The 2019 NFL season is here. Former Ashland and DII football star tight end Adam Shaheen will be on the field opening night Sept. 5 when his Chicago Bears take on the Green Bay Packers to kick off the 2019 season. Let's take a look at the former DII football players on 2019 NFL rosters.
OPENING WEEKEND SCHEDULE: The complete guide to the first weekend of DII football
The complete list of DII football players on NFL rosters
(NOTE: All rosters are strictly players on the active 53-man rosters on NFL.com as of Tuesday, Sept. 3. We will continue to revisit practice squad players prior to opening kickoff.)
Curious about those on practice squads? Here's a list of those still on NFL rosters, but keep in mind, practice squad players change frequently. These are official per NFL.com as of Sept. 3.
- Justin Zimmer, DT, Ferris State, Atlanta Falcons
- Zack Sieler, LB, Ferris State, Baltimore Ravens
- Stephen Denmark, DB, Valdosta State, Chicago Bears
- Jonathan Harris, DL, Lindenwood, Chicago Bears
- Deyon Sizer, DL, CSU-Pueblo, Denver Broncos
- Anthony Pittman, LB, Detroit Lions, Wayne State (MI)
- Brady Sheldon, LB, Ferris State, Green Bay Packers
- Malik Taylor, WR, Ferris State, Green Bay Packers
- Tyrell Adams, LB, West Georgia, Houston Texans
- Vyncint Smith, WR, Limestone, Houston Texans
- Ashton Dulin, WR, Malone, Indianapolis Colts
- Leonard Webster, OL, Missouri Western, Jacksonville Jaguars
- Jody Fortson, WR, Valdosta State, Kansas City Chiefs
- Nick Keizer, TE, GVSU, Kansas City Chiefs
- Jason Moore, WR, Findlay, Los Angeles Chargers
- Malik Henry, WR, West Georgia, San Francisco 49ers
- Craig Reynolds, RB, Kutztown, Washington Redskins
See someone we missed? Let us know by sending us a note NCAASupport@turner.com.
DII football players on NFL rosters: By the numbers
We began tracking former DII football alum on NFL rosters in the 2017 season. That first season saw 90 DII football players don rosters, but that number would drop to 83 for the 2018 season. Looking specifically at the 53-man rosters and disregarding the injured lists, physically unable to perform lists, and practice squads, there will be 49 former DII football players on opening day NFL 53-man rosters.
Let's take a deeper look at the numbers.
0 — Former DII quarterbacks on NFL rosters. There has been one since we started tracking NFL rosters. That was Texas A&M-Commerce alum and 2017 Harlon Hill Award winner Luis Perez who was eventually transferred to the Los Angeles Rams practice squad.
3 — Former DII players whose schools no longer carry a DII program. Alex Cappa is on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster and hails from Humboldt State, whose program was discontinued. The same for Ashton Dulin, who is on the Indianapolis Colts practice squad, with his Malone team discontinued. Then there is Jake Carlock on the New York Giants who hails from LIU Post. The Pioneers recently merged with LIU Brooklyn and became a DI program.
3 (Part II) — DII players that were All-Pros in 2019. Minnesota State's Adam Thielen had a tremendous season for his Minnesota Vikings. Brandon Williams of Missouri Southern represented the Baltimore Ravens while Tyreek Hill represented the Kansas City Chiefs.
4 — DII players on the Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts rosters, the most of any team. The Ravens always seem to be among the most populous landing spots for DII football stars with five in 2017 and 2018. There are five teams — the Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Rams, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — with three apiece.
5 — Former West Alabama Tigers on NFL 53-man rosters. California (Pa) is right behind with four players, while Augustana (S.D.), Assumption, Colorado State-Pueblo, Minnesota State, Pittsburg State send two players to the 2019 NFL season.
6 — Teams with nary a DII football player on the 53-man roster, the same amount as last season. The Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, and Washington Redskins currently don't carry an active DII player. Some, like the Eagles, have DII players (Charles Johnson, WR, Grand Valley State) on the IR, while others like the Packers are carrying former DII stars — Ferris State's Brady Sheldon and Malik Taylor, for example — on the practice squads.
13 — Defensive backs on NFL rosters, once again the leading position of all DII NFL-ers. There were 18 cornerbacks and safeties on rosters in 2017 and 17 in 2018. Here's a look at the break down by position: