2. Eric Swann
One of the reasons that the NCAA provides such a dependable tunnel for professional caliber talent in the world of football is the lack of a universally recognizable second tier. In other words, there’s the NFL, and then there’s everything else — and for players like Eric Swann, who was ruled academically ineligible to play for North Carolina State and wound up playing for the now-defunct Bay State Titans, described as “a bunch of nobodies in Massachusetts,” being drafted by the Arizona Cardinals without playing a single second of college football must have been indescribable.
It’s worth noting here that Swann did briefly attend Wake Forest Technical College before dropping out to play with the Titans, but he’s included here because his collegiate tenure was brief enough that he’s listed as having “No College” on his official NFL page.
3. Sav Rocca
Easily the best name on the entire list, Sav Rocca was a latecomer to the NFL — he didn’t play in the league proper until the age of 36, when he caught on with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2006, becoming the oldest rookie in league history. What was he doing before his debut? Playing Australian football, which is not the same as American football, or rugby, for that matter.