Every spring, tons of college football players have their dreams of making the National Football League fulfilled. From the 253 players drafted to the undrafted free agents that sign contracts after, approximately 350 players will enter NFL training camps looking to make their first professional roster.
Of those 253 men, five are former Boston College standouts, all of whom took a very different path to finding their NFL team.
The first Eagle to find his new home was Justin Simmons. Simmons was taken 98th overall in the third round by the defending Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos. Simmons is possibly the only Eagle who will take the field immediately this fall. The Broncos have two strong safeties in TJ Ward and Darian Stewart; however, the departure of David Burton will leave a role open for Simmons to step in and play right away. Broncos coach Gary Kubiak has the option to use Simmons on clear passing downs, allowing him chase the ball and create turnovers, just as he did at BC.
The only other Eagle to have his name called during the draft was Steven Daniels. Daniels had to wait until the 232nd pick to join the Washington Redskins. Unlike Simmons, Daniels does not come into a situation in which he will get immediate playing time. Washington is deep at inside linebacker, but it lacks a true superstar or entrenched veteran. This leaves room for Daniels to climb the depth chart and get between the lines in later weeks. Not to mention, Washington head coach Jay Gruden loves players who can be special teams weapons, an area where Daniels is sure to stand out.
Three Eagles who didn’t get drafted also found new NFL homes by signing with teams as undrafted free agents. Running back/receiver David Dudeck signed with the Seattle Seahawks. Dudeck never packed the stat sheet due to the nature of BC’s offense, but he is regarded as a very intelligent and versatile player. Dudeck will compete with fellow undrafted free agents Tre Madden (RB - USC) and former TCU quarterback (now converted to receiver) Trevone Boykin for a Seahawks roster spot.
Defensive lineman Connor Wujciak went undrafted as well but went on to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles. Wujciak impressed at the combine, but apparently not enough for a team to spend a valuable draft pick. Wujciak may have found himself in a favorable situation though, as the Eagles look to be rebuilding and could give more young players an opportunity to shine.
The final Eagle to join an NFL team this past week was Mehdi Abdesmad. The Canadian-born defensive tackle had a huge bounce back season in 2015 after back-to-back season ending knee injuries in 2013 and 2014. Abdesmad’s size and upper body strength intrigued NFL teams. Ultimately, a very young and promising Titans team that gave him an opportunity.
While it may not be five first round picks like Ohio State produced, five rookies in the NFL is no joke. This is another impressive class generated by Coach Addazio and company. These five now-professional Eagles will give SuperFans much to watch for going into training camp and a brand new NFL season.
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