(Credit: Temple Football Twitter)
Going into the NFL draft, it was pretty much a given that Temple’s Dion Dawkins would be selected in Round 2 and Nate Hairston in Round 5 and that’s what happened.
Dawkins went to the Bills and Hairston went to Indianapolis and, right after the draft, the Bills fired their GM.
Geez, I hope the owner wasn’t disappointed in the picks because the Bills were one of only three teams to get an “A” in their selections by CBS Sports.
Dawkins could be a Day One starter and no one will be surprised. Hairston has a chance to do what fourth-rounder Tavon Young did last year, start.
This crop of free agents, though, is what makes this Temple NFL draft so fascinating.
Six were signed as UDFAs and all could latch on to an NFL team or none could. There are a lot of factors involved in UDFAs. The Philadelphia Eagles are a perfect example. Someone in their front office, either Chip Kelly or Howie Roseman, made a mistake in drafting Louisville DE Marcus Smith in Round One so, even though he was outplayed in three camps, he got to make the roster because no one wants to admit they made a mistake.
Over at New England, Bill Belichick always admits to personnel mistakes—which admittedly are few—and he is not adverse to cutting a high draft pick in favor of a UDFA. That’s why Belichick wins championships.
Six Owls signed UDFA contracts, with linebacker Avery Williams (Houston) and running back Jahad Thomas (Dallas) going to Texas teams and tight ends Romond Deloatch and Colin Thompson going to the New York Giants. Rounding out the group, P.J. Walker is headed to Indianapolis and Praise Martin-Oguike to Miami.
If I were the Giants, I’d tell Romond to pack on a few pounds and muscle weight and try making the team as a pass rusher because Deloatch has the “it” factor with that specialty.
Walker made a calculated decision to go to Indy (where he will have friend in Hairston) and, because teams hold out starters like Andrew Luck for much of the preseason, he should get a chance to play in those four games. Walker was smart because, in his spot, he’s got to look at team’s backups, not the starters. He’s not likely to unseat Eagles’ backup Nick Foles, so that was one of the team’s he turned down. He also turned down Minnesota (who have Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford), Baltimore, Arizona and Denver.
All Walker and any of the Owls need is a chance. Now it’s up to them to make the most of it. It won’t be the first time many of them have been doubted and they proved the doubters wrong before.
Here’s hoping they all do it again.
Wednesday: What This Draft Should Have Meant
Friday: Capitalizing on the Weekend