Just because most of the top football talent from Utah's FBS universities didn't get drafted into the NFL doesn't mean they have no chance of suiting up for an NFL team in the fall.
Immediately after the conclusion of the NFL draft, all 32 teams pursued players they felt had been overlooked, hoping to fill individual needs.
Players who are not selected by a team in the NFL draft are known as undrafted free agents. They are free to negotiate and sign a contract with any of the 32 NFL teams that want to sign them
Signing a free agent contract, however, does not guarantee that a player will make a final NFL roster. Players who are signed to free agent contacts participate in minicamps and summer camps prior to the NFL season. Several participants of these camps are cut from teams as rosters are finalized.
However, it's not unusual for players who have not been drafted to have successful NFL careers. Super Bowl champion quarterback Kurt Warner, Houston Texans running back Arian Foster, Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon and San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates are a few of the most famous players to not have been drafted. In fact, some say it is better to not be drafted.
Most players who specialize in special teams — punters, kickers, long snappers and return specialists — do not get drafted and sign free agent contracts. In this year's draft, two special teams specialists from Utah signed free agent contracts.
Overall, there have been 19 players from Utah colleges that have inked free agent deals since the 2013 NFL draft concluded Saturday:
USU wide receiver Matt Austin: Seattle Seahawks
Utah offensive lineman Sam Brenner: Miami Dolphins
BYU offensive lineman Braden Brown: St. Louis Rams
Utah wide receiver DaVonte Christopher: Washington Redskins
Utah return specialist Reggie Dunn: Pittsburgh Steelers
BYU defensive tackle Romney Fuga: Denver Broncos
BYU defensive back Preston Hadley: Seattle Seahawks*
BYU offensive lineman Braden Hansen: Oakland Raiders
USU wide receiver Chuck Jacobs: San Francisco 49ers
BYU linebacker Uona Kaveinga: Denver Broncos
Utah defensive lineman Dave Kruger: Cleveland Browns
Utah cornerback Ryan Lacy: New Orleans Saints
USU defensive lineman Al Lapuaho: St. Louis Rams
Utah cornerback Moe Lee: Baltimore Ravens
BYU linebacker Brandon Ogletree: Miami Dolphins
Utah tight end David Rolf: San Diego Chargers
Utah punter Sean Sellwood: Atlanta Falcons
Utah center Tevita Stevens: Washington Redskins
Utah cornerback Reggie Topps: Arizona Cardinals
*Hadley did not sign a free agent contract, but was invited to the Seahawks' summer minicamp.
Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company