After being shut out of the first round of the 2018 NFL draft, the Ole Miss Rebels had one of their own come off the board in the second round, going 46th overall to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Defensive End Breeland Speaks was the man of that hour, marking the third consecutive draft to have an Ole Miss d-lineman selected.
A Jackson native, Speaks is still working out at Madison Healthplex before departing for rookie mini-camp in May.
Following his selection, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said, “This is one of the most improved defensive players in all of college football.”
It sounds like that’s what the KC front office also concluded during the pre-draft homework process. “Everybody was just chill, man. Everybody was on board. Everybody had pretty much broken me down, watched my film and liked me as a person. And I feel like if you can see who I am as a person then you really know who I am, and I feel like that’s what they did,” said Speaks.
Following his conversion from defensive tackle to D-end, Speaks was second on the Rebels in both tackles and sacks in 2017.
Other Rebels joining Speaks on the Saturday portion of the draft is a guy we recognize from the Senior Bowl: Marquis Haynes. He’ll be heading to the Panthers while running back Jordan Wilkins is now a colt and the former Callaway teammate of Speaks, Rod Taylor, is now a Bengal.
Mississippi State also had a quartet of draft picks over the final two days, starting with Mississippi Gulf Coast alum Martinas Rankin who’s got a new home with the Houston Texas. Three rounds later the Texans landed another Bulldog in the form of tight end Jordan Thomas and then two seventh-round picks with Hunter Bradley and Logan Cooke heading to the Packers and Jaguars respectively.
Finally Southern Miss got on the board on day two with Tarvarius Moore becoming a San Francisco 49er. USM’s all-time leader in all-purpose yards and total touchdowns, Ito Smith, wasn’t far behind as a fourth-round selection of the Falcons. Cornell Armstrong is south beach bound as a sixth rounder.