The top of the draft was a bit of a disappointment for LSU players: Jalen Collins dropped himself out of contention for high draft status, and La’el Collins dropped from the draft entirely after being widely projected as a Top 10 pick.
He is still in limbo, although teams are very interested, with one NFL Head Coach even flying in to Baton Rouge to try the cuisine at Ruffino’s while making his recruiting pitch.
Other Tigers heard their names called from the podium in Chicago during the draft.
Jalen Collins is taking his talents to Atlanta, and Danielle Hunter will be wearing a purple jersey again next year—in Minnesota playing for the Vikings. Kwon Alexander is in Tampa Bay and Kenny Hilliard was selected in the 7th round by the Texans.
Ole Hotty Toddy
The drafted players aren’t the only Tigers signing rookie contracts with NFL teams this week. The unofficial “draft after the draft” of undrafted free agents was pretty good to the Tigers this year, as always, with several players being offered contracts and others receiving camp invites.
The draft had barely closed out when Terrence Magee received a call from the Baltimore Ravens. He will have an opportunity to compete for a backup RB slot and possibly work as a return man on special teams.
Ronald Martin wasn’t the most heralded defensive back to come out of DBU this year, but he has an opportunity to join the best secondary in the NFL.
He has signed a free agent deal with Seattle, where he will be competing for a chance to back up all world safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas in the Legion of Boom. Seattle knows how to pick DB’s, and how to coach them up, so this is a great opportunity for Martin.
Elliot Porter signed with the Cleveland Browns in a deal that on the surface might not seem like a great fit.
After all he plays Center, and Last year Cleveland signed pro bowl starting Center Alex Mack to a 5 year deal making him one of the highest paid Centers in the league.
Additionally the Browns took Cameron Erving who can play Center and Guard in the first round of the draft.
An Undrafted Free Agent isn’t coming in to start from Day 1 though.
Porter is trying to make the team and develop into a starter down the line. Cameron Erving is moving over to guard, and backup Center Nick Mcdonald is a free agent after this year.
This is a great opportunity for Elliot Porter to win a backup job, or to spend a year on the practice squad before taking the backup role when Mcdonalds contract is up.
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- LSU Football: Who gets in the playoff if LSU beats Georgia?
- LSU Football: A loss to Georgia shouldn’t stop College Football Playoff bid
LSU fan favorite Connor Neighbors is heading back home — almost. He signed a free agent contract with the Tennessee Titans.
The Titans play in Nashville, just up the road from Neighbors home town of Huntsville, Alabama. Hopefully his family will be making the 2 hour drive up I-65 regularly this fall.
Neighbors has a tough job ahead of him to make it on Tennessee’s roster. They did not offer last years starting FB Jackie Battle a contract in free agency, so the job is wide open. Last year’s backup, Justin Staples, and 4th round pick, Jalston Fowler; would appear to have the upper hand for the 2 FB spots going into training camp.
Connor Neighbors has beat long odds before to make it on the field, hopefully he will excel again and make Tennessee’s 53 man roster.
Jermauria Rasco was the last LSU free agent offered a contract, at least until La’el Collins signs his deal.
LSU Players Preparing for the NFL Draft
Rasco will be suiting up for Green Bay, at least in training camp. Green Bay has struggled defensively in recent years and a solid backup outside linebacker will have every opportunity to make their squad.
Two other Tigers were not signed to UDFA Contracts but have been invited to training camps, DJ Welter in Tampa Bay and Travis Dickson in Atlanta. While neither put up eye popping numbers in college both are intriguing athletes.
Travis Dickson’s numbers from LSU’s pro day were very close to those put up by Maxx Williams, the top TE taken in the draft. DJ Welters were only slightly off the top players at his position.
Tampa Bay drafted first overall for a very good reason: lack of talent. Atlanta is still suffering from lack of depth brought on partly by bad drafting and partly by trading so many picks for Julio Jones.
Even though Welter and Dickson weren’t offered a preferred contract as a rookie free agent both their new teams will have a roster spot for a young athletic prospect with special teams ability. All they have to do is take that spot.
Once La’el Collins signs with a team LSU will have 52 former players on NFL rosters.
With a little luck that number will stay the same or even rise a bit when teams finalize their 53 man roster going in to the season.
There is cause for optimism for the Undrafted LSU Players.
All of the players landed in good situations with great open opportunities, and don’t forget, last year 9 Tigers were drafted but 13 made opening day rosters around the League…..