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Super Bowl XLIX: Draft histories for Patriots, Seahawks starters

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It might surprise a few people that there are as many undrafted free agents who will start in Sunday's Super Bowl as former first-round picks.


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College Football 24/7 looked at the projected starting lineups for the Patriots and Seahawks (including the kickers and punters), and found that of those players, 12 were first-rounders and 12 were undrafted free agents, including one who began his career in the CFL. There also will be eight second-rounders, five fifth-rounders, three third-rounders, three fourth-rounders, three sixth-rounders and two seventh-rounders.

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Using current conference affiliations and not necessarily the affiliation when the player was drafted, there are 10 starters who attended Pac-12 schools, with California, Oregon and Stanford having two each. Eight starters attended ACC schools, with North Carolina State having two. Seven starters attended SEC schools, with two from Alabama. Six went to Big Ten schools, including two from Purdue. Five went to Conference USA schools. All four who went to Big 12 schools were first-rounders. There are two starters each from the Mid-American and Mountain West conferences, as well as the FCS ranks. There also is one former Division II player, and one who played college ball in Canada.

Of the 12 first-rounders in the game, two went to Alabama and two to Oklahoma State. There also are first-rounders from California, Colorado, Miami, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, Texas and West Virginia.

Both starting quarterbacks are from the Big Ten: Seattle's Russell Wilson, from Wisconsin, was taken in the third round, and New England's Tom Brady, from Michigan, was taken in the sixth round. Both starting running backs are from Cal -- New England's Shane Vereen, a second-round pick, and Seattle's Marshawn Lynch, a first-rounder. And both Purdue alums are defensive ends -- New England's Rob Ninkovich and Seattle's Cliff Avril; they were teammates at Purdue in 2004 and '05.

Seattle is likely to start three wide receivers, all of whom were undrafted free agents. Of the 12 undrafted free agents in the game, seven play for the Seahawks, including two starting defensive linemen, and five for the Patriots, including two starting offensive linemen.

Check out the top 10 players from Michigan to play in the NFL.

Here's a breakdown of the draft histories for each roster.

NEW ENGLAND


Offense


QB Tom Brady
College: Michigan
Draft status: 6th round, 2000

RB Shane Vereen
College: California
Draft status: 2nd round, 2011

WR Julian Edelman
College: Kent State
Draft status: 7th round, 2009 (college QB)

WR Brandon LaFell
College: LSU
Draft status: 3rd round, 2010 by Carolina (signed as free agent in 2014)

TE Rob Gronkowski
College: Arizona
Draft status: 2nd round, 2010

TE Michael Hoomanawanui
College: Illinois
Draft status: 5th round, 2010 by St. Louis (cut by Rams in 2012 and signed by Patriots)

LT Nate Solder
College: Colorado
Draft status: 1st round (17th overall), 2011

LG Dan Connolly
College: Southeast Missouri State
Draft status: Signed as undrafted free agent by Jacksonville in 2005 (cut by Jaguars in 2007 and signed by Patriots)

C Bryan Stork
College: Florida State
Draft status: 4th round, 2014

RG Ryan Wendell
College: Fresno State
Draft status: Signed as undrafted free agent by New England in 2008

RT Sebastian Vollmer
College: Houston
Draft status: 2nd round, 2009

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Defense

LE Rob Ninkovich
College: Purdue
Draft status: 5th round, 2006 by New Orleans (cut by Saints that season and signed by Miami; cut by Miami in 2008 and re-signed by New Orleans that season; cut by Saints in 2009 and signed by Patriots)

DT Chris Jones
College: Bowling Green
Draft status: 6th round, 2013 by Houston (cut by Texans in the preseason and signed by Tampa Bay; cut by Bucs two weeks later and signed by Patriots)

DT Vince Wilfork
College: Miami
Draft status: 1st round (21st overall), 2004

DE Chandler Jones
College: Syracuse
Draft status: 1st round (21st overall), 2012

LB Jamie Collins
College: Southern Miss
Draft status: 2nd round, 2013

LB Dont'a Hightower
College: Alabama
Draft status: 1st round (25th overall), 2012

CB Kyle Arrington
College: Hofstra
Draft status: Signed as undrafted free agent by Philadelphia in 2008 (cut by Eagles that September and signed by Tampa Bay a few days later; played one game for Bucs in 2009 before being cut; signed by Patriots that season)

