BYU has been a big time college football program for the better part of 40 years. One of the main reasons for that is because of the large amount of very skilled players that they have had. Plenty of those great players have gone on to have very successful careers in the NFL.
As a part of my “ranking the best series,” I rank the best 25 NFL players that have ever come out of Brigham Young University on the offensive side of the ball.
Note: obviously a list like this is completely subjective, but I try to leave all bias out when I do my rankings. Only what each player did in the NFL was taken into consideration.
The things I factored in while doing these rankings include all pro selections, pro-bowls, years as a starter, years in the league and impact on a team. Also, stats weighed heavily in my decision-making.
One thing I will be doing differently when it comes to these kinds of rankings moving forward is not releasing them all at once. There are two reasons for this. The first is so that I can do a lengthier write-up about each player that made the list and second is so that you will want to come back to my website to find out who’s next on the list and why.
Even though this a list of the best 25 offensive players to play in the NFL from BYU there are a few guys who missed the cut that definitely deserve a mention.
Naufahu Tahi- Tahi spent five seasons in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings and the Cincinnati Bengals. Minnesota is where he found all of his NFL success since he never appeared in a regular season game for the Bengals.
After seeing no game action as a rookie, Tahi appeared in 56 games for the Vikings over the next four seasons and even made 14 starts. As a fullback, Tahi was mostly used as a lead blocker but did manage to carry the ball 10 times for 21 yards.
The way he was most successful on the stat sheet was catching passes out of the back field. Tahi registered 33 receptions for 150 yards and two touchdowns.
Daniel Coats- Coats spent four seasons on the field for two NFL teams. Coats played most of his first four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals and saw a decent amount of action.
2007 was his best statistical year as Coats caught 12 passes for 122 yards. The reason why 07 was his best season is because seven of his 12 receptions gained the Bengals a first down.
For his career, Coats caught 30 passes for 291 yards as a tight end while also playing on special teams.
Evan Pilgrim- Pilgrim was the 87th pick in the third round of the 1995 draft for the Chicago Bears. Pilgrim played his first three seasons with the Bears before bouncing around to three other teams in his final three years in the NFL.
During his six-year career, Pilgrim played in 32 games and made eight starts. Six of those starts came in 1997 while he was with Chicago.
Morris Unutoa- Unutoa Played 86 games over seven seasons with three different teams in the NFL as a backup center. His longest stint came with the Philadelphia Eagles where he played 48 games over three seasons.
Unutoa also played for the Buffalo bills and had two stints with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. During his second stint with the Buccaneers, Unutoa was a part of a Super Bowl winning team in 2002.
Glenn Kozlowski- Kozlowski was the 305th pick in the 11th round of the 1986 draft by the Chicago Bears.
He spent his entire seven-year NFL career in Chicago playing in 66 games. His best statistical year came in 1987, when Kozlowski started all three games he played in and caught 15 passes for 199 yards and three touchdowns.
For his career, Kozlowski registered 31 receptions for 471 yards and three scores. He also spent plenty of times and special teams which allowed Kozlowski to stick in the NFL for so long.
Mohammed Elewonibi- Elewonibi was the 76th pick in the third round of the 1990 draft by the Washington Redskins.
Elewonibi only played in the NFL for four seasons but was very solid when he was on the field. His best season’s came with the Washington Redskins, where Elewonibi started 19 of 20 games at tackle over a two year period.
He finished his career with the Philadelphia Eagles but only appeared in six games as a reserve.
John Beck- Beck left BYU with high hopes after being drafted in the second round in 2007 by the Miami Dolphins. Beck only spent played in five games with the Dolphins however, before being released after a coaching change. In Beck’s short time in Miami he started in four games but had very little success. The Dolphins lost all four of his starts with beck completing 56.1 percent of his passes for 559 yards and only one touchdown to go along with three picks. Beck really struggled with pressure as a Dolphin fumbling the ball seven times.
Beck floated around the NFL for the next few years as a third string quarterback before getting his next opportunity to play. That chance came in 2011 as a member of the Washington Redskins. Beck appeared in four games, including three as a starter. He put up significantly better numbers but still managed to lose every game he started. That year beck threw for 858 yards on 60.6 percent completions and two touchdowns. Beck also rushed the ball 10 times for 43 yards and two more scores.
All told, Beck has thrown 1417 yards and three touchdowns while getting picked off seven times in just nine career games.