Three Bison find homes in the NFL.
Former NDSU edge rusher Derrek Tuszka is a Denver Bronco. The Bronco’s made the Bison great the second-to-last pick in the draft, taking him 254th overall in the 7th round. Tuskza was an absolute nightmare for opposing offenses during his senior season for the Herd. Apart from being the Missouri Valley’s defensive player of the year, Tuszka was also a first-team All-American after racking up a team-high 13.5 sacks.
Tuskza became the first Bison defender since Kyle Emmanuel to get drafted. Emmanuel, who was a fifth-round pick by the Chargers back in 2015, had a quick, but productive NFL career that saw him win a starting job as a linebacker for San Diego.
Tuskza’s accomplished and uber productive college career should lay the groundwork for the defensive end to earn a spot on the Bronco’s final roster.
Two of Tuskza’s former teammates at NDSU also made their way onto NFL squads last weekend.
Tight end Ben Ellefson signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars while guard Zach Johnson inked a deal with the Green Bay Packers.
With a 6’3″ and 250 pound frame, Ellefson has all the size necessary to be an NFL tight end. Couple that with Jaguars’ serious need/lack of depth at the position and a spot on the final; number 53 is certainly on the table.
Johnson joins fellow Bison alums Darrius Shepard and Billy Turner in Green Bay. Despite the move from right tackle to right guard his senior season, Johnson did not miss a beat. He helped pave the road for the Bison to set the school rushing record as well as being named a second-team all-American by the associated press.
With the additions of Tuszka, Ellefson and Johnson there are now 12 former Bison roaming around in the NFL.
Looking ahead to next season, there is already a groundswell forming for Trey Lance to be on a shortlist of top QB’s entering the 2021 draft (if Lance decides to declare early). Couple that with Jabril Cox now being able to showcase his talents in the SEC, and the Bison imprint in the NFL will only continue to grow.