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NFL Draft History Lesson: Bowling Green Falcons (2017-2021)

BGSU, like fellow in-state peer Akron, has just one draft pick over the last five seasons, as the program still seeks the path back to MAC East contention.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Bowling Green has gone through a bit of a tough patch in recent years in terms of professional development, with just four players selected overall in the NFL Draft since the turn of the Millennium, with only two of those players lasting more than three seasons.

BGSU is a historic power when it comes to graduating professional prospects, as they had five players drafted by the NFL in the 1950’s, eight selections between the NFL and AFL in the 1960’s, and six players drafted by the NFL in the 1970’s. Two-time Pro Bowl and Super Bowl ringholder end Bob Schnelker holds the distinction of being the first NFL Draft selection from BGSU, being taken in the 33rd round by the Cleveland Browns in 1950.

Since 1980, BGSU has graduated nine pros to the NFL Draft, which is a bit surprising considering some of the talent which has found its way through Bowling Green.

Traditionally, BGSU has had the most success with offensive linemen, with nine of their all-time draft selections and 15 overall prospects coming from that position group. Kory Litchensteiger and Scott Mruczowski, both centers, were draft picks in 2005 and 2008 respectively, and had successful careers as NFL starters in the modern era.

Perhaps the most immediate modern player to have worn Orange and Brown was kicker Shaun Suisham, who went undrafted in 2005 and would have a productive nine-year career.

It makes for a cold, pressure-filled environment for BGSU’s lone active representative in the NFL as of publication in Tampa Bay receiver Scotty Miller. (Ryan Hunter, a former BGSU tackle, has been on the Los Angeles Chargers’ practice squad since 2020, with three appearances in Kansas City in 2019.)

We go over Miller’s career below:

WR Scotty Miller

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Drafted: 2019, sixth round, 208th overall, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Scotty Miller was a well-rounded receiver in Mike Jinks’ Air Raid offense, showing versatility on the outside, from the slot and on special teams, proving himself as their best player in his four seasons in Bowling Green.

With the departures of Roger Lewis (NFL Draft), Ryan Burbrink (graduation) and Gehrig Dieter (transfer to Alabama) after the 2015 MAC Championship season, Miller, who had seven receptions in his true freshman season, took over the WR1 spot from presumed starters Ronnie Moore and Teo Redding, immediately pulling down 74 receptions, 938 yards and 10 touchdowns in his true sophomore season, earning first-team all-MAC honors.

Miller would finish his collegiate career with 2,867 yards on 215 receptions for 23 touchdowns, averaging 13.3 yards per reception, eventually earning a draft pick after an impressive Pro Day where he ran a 4.36 40-yard dash.

Miller has been a reliable depth option as a long-play receiver in his three seasons in Tampa Bay, while also helping out on special teams. So far over his career, he has collected 51 receptions for 739 yards and four receiving touchdowns to go along with seven rushes for 73 yards and a rushing touchdown.