Auburn football has had an uneven season, but there have been a few standouts that are playing their way into an NFL dream.
While the Tigers have been far from an NFL talent factory in recent seasons like it used to be, there are several future pros on the roster — several of whom have been essential in getting AU into a position to be bowl-eligible in 2023.
Sometimes, goodbyes are bittersweet. That’s especially true watching young men become highly-paid and famous professionals.
Auburn football will definitely see these players leave for the NFL
This season, Jarquez Hunter has solidified his standing as a fan favorite and that is because he has shown himself to be a true impact player on offense, with big games back-to-back against Ole Miss and Mississippi State; games in which he surpassed the 100 all-purpose yard benchmark.
Hunter’s ability to hurt defenses through rushing and receiving means makes him a one-man show at times, and that will make him the type of work-horse NFL teams will be looking to scoop up for cheap at a position that is losing bargaining power at the ends of rookie-scale contracts.
If he does so, Hunter will break a decade-long NFL draft drought for the program in the process: having running backs selected in the draft in back-to-back seasons with Tank Bigsby’s 2023 selection.
Eugene Asante has proven himself to be an absolute monster on the defensive end, but also as a leader. After playing on the scout team in 2022, Asante has truly begun to shine this year and he has been getting attention from all the right people.
Jim Nagy the executive director of the Reese’s Senior Bowl included.
“Wasn’t on the 2024 Senior Bowl watch list but has gotten our attention early this season,” Nagy said (h/t AL.com).
Asante is one of the most surprising stories of the season and could continue to surprise if/when the Chantilly, Virginia native takes his act to the NFL level.
With a pair of picks on the season, DJ James is impressing in his second season on the Plains after three seasons with Oregon; coming over as part of the Bo Nix “trade” that also brought DL Jayson Jones and QB Robby Ashford.
James is out of eligibility, so the NFL is the only logical next step. He’s played his way into at worst a non-guaranteed deal should he go undrafted.