If David Garrett and/or Tysyn Hartman get drafted tomorrow to extend K-State's incredible 18-year streak of having at least one draftee, it's not going to be based purely on their talent. Sure, both players have the stats and especially Hartman has the size and athletic ability to get noticed, but if their names are called tomorrow, it's probably going to be by a team that saw a little something extra.
It's not like this is something unusual for Bill Snyder-coached athletes, but I'd like to think both of these guys have certain intangibles that might make them more attractive options than players who have equal or even slightly more talent. Hopefully on Saturday we'll see Hartman or Garrett get selected by a team like KC looking for some local ties, or maybe a team like the Packers or (gulp) Patriots who have a reputation of finding hidden gems and have the luxury of being able to take a chance and develop players.
With Hartman, who was an Academic All-American, a team would be getting one of the most cerebral guys in the draft. Even though he occasionally didn't look it on the field when he was blowing coverages or going for the big hit when a safer, surer tackle or more caution would have been advised, Hartman's 3.57 in Finance while graduating in three and a half years speaks for itself and has to be worth something.
Meanwhile, Garrett has continually gotten the short end of the stick in terms of recognition, particularly postseason awards, and it seems to motivate him fly all over the field and make tackles. Actually, it might be better in the long-run if the undersized corner doesn't get drafted, though he will probably want to improve on his pass coverage.
Honestly, I'm not a big fan of the draft, so I'll probably be paying as much or possibly more attention on Saturday than I will be tomorrow. But consider this your open thread for any draft-related talk, and click the jump for a quick look back at the last glorious 18 years in KSU draft picks.
2011: Draft Picks - RB Daniel Thomas (2nd; 60th; Miami Dolphins)
Thoughts: It took a little while and I don't think he'll ever be a superstar, but DT has proven that in the pros, just like in college, he can be a relentless, effective workhorse.
2010: Draft Picks - DB Joshua Moore (5th; 142nd; Chicago Bears
Thoughts: Moore was the last time K-State really had a lockdown corner who also had a keen nose for the ball, making him my favorite type of cornerback. I was very sad to see he got waived by the Bears prior to the 2011 season, but at least he got picked up again, even if it was by the Broncos.
2009: Draft Picks - QB Josh Freeman (1st; 17th; Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Thoughts: I may be in the minority here and it probably has a lot to do with the Prince thing, but I feel like Josh Freeman at Kansas State and Josh Freeman at Tampa Bay are two different quarterbacks, and maybe even two different people.
2008: Draft Picks - WR Jordy Nelson (2nd round; 36th overall; Green Bay Packers)
Thoughts: Jordy is undoubtedly one of my favorite K-Staters ever, and he has been one of many absolutely outstanding representatives of the program. It doesn't hurt that he's catching passes from the best QB in the game, and I expect big things from this guy.
Thoughts: The ironic thing here is that Zac Diles has probably had the most successful career in stints with the Texans, Bucs, and now the Colts, although Figurs sure was fun to watch in the return game and has been a decent slot receiver.
2006: Draft Picks - OL Jeromey Clary (6th; 187th; San Diego Chargers)
Thoughts: It sure would be nice to have an offensive lineman of Clary's caliber to protect Klein this season, but I'm not holding my breath.
2005: Draft Picks - RB Darren Sproles (4th; 130th; San Diego Chargers)
Thoughts: What a risky pick by San Diego to take such a short, skinny running back. What were they thinking?
2004: Draft Picks - C Nick Leckey (6th; 167th; Arizona Cardinals)
Thoughts: I had the good fortune to talk with Nick Leckey briefly in the week before he won a Super Bowl with the New Orleans Saints. One of the things he told me was how much he missed CoCo Bolos, which is something I'm sure everyone living outside of Manhattan can relate to.
2003: Draft Picks - CB Terence Newman (1st; 5th; Dallas Cowboys), LB Terry Pierce (2nd; 51st; Denver Broncos), DE Melvin Williams (5th; 155th; New Orleans Saints), WR Taco Wallace (7th round; 224th; Seattle Seahawks)
Thoughts: Ah, Terry Pierce, the last of the great Kansas State linebackers. But he pales in comparison to Newman, another phenomenal representative of KSU in every way. He's probably my favorite Wildcat ever, as well as still the only reason I have ever supported the Cowboys.
