Former Butler football players Demarcus Lawrence and Zach Mettenberger were two of 256 players that were selected in the 2014 NFL Draft, which was held May 8-10 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
Lawrence, a defensive end who played at Butler in 2011, was selected by the Dallas Cowboys with the 34th overall pick (second round, 2nd pick) – the highest a Grizzly has been taken in the draft. The previous high was set last year when defensive end Cornellius "Tank" Carradine, who played at Butler from 2009-2010, was selected as the 40th overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers.
Mettenberger, who quarterbacked the Grizzlies to the 2010 NJCAA National Championship game, was taken by the Tennessee Titans with the 178th overall pick (sixth round, 2nd pick). He is the first former Grizzly quarterback to be selected in the NFL Draft and the last former Grizzly offensive player to be taken since 2008 (Ryan Torain, Denver).
Butler has now had a former player taken in the NFL Draft four straight years. With two players drafted, it marks the first time since 2008 and fifth time overall that two Grizzlies were taken in the same draft.
After redshirting in 2010, Lawrence racked up 66 tackles, 27 for a loss and 10 sacks while helping the Grizzlies to a 11-1 record in the 2011 season. Lawrence was named second-team NJCAA All-American, as well as All-KJCCC first team and All-Region VI at defensive end.
Following Butler, Lawrence played two seasons at Boise State, where he started 23 games at defensive end. In 2012, he started 11 games and recorded 48 tackles, 13.5 for a loss and 9.5 sacks with an interception, four forced fumbles, a blocked kick and a fumble return touchdown. During his junior year in 2013, Lawrence started 12 games, as he amassed 72 tackles, 20.5 for loss and 10.5 sacks with a batted pass, three forced fumbles and two blocked kicks.
In two seasons at Boise State, Lawrence recorded 120 tackles, 34 for loss and 20 quarterback sacks.
In 2010, Mettenberger led the Grizzlies to an 11-1 record and the NJCAA National Championship game after completing 176-of-299 passes (58.9 percent) for 2,678 yards with 32 touchdowns and four interceptions. Mettenberger was an NJCAA All-American selection and the 2010 KJCCC Offensive Player of the Year, along with earning first-team All-KJCCC and All-Region VI honors.
Mettenberger then transferred to LSU in 2011, where he saw limited action in five games. He took over the starting quarterback spot in 2012, as he threw for 2,609 yards, 12 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 13 games as he led LSU a 10-3 record and the Chick-fil-A Bowl. In his senior season, Mettenberger completed 192-of-296 passes (64.9 percent) and threw 22 touchdowns with eight interceptions before suffering a torn ACL in his left knee against Arkansas in the regular-season finale.
Mettenberger is the only LSU quarterback to throw for 2,500 or more yards in back-to-back seasons, was a two-time time captain and finished with a 19-6 record in 25 starts as LSU.
|FORMER GRIZZLIES DRAFTED IN THE NFL|
|Player||Years at Butler||College||Year Drafted||Overall||Round||Pick||NFL Team|
|Jamie Holland||1982-1984||Ohio State||1987||173||7||5||San Diego|
|Skip McClendon||1984||Arizona State||1987||77||3||21||Cincinnati|
|Robert Goff||1983-1984||Auburn||1988||83||4||1||Tampa Bay|
|William Bartee||1996-1998||Oklahoma||2000||54||2||23||Kansas City|
|Willie Blade||1998||Mississippi State||2001||93||3||31||Dallas|
|Jeremy Mincey||2002-2003||Florida||2006||191||6||22||New England|
|Jonathan Wilhite||2004||Auburn||2008||129||4||30||New England|
|Ryan Torain||2004-2005||Arizona State||2008||139||5||4||Denver|
|Markus White||2007||Florida State||2011||224||7||21||Washington|
|Cornelllius Carradine||2009-2010||Florida State||2013||40||2||8||San Francisco|
|Demarcus Lawrence||2011||Boise State||2014||34||2||2||Dallas|