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|Whitworth, Estay in top 20|
EDITOR'S NOTE: Last week, columnist Joey Martin listed his Top 10 draft picks from LSU players past and present. This continues from last week and rounds out the top 20.
Who would be the first 20 LSU players taken if every single player who donned the purple and gold were available after their senior year?
At No, 11 is Roy Winston, who was drafted in 1962 by the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth round.
Winston played 15 seasons in the National Football League, all with the Minnesota Vikings. He was one of the few players to play in all four of the Vikings Super Bowl appearances.
Winston delivered one of the most devastating tackles ever filmed. In a game against the Miami Dolphins in 1972, fullback Larry Csonka circled out into the flat to catch a pass. Just as he caught the pass, Winston hit him from behind with such force that the 240-pound Csonka was nearly cut in half. The tackle was so grotesque it was shown on The Tonight Show. Csonka dropped the ball and rolled on the field in agony. He thought his back was broken and literally crawled off the field (he was not seriously injured, however). After their respective retirements from the NFL, Winston and Csonka remained close friends. Csonka invited Winston to be his guest when Csonka was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
My No. 12 pick is Andrew Whitworth, who was drafted in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft by Cincinnati.
Whitworth was rated by CNNSI.com as the sixth-best offensive line prospect in the nation. He participated in the first ever U.S. Army All-American Bowl game on December 30th, 2000 along with other future LSU players Marcus Spears, Marquise Hill, and Ben Wilkerson. Whitworth's 52 career starts from 2002-05 rank second in NCAA Division I history behind Derrick Strait of Oklahoma (53 starts, 2001-04).
Going as the No. 13 pick is Jerry Stovall, who was the 2nd overall pick in the 1963 NFL Draft, selected by the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals converted him to full-time defensive back. During his nine seasons with the Cardinals, Stovall had 18 interceptions in 97 games, and was selected to the Pro Bowl after the 1966, 1967 and 1969 seasons.
After his NFL career, Stovall became a college football assistant coach. He eventually returned to LSU, as an assistant for head coach Charlie McClendon. Stovall became LSU's head coach as an emergency hire, after new head coach Bo Rein died when his plane depressurized and disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean.
LaRon Landry comes in at No. 14. Landry was drafted by the Redskins sixth overall in the 2007 NFL Draft. LaRon's brother Dawan plays for the Baltimore Ravens.
Credited with 48 straight starts for the Tigers, Landry finished his career with 315 tackles and 12 interceptions. His 12 interceptions left him with the third-highest total in school history, while his 315 tackles rank seventh in LSU history.
One of his greatest hits in his collegiate career occurred his senior season against the University of Alabama when he blitzed quarterback John Parker Wilson and leveled him only a few seconds after taking the snap and a second after releasing the ball.
Taken as the No. 15 pick is Glenn Dorsey, the top pick of the Kansas City Chiefs last year. In 2004 as a true freshman, he started in 3 out of 12 games.
On his first collegiate snap he recovered a fumble against Oregon State. He finished the year with 18 tackles.
He was among LSU's 4-player rotation at defensive tackle which included Claude Wroten and Kyle Williams. He finished the season with 28 tackles and 3 sacks.
Dorsey was awarded the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, the Outland Trophy, the Lott Trophy and the Lombardi Award, becoming the only player to have won all four awards.
At No. 16 is Henry Thomas, a quiet defensive gem for the Tigers from 1983-86. Thomas was a third-round pick who was a solid performer for the Vikings.
Josh Reed comes in at No. 17 Reed was originally drafted by the Bills in the second round (36th overall) of the 2002 NFL Draft.
At LSU in 2001, Reed was awarded the Fred Biletnikoff Award as the nation's best receiver. He holds the SEC record for receiving yardage in a game (293 vs. Alabama in 2001) and season (1,740 in 2001).
Ronnie Estay comes in at No. 18.
Estay was selected by the Denver Broncos in the 8th round of the 1972 NFL Draft. He played for the British Columbia Lions in 1972 and Edmonton from 1973-82, and helped lead the team to five straight Grey Cup championships from 1978-82 as a key member of the "Alberta Crude" defense.
Estay was a two time CFL All-Star in 1977 and 1980. He played in nine Grey Cup championships, winning six times.
Mike Williams comes in No. 19. Williams was an All-American cornerback in 1974. I will never forget when he ran down a Florida player at the Tiger 1-yard line, preserving a 3-3 tie in a game at Gainesville in 1972.
Fred Miller rounds out my draft at No. 20. Miller was an American football defensive tackle in the National Football League from 1963 through 1972. During that span he appeared in Super Bowl III and Super Bowl V for the Baltimore Colts.
Needless to say the list could go on and on. But we're going to stop at 20 and probably refresh that list in the next few years. There's a lot more future pros waiting to don the purple and gold.