The 5 Most Successful Small-School Pass-Catchers in the NFL

Unheralded when they came out, these players have put their stamp on the NFL nonetheless.

I used to have a dream of playing sports professionally. I was very set on playing in the NFL when I was a little kid -- this was well before we found out about the ramifications of concussions -- and I hoped desperately that I would get to don the green and gold of a Green Bay Packer when I was old enough. I begged my parents to sign me up for pee wee football, and they did. My football career last one eight-game season -- at age eight -- and I was the starting center and nose tackle for the Milwaukee Lutheran Pee Wee Red Knights.

This was also well before I knew that I would grow up to be barely big enough to play halfback as an adult.

I never had a legitimate shot to play in the pros, but it's a tough road for real NFL prospects, especially those coming from small, non-Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) colleges. In an earlier article this week, I dissected the production of these prospects and found that just over half of them will ever contribute solidly to an NFL roster in their careers. This fact shouldn't be disappointing, though. On the contrary, it should make the stories of small-school success that much more impressive, and that's what we will look at today, specifically among wide receivers and tight ends.

Who are the most prolific NFL pass-catchers to be drafted out of a non-FBS program since 2000?