).

Overall Impact: Williams came into the league with the potential to become a long-term solution at left tackle for the Bears, but he never developed into the player NFL scouts thought he could become as a first-round talent. Bennett looked like a steal when Chicago nabbed the SEC's all-time leading receiver in the third round, but Agent Orange never really rose above the slot receiver role he occupied early in his career.

Goff was an important piece of the New York defense and he earned a Super Bowl ring in 2012. However, his biggest contribution to the world of football was this:

Last week, Goff broke the huddle with a cry of "One, two, three, teach me how to Dougie," a reference to a hip-hop song by a group called Cali Swag District. It’s Goff’s way of continuing Pierce’s tradition of chanting with the entire defense at the start of team drills. Goff has tried a few hip-hop one-liners and all have bombed.

Justin Tuck remembers asking Goff to break the huddle once and hearing, " ‘Dumb men’ on three!"

"Okay, Goff, thanks," a sarcastic Tuck said.

Said Bulluck, "His huddle breaks, they’re just not good."

2009: D.J. Moore - Chicago Bears (4th round, 119th overall).

Overall Impact: Moore played as a reserve cornerback in Chicago, pressing receivers in the slot and getting run in nickel packages. He spent last year with the Buccaneers but failed to appear in a single game.

2010: Myron Lewis - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3rd round, 67th overall), Thomas Welch - New England Patriots (7th round, 208th overall).

Overall Impact: Lewis looked like the next link in the chain of great Commodore defensive backs, but he disappointed in the Sunshine State. Since leaving Tampa, he's played in the Canadian Football League, Fall Experimental Football League, and the Arena Football League. Welch played in 27 games in three season, starting one with the Patriots, but he didn't play in 2014. Reshard Langford wasn't drafted, but he still found a role with Kansas City for two seasons.

2011: None.

Overall Impact: Robbie Caldwell didn't have a single one of his seniors get picked in the draft. Shocking. Chris Marve had NFL talent, but he decided to pursue a law degree rather than continue destroying quarterbacks.

2012: Casey Hayward - Green Bay Packers (2nd round, 62nd overall), Tim Fugger - Indianapolis Colts (7th round, 214th overall).

Overall Impact: Hayward was a legitimate Rookie of the Year candidate in 2013. Now he'll slide into a starting spot on the outside for the Pack. Fugger has earned jerseys with the Colts, Jets, and Cardinals but hasn't found an active spot on an NFL roster in his career. Sean Richardson went undrafted, but he's been a key reserve in the Packers' secondary the past two seasons.

2013: Zac Stacy - St. Louis Rams (5th round, 160th overall), Ryan Seymour - Seattle Seahawks (7th round, 220th overall).

Overall Impact: Stacy broke out at the end of his rookie season to earn the starting tailback job in Saint Louis. Then, a slow start to his 2014 season dropped him to the bottom of the Rams' depth chart. Seymour didn't make the 'Hawks active roster, but spent time with the 49ers before latching on and playing 11 games with the Cleveland Browns last season.

2014: Jordan Matthews - Philadelphia Eagles (2nd round, 42nd overall), Wesley Johnson - Pittsburgh Steelers (5th round, 173rd overall), Andre Hal - Houston Texans (7th round, 216th overall).

Overall Impact: Matthews was impressive enough as a rookie to help convince the Eagles to let Jeremy Maclin walk in free agency. He will likely be Philadelphia's #1 receiver this fall. Johnson played sparingly for the Steelers before being cut and signing the the Jets. Hal outplayed his draft status to appear in 14 games for the Texans in his first year. Kenny Ladler played his way into a pair of games for the Buffalo Bills and could get more field time this season.