The 2021 NFL season is right around the corner and currently there are 53 former DII and DIII football players scattered across many different rosters.
Here's a look at who they are and which NFL team they will represent this season.
DII football players on NFL rosters
(NOTE: Players included are strictly limited to those on active 53-man rosters on NFL.com as of Wednesday, Sept. 1.)
|Arizona Cardinals||Dennis Gardeck||Sioux Falls|
|Atlanta Falcons||John Cominsky||Charleston (WV)|
|Erik Harris||Cal U (PA)|
|Baltimore Ravens||Brandon Williams||Missouri Southern State|
|Buffalo Bills||Justin Zimmer||Ferris State|
|Carolina Panthers||Trenton Cannon||Virginia State|
|Morgan Fox||CSU Pueblo|
|Brandon Zylstra *||Augustana (SD) *|
|Chicago Bears||Marqui Christian||Midwestern State|
|Dallas Cowboys||C.J. Goodwin||Cal U (PA)|
|Greg Zuerlein||Missouri Western|
|Denver Broncos||Nate McCrary||Saginaw Valley State|
|Detroit Lions||Trinity Benson||East Central|
|Anthony Pittman||Wayne State (MI)|
|Tyrell Williams||Western Oregon|
|Green Bay Packers||Malik Taylor||Ferris State|
|Houston Texans||Tavierre Thomas||Ferris State|
|Indianapolis Colts||Ashton Dulin||Malone|
|Kenny Moore II||Valdosta State|
|Chris Reed||Minnesota State|
|E.J. Speed **||Tarleton State **|
|Grover Stewart||Albany State (GA)|
|Mike Strachan||Charleston (WV)|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Jody Fortson||Valdosta State|
|Tyreek Hill||West Alabama|
|Tershawn Wharton||Missouri S&T|
|Las Vegas Raiders||Denzelle Good||Mars Hill|
|Los Angeles Chargers||Austin Ekeler||Western Colorado|
|Matt Overton||Western Washington|
|Trey Pipkins||Sioux Falls|
|Los Angeles Rams||Chris Garrett||Concordia-St. Paul|
|Matthew Orzech||Azusa Pacific|
|Miami Dolphins||Adam Shaheen||Ashland|
|Zach Sieler||Ferris State|
|Minnesota Vikings||C.J. Ham||Augustana (SD)|
|Adam Thielen||Minnesota State|
|New England Patriots||Kyle Dugger||Lenoir-Rhyne|
|Matthew Judon||Grand Valley State|
|Gunner Olszewski||Bemidji State|
|New Orleans Saints||Deonte Harris||Assumption|
|Jeff Heath||Saginaw Valley State|
|New York Jets||Keelan Cole||Kentucky Wesleyan|
|Nathan Shepherd||Fort Hays State|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Alex Cappa||Humboldt State|
|Ryan Jensen||CSU Pueblo|
* — Zylstra played his redshirt-freshman year with Augustana before transferring to DIII Concordia-Moorhead.
** — Speed played at Tarleton State before the Texans moved to FCS.
This is the fifth season we've tracked DII football players in the NFL. It began in 2017, when 90 DII players made rosters across the league. In 2018, it went down to 83 players, while 2019 saw that number drop nearly in half to 49. DII players across the NFL went up to 54 in 2020. This season will see that number drop to 47.
Here are a few other notable numbers from the data:
4 — Is the most number of players coming from any one school. The school: Ferris State.
6 — DII players on the Indianapolis Colts, which is the most out of all NFL teams. Coming in second is the Los Angeles Chargers with four. Third place is a five-way tie between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs, Detroit Lions and Carolina Panthers all with three players.
22 — Teams with at least one former DII football player, which is a decrease from 27 last season. The Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans and Washington Football Team don't feature a DII player on the 53-man roster.
DIII football players on NFL rosters
|Buffalo Bills||Jake Kumerow||Wisconsin-Whitewater|
|Carolina Panthers||Dan Arnold||Wisconsin-Platteville|
|Denver Broncos||Quinn Meinerz||Wisconsin-Whitewater|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Ben Bartch||St. John's (MN)|
|Las Vegas Raiders||Nicholas Morrow||Greenville College|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Ali Marpet||Hobart|