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Demetri Goodson among 2014 NFL Draft's most intriguing picks

Demetri Goodson is the only player to start an NCAA tournament game and a BCS bowl game.

Here is our look at the most intriguing player selected in each round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

"Intriguing" means different things to different people, but we're confident you'll think that each of these draft picks has an intriguing story. Included in our list is the only player in college sports history to start an NCAA Tournament game and a BCS game, a guy who wants a doctorate in math and a wide receiver who had no catches as a senior.

Round 1:
Raiders OLB Khalil Mack

Mack's story has been well-told, but it's still unbelievable. He played only one season of high school football in Fort Pierce, Florida. He received one offer from a FBS school, from Buffalo. And that came about only after then-Buffalo coach Turner Gill hired linebackers coach Robert Wimberly away from Liberty, which had been the only offer Mack received. He was the No. 275 player in the 2009 recruiting class in Florida. Yes, you read that right: A player who was considered the 275th-best prospect in Florida in the 2009 recruiting cycle was taken fifth overall in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Round 2:
Giants C Weston Richburg

Richburg was the first center drafted, but that's not why he is on this list. Richburg grew up in Bushland, Texas, a town of just 200 people near Amarillo. He started all 49 games in his college career after redshirting as a true freshman in 2009. He's now close to 300 pounds, but Richburg began his playing career as a 5-foot-10, 150-pound quarterback while a freshman in high school. He hurt his knee before his sophomore season. The injury caused him to miss two seasons, and by the time he returned to the field as a senior, he was a 6-4, 260-pound tackle. Colorado State was his only college offer.

Richburg is related to two former college quarterbacks: Kyle Herm, who played at Rice, and Seth Doege, who played at Texas Tech. And, somewhat incredibly, he was one of two players taken in this draft from Bushland; the other was tight end Crockett Gillmore, who also played at Colorado State and was selected in the third round by the Baltimore Ravens.

Round 3:
Packers TE Richard Rodgers

Rodgers is the son of an NFL assistant, Richard Rodgers Sr., who is the special-teams coach of the Carolina Panthers. That means Rodgers also is the son of a former Cal player who was involved in one of the most famous plays in college football history, a play so famous it is called, simply, "The Play" -- the multi-lateral extravaganza that ended the 1982 Cal-Stanford game. Richard Rodgers Sr. made the last lateral before Kevin Moen scored the winning touchdown -- a score that ended John Elway's college career. Stanford would've gone to a bowl if not for the loss.

Round 4:
Lions DE Larry Webster

Webster is the son of Larry Webster, who played defensive line in the NFL from 1992-2002 for the Dolphins, Browns, Ravens and Jets. Webster played just two seasons of college football; he arrived at Division II Bloomsburg as a basketball player and was a solid four-year starter for the Huskies at center. He adapted quickly to football, piling up 26 sacks and 88 tackles in his two seasons.

Round 5:
Ravens G John Urschel

Urschel received his undergraduate degree in math in three years, complete with a 4.0 GPA. He earned his Master's degree in math, too, and kept his 4.0 GPA. He is going for his second Master's, in mathematics education, and his goal is to become a Ph.D. in math. Urschel already has taught two math classes at Penn State: Trigonometry and Analytic Geometry during the spring 2013 semester and Integral Vector Calculus in the fall of 2013. A paper he wrote entitled "Instabilities of the Sun-Jupiter-Asteroid Three Body Problem" was published in 2012 in the journal Celestial Mechanics and Dynamic Astronomy. He had a second paper accepted for publication, "A Space-Time Multigrid Method for the Numerical Valuation of Barrier Options," by the journal Communications in Mathematical Finance. For some reason, we're thinking he won't find the Ravens' playbook all that complicated.

As an honorable-mention selection, there's new Detroit Lions DT Caraun Reid. He is just the third player drafted from Princeton since 1990 and only the seventh in the past 40 years. More than that, though, his off-field interests are intriguing. Reid, a pre-med major, sings bass with Old Nassoul, an a cappella group that performs soul and R&B; he also plays guitar and drums in a jazz band and directs a church choir. Then there's his first name. Befitting a guy who now is a 300-pounder, Reid was a big baby, too -- 11 pounds at birth. His first name "came from my doctor. He did a pretty good job delivering me and whatnot -- I was a pretty big baby, and my mom's not a big woman," Reid told "They named me 'Caraun' after him. His last name was Carauno, so they just chopped off the 'o.' "

Round 6:
Packers CB Demetri Goodson

Goodson is the only player in college sports history to start an NCAA Tournament game (as a guard at Gonzaga) and a BCS bowl game (as a cornerback at Baylor). He began his career as a basketball player for the Zags before realizing any pro aspirations would have to come in football (his brother, Michael, is an NFL running back). Thus, he transferred to Baylor in his home state of Texas and started playing football again (he had played in high school). Honorable mention goes to new Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff, from McGill University in Montreal. Duvernay-Tardiff is a medical-school student who recently completed a four-month "internship" of sorts in Knoxville, Tenn. His McGill coaches let him slide on some practices in the fall because of his heavy classwork load.

Round 7:
Bengals WR James Wright

Unless you spent a lot of time watching LSU's special teams last season, you probably don't know about Wright. He had zero receptions as a senior in 2013, instead making his mark on specials teams; when he did see time at receiver, he usually was a blocker. He had 25 receptions in his career.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.



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