clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2015 NFL Draft Profile: Which North Texas Players Are NFL Bound?

None of last year's Mean Green seniors were invited to the NFL combine (and none have been drafted since 2004), but there are still two members of last year's team that could find themselves on a training camp roster.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

No senior from the Mean Green football team was invited to the NFL combine.

None.

That's a problem in itself for North Texas' program, but it doesn't mean that there won't be anyone from UNT on an NFL roster. Zach Orr wasn't invited to the combine, and became a key player for the Baltimore Ravens. Brelan Chancellor and Marcus Trice didn't make a final 52-man roster, but found themselves on training camp rosters (the Chargers and the Bears, respectively), and played in the preseason.

The two guys most likely to MAYBE find their way on an NFL roster are linebacker Derek Akunne and offensive lineman Cyril Lemon.

One could make the case that Akunne was North Texas' MVP for the 2014 season. He was the best player on a mediocre defense. Take him off, and it all falls apart. The defense somehow masked a lot of the offense's problems, and Akunne was a big part of that.

He led the team with 108 total tackles and added three sacks. It's not easy to take over for someone like Zach Orr, but Akunne did a masterful job. Combine that with his character, and he's got a really got shot to compete for a roster spot somewhere.

Lemon is another guy who should get some looks by NFL scouts. North Texas had a lot of problems last season, but the offensive line was not one of them, and Lemon anchored the unit.

He seems a little undersized at 6-foot-3, but that didn't stop Lemon from becoming one of the best offensive lineman in North Texas while starting every game since his freshman year; he was a team captain last year. The offensive line and the running game behind it was one of the biggest reasons that North Texas enjoyed a breakthrough Heart of Dallas Bowl win early in 2014. Lemon was the anchor of that entire unit.

Plus, it doesn't seem like Akunne and Lemon have any character issues whatsoever. They are team leaders that Dan McCarney has spoken incredibly highly of throughout their North Texas careers. Akunne may not be as good as Orr and may not have an Orr-like impact on a team, but there is no reason he shouldn't at least get a shot in training camp.

The same goes for Lemon. There are tons of teams in the NFL that have needs at offensive line. Why not give Lemon a shot?

Orr is a North Texas legend, and Chancellor and Trice were each very good here. They deserved to get shots to be in the NFL, and they did. Akunne and Lemon are in that same boat. It's not at all out of the realm of possibility that they make an impact with a team, and end up contributing.