CB Brandon Browner
College: Oregon State
Draft status: Signed as undrafted free agent by Denver in 2005 (missed that season with an injury and was cut in July 2006; signed by CFL's Calgary Stampeders in 2006 and played with them through 2010; signed with Seattle in 2011 and was there three seasons; signed free-agent contract with New England in March 2014)

CB Darrelle Revis
College: Pitt
Draft status: 1st round (14th overall), 2007 by the New York Jets (traded to Tampa Bay in 2013; signed by New England as a free agent in 2014)

S Patrick Chung
College: Oregon
Draft status: 2nd round, 2009

S Devin McCourty
College: Rutgers
Draft status: 1st round (27th overall), 2010

Specialists

K Stephen Gostkowski
College: Memphis
Draft status: 4th round, 2006

P Ryan Allen
College: Louisiana Tech
Draft status: Signed by New England as undrafted free agent in 2013


Take a look at the top 10 players from Wisconsin to play in the NFL.

SEATTLE

Offense

QB Russell Wilson
College: Wisconsin
Draft status: 3rd round, 2012

RB Marshawn Lynch
College: California
Draft status: 1st round (12th overall) 2007 by Buffalo (traded to Seattle during 2010 season)

WR Doug Baldwin
College: Stanford
Draft status: Signed by Seattle as undrafted free agent in 2011

WR Jermaine Kearse
College: Washington
Draft status: Signed by Seattle as undrafted free agent in 2012

WR Ricardo Lockette
College: Fort Valley (Ga.) State
Draft status: Signed by Seattle as undrafted free agent in 2011

TE Luke Willson
College: Rice
Draft status: 5th round, 2013

LT Russell Okung
College: Oklahoma State
Draft status: 1st round (6th overall), 2010

LG James Carpenter
College: Alabama
Draft status: 1st round (25th overall), 2011

C Max Unger
College: Oregon
Draft status: 2nd round, 2009

RG J.R. Sweezy
College: North Carolina State
Draft status: 7th round, 2012

RT Justin Britt
College: Missouri
Draft status: 2nd round, 2014

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Defense

LE Michael Bennett
College: Texas A&M
Draft status: Signed by Seattle as undrafted free agent in 2009 (cut that fall and signed by Tampa Bay; signed by Seattle as a free agent in 2013)

DT Tony McDaniel
College: Tennessee
Draft status: Signed by Jacksonville as an undrafted free agent in 2006 (traded to Miami before the 2009 season; signed by Seattle as a free agent in 2013)

DT Kevin Williams
College: Oklahoma State
Draft status: 1st round (9th overall), 2003 by Minnesota (signed by Seattle as a free agent in 2014)

RE Cliff Avril
College: Purdue
Draft status: 3rd round, 2008 by Detroit (signed by Seattle as a free agent in 2013)

OLB Bruce Irvin
College: West Virginia
Draft status: 1st round (15th overall), 2012

MLB Bobby Wagner
College: Utah State
Draft status: 2nd round, 2012

OLB K.J. Wright
College: Mississippi State
Draft status: 4th round, 2011

CB Byron Maxwell
College: Clemson
Draft status: 6th round, 2011

CB Richard Sherman
College: Stanford
Draft status: 5th round, 2011

FS Earl Thomas
College: Texas
Draft status: 1st round (14th overall), 2010

SS Kam Chancellor
College: Virginia Tech
Draft status: 5th round, 2010

Specialists

K Steven Hauschka
College: North Carolina State (played one season as a graduate transfer after leaving Division III Middlebury College)
Draft status: Signed by Minnesota as an undrafted free agent in 2008 but was cut in the preseason and signed by Baltimore (cut midway through 2009 season; signed with Atlanta and was cut in 2010; signed with Detroit and played in two preseason games in 2010 before being cut; played for the UFL's Las Vegas Locomotives that fall and was signed by Denver but cut in September 2011; signed by Seattle)

P Jon Ryan
College: Regina (Canada)
Draft status: Taken in the 3rd round of the 2004 CFL draft (he was not selected in the NFL draft and thus counts as an undrafted free agent for this list) and played two seasons in that league. Signed by Green Bay in 2006 and played for Packers for two seasons; cut by Green Bay in September 2008 and signed by Seattle)

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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