Mark Stoops has transformed Kentucky Wildcats football from a laughing stock in the SEC, to a legit SEC East contender, even competing for the SEC East crown against Georgia in 2018.
Since Stoops has arrived he also sent dozens of Wildcats to the NFL, with the most noticeable accomplishment coming in the 2019 NFL Draft, when Kentucky had five players selected and had Josh Allen taken No. 7 overall.
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports listed his top-100 players for the upcoming NFL season, and three former Wildcats made the list.
Za’Darius Smith was listed at No. 28 overall following a 13.5-sack season in his first year in Green Bay as well as a Pro Bowl appearance.
“He showed off his versatility in his first season with the Packers rushing both from the inside and outside,” CBS Sports said of Smith. “He proved to be an outstanding free-agent signing by Green Bay.”
“He had his breakout season in 2019, getting 11.5 sacks and becoming a force in the run game, there’s a reason why the Steelers put the franchise tag on him.”
And finally we have Josh Allen, who very well might be a top-25 player in the league. Allen came in at No. 88 overall following his rookie season, in which he earned his first Pro Bowl. Allen had 10.5 sacks last season, leading all rookies.
“This is an emerging player who should be higher on this list next year,” they said. “As a rookie, he had 10.5 sacks to lead all rookies.”