Winning seven championships in eight years is something that NFL teams cannot ignore
NDSU has turned into a college football powerhouse, with seven National Championships in the last eight years. NFL teams have taken notice of the talent on the Bison, as there are currently eight former NDSU players in the NFL. Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Easton Stick and Green Bay Packers wide receiver Darrius Shepherd are just a few of the Bison standouts in the league.
Wentz was the number two overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft. He was on his way to winning the MVP award in 2017 before he tore his ACL against the Rams in week 14. Wentz is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2018 season where he only played in 11 games and threw for 3074 yards with 21 touchdowns. He has rebounded nicely so far in 2019 as he threw for 313 yards and three touchdowns against the Washington Redskins in week 1. Both Wentz and the Eagles have the talent to make 2019 a special season, only time will tell if they will be able to put it all together.
Easton Stick was drafted in the 5th round, 166th overall in the 2019 NFL draft by the Chargers. When he was picked, he was viewed as a potential replacement to Phillip Rivers. Stick was in a quarterback battle with Cardale Jones for all of training camp and preseason. The two were fighting to see who would win the 3rd QB spot behind Rivers and backup Tyrod Taylor. Stick had an up and down preseason as he only completed 58.7% of his passes while throwing for 244 yards with one touchdown and four interceptions. He added 63 rushing yards and also two touchdowns with his legs. Despite Stick’s rocky play, it was enough to edge out Jones and secure the third string quarterback position for the Chargers. Stick is viewed as a project player, made to benefit the Chargers in the long-term. With Rivers showing that he is ageless and Taylor still having another year left on his contract after this season, it is unlikely that Stick finds the field in a meaningful game anytime soon.
Wide-receiver Darrius Shepherd signed with the Packers as an undrafted free agent this past offseason. Shepherd impressed the Packers in the preseason where he recorded eight catches for 68 yards and two touchdowns. He also flashed some of his talent, make a few impressive catches in preseason action. Shepards production and ability to make plays helped him make the Packers 53-man roster. Barring injury, Shepard is not expecting to see the field much right away. However, if one or two things goes his way, he could be suiting up as one of the weapons at Aaron Rodgers’ disposal.
As long as the Bison continue to dominate on the field, their players will get recognition from NFL scouts. The more success the herd alum have in the NFL, the more likely teams are to take chances on them coming out of school.