Wildcat Weekend Draft Guide

Note to self, add an NFL UPDATED alumni tracker for Northwestern fans. With the offseason bloated rosters and lack of free agent signings and to-be-trimmed in season rosters in a state of flux, it is very difficult to actually keep track of which Northwestern Wildcat players are “active” in the NFL. Thankfully, JHodges, contributor to HailToPurple did the homework and helped me offer up all the things you need to know about the ‘Cats and the current NFL.

Current ‘Cats In The NFL

Here is the list as JHodges currently sees it:

By my count, here are NU alumni currently signed to NFL teams (I went through all current NFL rosters on respective team websites), along with years in NFL and other info.  Note that the roster sizes are significantly larger during the offseason and only begin to shrink in the preseason; active 46 man rosters and practice squad designations don’t take effect until the regular season.

RB Tyrell Sutton, Seattle Seahawks (2009-11, signed with Seattle this offseason and was on Carolina and recorded stats in 09 & 10 but didn’t record stats last season)
WR Zeke Markshausen, Kansas City Chiefs (2010-11, was with Chicago last preseason, has not played in any regular season games)
DE Luis Castillo, San Diego Chargers (2005-11, was drafted and has been with SD entire time, was injured for most of last season)
QB Mike Kafka, Philadelphia Eagles (2010-11, was drafted and has been with Philadelphia for 2 years, recorded regular season stats last year)
DT Barry Cofield, Washington Redskins (2006-11, was drafted by New York Giants, was signed by Washington prior to last season)
CB Marquice Cole, New England Patriots (2007-11, recorded stats with New York Jets 2009-11, was signed by NE this offseason)
OT Zach Strief, New Orleans Saints (2006-11, drafted by NO and has been with them since, has played in every regular season)
CB Sherrick McManis, Houston Texans (2010-11, drated by Houston and has been with them since)
DT Corbin Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers (2011, appeared in one game)
OG Trai Essex, Pittsburgh Steelers (2005-11, drafted by and has been with Pitt through career)
LB Nick Roach, Chicago Bears (2007-11, has been with Chicago entire career)
DE Corey Wootton, Chicago Bears (2010-11, was drafted by and has been with Chicago through career)

The following appeared in games last year but are currently unsigned (do not appear on rosters):
OG Ike Ndukwe (2005-11, played with SD in 2011, recorded stats in 06: BAL, 08: MIA, 09: KC)
LB Kevin Bentley (2002-11, drafted by CLE, last played with Jacksonville, then Indianapolis in 2011)

And the where are they now file…

John Gill hasn’t played in a regular season game since 2009, Eric Peterman isn’t on a roster now but could be picked up before camp and Jason Wright last played in 2010.

Potential 2012 NFL ‘Cats:

NUSports.com has a preview here of all 10 potential Northwestern Wildcats draft picks. Depending upon which mock draft you look at Northwestern has as few as zero draft picks and up to likely three at best (Dunsmore, Ebert, Peters) but don’t count out the sterling track record of Wildcats making teams via the undrafted free agent route.

Ranking The ‘Cats in the B1G Draft

Kudos to Brian Bennett for this post on each of the Big Ten schools and how they’ve fared in the last decade of NFL Drafts. Northwestern ranks 11th with 13 draft picks just one ahead of Indiana and one behind 10th place Minnesota. Ohio State leads the way with 66, but to me the surprise of the group is Purdue with 27 picks during that stretch which would likely qualify them for the underachieving award.  As it relates to first round picks, NU is tied for 9th with two – Luis Castillo (2005) and Napoleon Harris (2002) – which is tied with Michigan State. With no first round picks this year for either team, they’ll slide to one pick in the 10 years next year, unless we crack the 2013 first round.

Happy NFL Draft watching….

 ‘Cats Name Kicker Preferred Walk-On

Congratulations to Stevenson High’s (Lincolnshire, IL) Matt Macucci who has earned a preferred walk-on spot as a placekicker for Northwestern. The standout student and team leader (he was a QB as well) had 90% of his punts for touchbacks and had 8 FG last year. Click here for more.


  • cece

    GREAT post! thanks for all that work. something that NU should be doing and posting since it promotes the football program!

    I would say that Jason Wright is out of football since he turned down a million a year from Az. and is in grad school, getting his MBA from U. of C.

    Eagles drafted a QB…booo……

    ESPN draft tracker has Dunsmore listed as 7th best available at FB, so that might bear some watching.

  • Mark

    Re: should Persa be drafted/have a chance in the NFL? Did anyone read CNNSI’s Don Banks’ comments on Seattle’s draft of Russell Wilson of Wisco?
    “Count me among those who like Seattle’s third-round pick of Russell Wilson, the undersized ex-Wisconsin quarterback the Seahawks took 75th overall. No, he’s not prototypical NFL QB height at just under 5-foot-11, but all he does is make plays and find ways to compensate for his limitations. I’ll take a shot on a guy who has consistently shown the ability to figure out how to rise to the level of his competition, no matter the league.
    It doesn’t hurt that Wilson has intangibles galore, and leadership qualities that seem to translate wherever he plays. Living in Madison, Wis., until recently, I watched Wilson play all last season, at times in person at Camp Randall Stadium. Call me a believer, even if he only has a developmental role or perhaps Wildcat quarterback assignment this season as a rookie. Whatever he does, Wilson will make a contribution to Seattle’s success this season.”

    So, does anyone not believe that Persa has all the traits Wilson has when 100% healthy? Or more?

    • IB

      Every NFL GM, apparently.

  • JIM

    WLAX: NU 13 Virginia 6

    Cats conclude regular season 16-1.
    White caps off the lake contributed to Cats sloppy play; Va. led at the half.
    Next week ALC Playoffs in Gainesville Florida with likely Gators rematch in title game. NCAA Playoffs after that.

  • Reader

    Well the whitecaps on the lake are part of the reason I left at halftime: I was there for the wrong half!

  • Mike

    Dunsmore just got picked by the TB Bucs in the 7th round.

  • Jaime

    90% of his punts for touchbacks, huh? Doesn’t sound very promising – or a hell of a leg :)

  • Ron

    2 picks after Dunsmore is taken, New England Patriots select Jeremy Ebert in the draft (7th round, pick 235)