Eight more Bulldogs are NFL bound

Cornerback Taveze Calhoun signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Chicago Bears. (AP Photo/Samantha Baker)

Cornerback Taveze Calhoun signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Chicago Bears. (AP Photo/Samantha Baker)

Chris Jones, Will Redmond and Dak Prescott all heard their name called during the 2016 NFL Draft.

But that trio will not be the only former Mississippi State players that receive a shot at the next level.

Six other Bulldogs signed free agent contracts following the conclusion of the draft and two more have invitations to rookie mini camps next week.

Defensive end Ryan Brown signed with the Cincinnati Bengals, cornerback Taveze Calhoun inked with the Chicago Bears, tight end Darrion Hutcherson was signed by the Tennessee Titans and offensive guard Justin Malone agreed to terms with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Two underclassmen that declared early for the draft – wide receiver De’Runnya Wilson and linebacker Beniquez Brown – both went undrafted. Wilson signed as a free agent with the New England Patriots while Brown inked with the Green Bay Packers.

Punter Devon Bell received a camp invite from the Indianapolis Colts while long snapper Winston Chapman got one from the New York Jets.

In addition to those seven, former MSU wide receiver Devin Fosselman also signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Seattle Seahawks. Fosselman redshirted during the 2011 season for the Bulldogs and transferred to play at Pearl River Community College in 2013. The Woodville native spent his final two seasons at Jackson State, where he caught 90 passes for 1,164 yards and six touchdowns.

Ryan Brown appeared in 45 games during his collegiate career including 25 starts. The 6-foot-6, 266-pounder from New Orleans made 106 tackles, 10.5 for loss and 7.5 sacks. As a senior, Brown started all 12 regular season games and totaled 39 tackles, eight for a loss, 2.5 sacks, five pass breakups and a team-high 10 quarterback hurries.

Calhoun played in 50 games and made 36 starts. The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder from Morton finished with 161 tackles, 12 for loss, six interceptions, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery during his career. Calhoun started 11 of the 12 games he played in as a senior with 39 tackles, 6.5 for loss, two interceptions and team-high 10 pass deflections.

Hutcherson played in all 26 games during his MSU career after transferring in from Copiah-Lincoln Community College with six starts. The 6-foot-7, 260-pounder caught 16 passes for 164 yards and a touchdown this past season.

Malone appeared in 38 games and made 29 starts. The 6-foot-7, 320-pounder from Madison started at all three positions on the interior offensive line during his career.

Wilson played in 38 games and made 24 starts during his three years in Starkville and also spent one season on the men’s basketball team. The 6-foot-5, 215-pounder from Birmingham, Alabama caught 133 passes for 1,949 yards and 22 touchdowns during his career, ranking in the top six in school history in all three categories. Wilson started all 13 games making 60 grabs for 918 yards and led the team with 10 touchdowns while earned a second team All-SEC selection.

Beniquez Brown saw action in 39 games and made 28 starts over three seasons. The 6-foot-1, 238-pounder from Florence, Alabama concluded his career with 200 tackles, 22.5 for loss, six sacks, three interceptions and two blocked kicks. Brown finished second on the team in tackles for the second straight year making 99 stops as a junior with 11 being for loss, four sacks, one interception and four pass deflections in 13 starts.

Bell spent time as State’s placekicker, punter and kickoff specialist during his 50 game career. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder from Vicksburg averaged 42.4 yards per punt and during his career with a long of 70 yards and converted 18 of 34 field goal attempts with a long of 47 yards. As a senior, Bell punted nine times for a 41.1 yard average.

Chapman served as the Bulldogs’ long snapper for 40 games during his career before a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Week 2 of his senior year cost him the remainder of his college career. The 6-foot-2, 240-pounder from Fairhope, Alabama was flawless snapping the football during his four seasons.

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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