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NFL Draft History Lesson: Toledo Rockets (2017-2021)

The Glass City, despite mixed conference success, has become one of the Mid-American Conference’s pro development pipelines.

MAC Championship - Akron v Toledo Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

Toledo’s football fans have grown accustomed to hearing their favorite stars names called on draft day over the past five years, with six players drafted by the NFL during that span.

Recent drafts have been so prolific that Toledo has only seen a better run of drafted players in the 1960s to early 1970s, with a high mark of 12 players selected between 1968-72, many from a team that won a mind-boggling 35 straight games from 1969-71.

And with the available prospects headed into the 2022 draft, Toledo’s success figures to continue. For instance, S Tycen Anderson, likely solidified his draft selection when he blazed a 4.36 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine.

So, which Rockets were drafted over the last five years, when were they drafted, and how have they fared?

We have the answers.


RB Kareem Hunt

Arizona Cardinals v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Drafted: 2017, third round, 86th overall, Kansas City Chiefs

Hunt took the NFL by storm in his first season with the Chiefs, combining for almost 1,800 yards from scrimmage, including 53 receptions and 11 total TDs en route to a Pro Bowl invitation and Rookie of the Year honors awarded by the Pro Football Writers of America.

Hunt was released by the Chiefs in 2018 after an off-the-field incident and signed with the Browns, where he has played the last three seasons. Hunt heads into 2022 with over 5,000 yards from scrimmage and 44 scores, and will continue serving as a complimentary back to Nick Chubb in Cleveland for a Browns team looking to compete for a deep playoff run.


TE Michael Roberts

Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions Photo by Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Drafted: 2017, fourth round, 127th overall, Detroit Lions

Roberts’ senior season with the Toledo was one for the record books, as the tight end logged 45 catches and incredible 16 TDs. That production and his six-foot-five, 270 lb. frame caught the eye of the NFL, ultimately finding a place with the Detroit Lions.

Roberts got off to a strong start his rookie year, appearing in eight games with the Lions in 2018 and scoring three TDs before being sidelined with shoulder injury. After a trade attempt with the Patriots fell through in 2019, Roberts went to the Packers briefly and he was waived by the Dolphins prior to the 2020 season.


Treyvon Hester, DT

Washington Redskins v Miami Dolphins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Drafted: 2017, seventh round, 244th overall, Oakland Raiders

The Rockets saw its third player drafted in 2017 when Hester was taken in the seventh round. Hester appeared in 41 games over the next three seasons with the Raiders, Eagles, and Washington, logging 40 tackles, eight quarterback hits, four tackles-for-loss, two sacks, and a forced fumble.

In 2021, he was reportedly released from the Bills with an injury settlement, and most recently appeared on the Panthers practice squad in November 2021.

He is currently a free agent.


QB Logan Woodside

Miami Dolphins v Tennessee Titans Photo by Silas Walker/Getty Images

Drafted: 2018, seventh round, 249th overall, Cincinnati Bengals

Woodside moved through college defenses with the ease, throwing for over 10,000 yards and 93 scores in route to MAC Offensive Player of the Year honors in 2017, Toledo’s first MAC title season in 13 seasons prior.

The former Rocket was waived by the Bengals in the fall of his rookie season, catching on with the Tennessee Titans but ultimately waived within the month.

Woodside was then drafted by the Alliance of American Football’s (AAF) San Antonio Commanders in the third round, playing his professional ball in 2019 in the Alamodome. Woodside threw for almost 1,400 yards and seven scores before the league suspended operations, winning Offensive Player of the Week once.

Woodside re-signed with the Titans shortly after his time with the San Antonio Commanders, and has held down the backup job behind Ryan Tannehill since. He is currently projected to keep the job going into 2022.


WR Diontae Johnson

Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Drafted: 2019, third round, 66th overall, Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers often turn to the MAC mines for football prospects, and once again struck gold when they used the third-round pick acquired in the trade of former Central Michigan standout Antonio Brown to the Oakland Raiders to select another MAC star in Toledo’s Diontae Johnson.

The former Rocket great has improved year-by-year, becoming the Steelers’ workhorse in the passing game last year, finishing 2021 with Pro Bowl-level production: 107 receptions for 1,161 yards and eight scores.

2022 figures to be a huge year for Johnson, with a team goal of helping the Steelers break in a new QB with the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger while playing in a contract year. Based on current production, before it’s all said and done, Johnson may turn in one of the most productive NFL careers in Toledo history.


CB Ka’dar Hollman

Kansas City Chiefs v Green Bay Packers Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Drafted: 2019, 6th Round, 185th overall, Green Bay Packers

Hollman appeared in 18 games for the Packers in 2019-20 before being traded to the Texans in 2021.

After being released by the Texans before the start of the season, Hollman spent split time on the Saints and Giants’ practice squads. Earlier this year, Hollman signed a futures contract with the 49ers.