Thoughts: McGraw was the last Academic All-American to get drafted from Kansas State, and he also played safety. The Chiefs may want to consider that if Hartman is still on the board in the later rounds. But the most successful player from this draft was undoubtedly Ben Leber, who often made me cringe outwardly and applaud on the inside as he thwarted Kansas City offenses.
2001: Draft Picks - WR Quincy Morgan (2nd round; 33rd; Cleveland Browns), TE Shad Meier (3rd; 90th; Tennessee Titans), LB Monty Beisel (3rd; 107th; Kansas City Chiefs), DT Mario Fatafehi (5th; 133rd; Arizona Cardinals), S Jarrod Cooper (5th; 143rd; Carolina Panthers), Jerametrius Butler (5th; 145th; St. Louis Rams)
Thoughts: It's a real shame that Quincy didn't do better in the pros, but I'll never forget watching him dance into the endzone for the game-winning catch against Nubs in that unforgettable snow game in Manhattan. Beisel has had his moments in KC, but I still prefer to think of him in purple as well. In fact, you could probably say again that Butler, despite being picked latest, probably had the most successful career.
2000: Draft Picks - DE Darren Howard (2nd; 33rd; New Orleans Saints), LB Mark Simoneau (3rd; 67th; Atlanta Falcons), T Damion McIntosh (3rd; 83rd; San Diego Chargers), CB Lamar Chapman (5th; 146th; Cleveland Browns), RB Frank Murphy (6th, 170th, Chicago Bears)
Thoughts: As you can tell, we're getting into the era of great defenses, and it's almost a little sad to think about how far K-State has fallen from the time when we expected to have studs like Howard, Simoneau, and Chapman virtually every year on that side of the ball.
1999: Draft Picks - K Martin Gramatica (3rd; 80th; Tampa Bay Buccaneers), LB Jeff Kelly (6th; 180th; Atlanta Falcons), T Ryan Young (7th; 223rd; NY Jets), QB Michael Bishop (6th; 227th; New England Patriots), TE Justin Swift (7th; 238th; Denver Broncos), WR Darnell McDonald (7th; 240th; Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Thoughts: While Michael Bishop might have done better in some of today's spread offenses, a great kicker like Gramatica was just as valuable then as he would be now. This draft class makes it clear just how absurdly good that 1998 offense was.
1998: Draft Picks - T Todd Weiner (2nd; 47th; Seattle Seahawks)
Thoughts: Weiner didn't get a lot of recognition, but he played in 152 games, starting in 116 for some pretty good rushing teams in Seattle and later Atlanta.
1997: Draft Picks - CB Chris Canty (1st; 29th; New England Patriots), WR Kevin Lockett (2nd; 47th; Kansas City Chiefs)
Thoughts: Both of these guys were fun-to-watch, unforgettable fixtures in their four years at K-State, which only made it all the more disappointing when their NFL careers never really got off the ground.
1996: Draft Picks - LB Percell Gaskins (4th; 104th; St. Louis Rams)
Thoughts: Clearly, we're getting into my early elementary school years, as I don't really have any recollection of Gaskins, who was apparently an All-American linebacker and a national champion high jumper. Apparently, he now works at a consulting firm in North Carolina.
1995: Draft Picks - T Barrett Brooks (2nd; 58th; Philadelphia Eagles), QB Chad May (4th; 111th; Minnesota Vikings)
Thoughts: I was not even aware until now that Chad May had been drafted. Alas, he never threw a pass in two years in the league.
1994: Draft Picks - DB Thomas Randolph (2nd; 47th; NY Giants); WR Andre Coleman (3rd; 70th; San Diego Chargers)
Thoughts: No disrespect to Mr. Randolph, who was a a second team All-American, but I didn't bother to learn the names of people who didn't touch the ball regularly until about 4th or 5th grad. I do, however, remember announcers frequently yelling the name "Andre Coleman!" as a very fast man caught the ball and then ran really fast.
Note: Supplemental draft picks are not included. Thank you to mynfldraft.com and Wikipedia for making this very easy to put together.
Please enjoy the draft responsibly, everyone, and I'll leave you with this question: If, God forbid, only Bryce Brown gets drafted, should it count as extending the streak to 19 years?