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D2 and D3 Players in the NFL Today

NFL player playing football

It’s a common misconception that D1 is the only division with players getting drafted into the NFL. There are many D2 and D3-level players who get drafted. So how many D2 and D3 NFL players are there?  

On average, about 70 former D2 and D3 players compete in each NFL football season. 

Look below for some D2 and D3 players who made it to the big league.  

D2 players in the NFL

Here are the D2 NFL players as of 2022. They all come from a great range of D2 football schools. 

Joshua Williams

Williams comes from Fayetteville State as a defensive back. He’s 6 foot 3, 197 lbs. and now plays for the Kansas City Chiefs. His biggest games were against Wingate and Bowie State. He’s performed well with 31 tackles, six pass breakups, and three interceptions. Although he was a late bloomer, he’s shown to be a great leader and a team asset. 

Gregory Junior

This Ouachita Baptist defensive back was a member of the 2022 D2Football Elite 100. He’s the first Ouachita Baptist to be invited to the Senior Bowl and drafted into the NFL. This 6-foot 200-pound DB has recorded seven pass breakups and 46 tackles in this past season alone. He’s well earned his place on the Jacksonville Jaguars team.    

Sam Roberts

The New England Patriots are big fans of D2 football players, and Sam Roberts is no exception. He’s a defensive lineman from Northwest Missouri State and a 2021 Cliff Harris Award winner. This award is given to the best defender at a small college. Roberts was also recognized as the MIAA player of the year. He’s a big Pats fan and will use his talent to play in special teams.   

Dareke Young

Young has unique and diverse skills that set him apart. He comes from Lenoir-Rhyne and works amazingly well in special teams. His talent is so well known that his name was brought up in draft circle talks in 2020. While he only played in five games last year, he proved his worth in the Mars Hill game on September 25 when he nabbed 160 yards on eight receptions with three touchdowns. Young’s been drafted by the Seattle Seahawks, where he’s bound to soar. 

Christian Matthew

Matthew’s defensive back talents carried the Valdosta State Blazers to the championship last year. At 6 feet 4 inches and 200 lbs., he’s working to ensure no one beats him on routes. He’s excellent at slowing down opposing receivers and has been described as explosive and brutal. The Arizona Cardinals have drafted Matthew. 

FAQs about D2 players in the NFL

How many D2 players are in the NFL?

So, how many D2 players are in the NFL?  Currently, there are about 50 D2 players in the NFL.  

What D2 schools have the most NFL players?

The college that produced the most NFL players out of the current 47 is Ferris State University, with four players.

D3 players in the NFL

There are many prospective D3 NFL players. But which D3 football school players have made it into the hallowed halls of the NFL as of 2021?    

Jake Kumerow

Kumerow was a D3 player for UW-Whitewater and signed with the Bengals in 2015. From 2017 – 2019, he played with for the Green Bay Packers. Since 2020, Kumerow has been playing as a wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills. He is 6 foot 4 and 209 lbs. 

Dan Arnold

Arnold is a tight end for the Jacksonville Jaguars, who played football and ran track for UW-Platteville. Despite joining the NFL in 2017, the 6’6”, 220 lbs. offensive player had a whopping 1,157 receiving yards. 

Quinn Meinerz

Meinerz is a more recent addition to the NFL, having signed for the Denver Broncos in 2021.The guard is 6 foot 3 inches tall and 320 lbs. He played for UW-Whitewater and was the highest-drafted football player in college history, having been selected 98th overall in the third round of 2021 NFL drafts.  

Nickolas Morrow

Morrow was the first Greenville University D3 player to sign an NFL contract as a middle linebacker for the Las Vegas Raiders. He’s performed so well that he was able to compete for the starting linebacker position. Morrow is 6 foot and 225 lbs. He has since signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears. 

Darius Williams

Darius Williams represents the underdog on the list. Williams started his college career playing for D3 Marrietta College in Ohio before transferring to the University of Alabama at Birmingham, a D1 school. After graduating and going undrafted in 2018, Williams went on to join the L.A. Rams as a starting corner back where he took home a championship ring in Super Bowl LVI. He is 5’9 and 187 lbs.  

Ben Bartch

Bartch was the first player drafted to the NFL from St. Johns in Collegeville, MN, where he played tight end and left tackle. He stands 6’6 and weighs in at 306 lbs. Following an impressive college career where Bartch was named a consensus First-Team All-American in D3 football, the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted him as a starter on the offensive line in 2020. 

FAQs about D3 players in the NFL

How many D3 players are in the NFL?

There are six D3 players in the NFL.

What D3 schools have the most NFL players?

UW-Whitewater has the most NFL players, with two of their student athletes being drafted.

As you saw on this list, many D2 and D3 players had a chance to play in the NFL. While playing for the NFL is a great goal to work towards, it’s better to look at which division level is right for you.  

Image Creator: Joe Glorioso
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