AState Successful Sending Players to the NFL

How good is Arkansas State's current streak of having a player selected in each of the past seven NFL drafts? Pretty darn good.

While the steak, which started with fullback Oren O'Neal in 2007, is tied with third among schools in the Group of 5, the former non-automatic qualifiers or non-AQ, it also tops 29 on the current members of the AQ conferences, including four from the Southeastern Conference.

Among the Group of 5, Fresno State is the runaway winner with a player selected in the NFL draft with 13 straight years. Up next is Central Florida with 8.

Arkansas State is tied for third with Cincinnati and Connecticut with seven straight years.

At sixth place is SMU and Boise State and Appalachian State are tied for seventh with 4 straight. Round out the top 10 and tied for ninth with three straight years are Marshall, Rice, Utah State, San Diego State and Florida International.

The Red Wolves' run is better than Southeastern Conference members Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Ole Miss and Mississippi State and Big 12 members Baylor, Kansas, Iowa State, Texas Tech, TCU, West Virginia and Oklahoma State.

In the Pac-12, A-State tops Arizona State, Arizona, Colorado, Washington and Washington State.

Some other programs of note that ranked behind Arkansas State are Syracuse, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Georgia Tech and others.

A-State's streak began with O'Neal, drafted in the sixth round by the Oakland Raiders in 2007. That was followed by safety Tyrell Johnson, second round by the Minnesota Vikings, then in 2009 the Pittsburgh Steelers selected tight end David Johnson in the seventh round, and in 2010 Alex Carrington was a third-round pick of the Buffalo Bills. The last three seasons, Red Wolves drafted were tackle Derek Newton, seventh by the Houston Texans, linebacker DeMario Davis third to the New York Jets in 2012 and Don Jones going to the Miami Dolphins in the seventh round a year ago. Jones was the 250th player taken out of 254.

Will it be 8? Defensive lineman Ryan Carrathers, the hero of the GoDaddy Bowl with his field goal block on the game's final play, is the top candidate. He is projected as a mid-round selection.