The Indiana Hoosiers only saw two players taken in the NFL Draft this past weekend. But by Sunday, four more had been given the opportunity and signed as undrafted free agents with various teams.
Wide receiver Cody Latimer jumped up draft boards, and many analysts thought he could go in the first round. He fell to the second to the Denver Broncos. This means that Latimer will likely be catching passes from Peyton Manning, an honor few receivers get (especially those from IU).
Latimer will fit in nicely with the receiving corps in Denver. He will have every opportunity to move into a starting role as well. It is possible that we could see Latimer on the field with Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Latimer take over Eric Decker‘s role with the team.
No other Hoosiers were taken until the seventh round. The Washington Redskins drafted tight end Ted Bolser with the 217th pick. I have always thought that Bolser had a ton of under utilized potential. He is a giant with good hands and a solid route runner. While he was likely taken to be an inline blockers, I like his abilities in the passing game.
Bolser set tight end records his freshman season, but fell off after that year. It appeared to be scheme changes that led to him being used less often. Coach Kevin Wilson is no stranger to developing tight ends, and it was always confusing as to why Bosler wasn’t a bigger threat.
If the Redskins can find a good use for him, I believe that Bolser will make the roster and be an effective player.
Wide receiver Kofi Hughes will join Bolser on the Redskins after signing as a UDFA. Hughes was always a solid receiver, when he wanted to be. The odds for any of the UDFAs to make a roster are slim, but if he plays hard on every down. Washington has some questions after Pierre Garcon and Desean Jackson at the receiver position.
Running back Stephen Houston signed a contract with the New England Patriots. And based on how the media reacts to every Pats signing, this one must be gold. New England has a lot of depth at the position already, and it will likely be difficult for Houston to make the final roster.
Two players were signed by the Chicago Bear. Cornerback Greg Heban and kicker Mitch Ewald both were offered contracts with the team. Heban never struck me as someone who would make the NFL, but he does play hard and could be a special team’s ace.
Ewald was always a very accurate kicker and could find his way to an NFL team if there is an injury or a retirement. However, the Bears still have Robbie Gould, who hit nearly 90-percent of his attempts last season (Ewald hit 82-percent). This is likely just to fill a roster spot, but it will let Ewald get some experience and maybe sign with another team.
Six Hoosiers get to fight for roster spots. Right now, only Latimer has a guaranteed spot and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is the only one on an active roster come September. Expect a few of these players to sign to practice squads and more to bounce around as injuries pop up across the league.