When the dust settled Saturday night five Buffalo Bulls were granted a chance to audition for an NFL team. But four of them were through free agency and one via an NFL minicamp
Tyree Jackson and Anthony Johnson, both of whom were seen as solid day two picks by nearly everyone slid past the seventh round. Khalil Hodge, who had more tackles in the past three years than anyone in college football, went undrafted and still has not been signed.
So what happened?
Anthony Johnson (UDFA, Tampa Bay)
He missed the 40 at the NFL combine, but made up for at at UB’s pro day with a 4.5, a number solidly in the top 3rd of combine participants.
His overall production in 2018 was a bit lower than 2017 but he still topped 1,000 yards and more than 10 touchdowns.
It could be that a guy once being touted as a solid first round pick had an injury make him a guy that teams were not willing to take a chance on him.
Tyree Jackson (UDFA, Buffalo)
Touted as a rare physical specimen that was raw, but had a huge upside, how did Jackson fall through?
Jackson’s performance diminished greatly as the season went on, is yards per game, touchdown to interception ratio, and his completion percentage all dropped off.
Combine that with the fact that he often looked to throw it as long as he could and “hoped for the best” in big situations put a lot of lesser gifted quarterbacks in front of him.
Hodge’s numbers in College set not only school records but also made him the top tackler in the NCAA from 2016-2018. How then does he not only go undrafted but also not picked up for a mini camp.
Well someone tweeted that Hodge ran a 5.05 40 at the pro day. Which, in case you didn’t know, is an awful time.
I have to assume either the tweet was wrong or that Hodge just had a really bad day. He’s not a burner by any stretch but I’m pretty sure he could run down Tom Brady in the open field.
The other Bulls were seen as borderline guys likely to go undrated but none of the big three making it was a shock.
It’s perhaps the biggest surprise since Branden Oliver went undrafted.
The good news is that an undrafted free agent can break through the guys drafted in the later rounds. As with Oliver, who eventually became San Diego’s starting running back and a productive one at that.
So is this just a perfect storm of issues which kept UB players from getting drafted?
Is there something about the way we are developing players that does not prepare them for the draft experience?
What are your thoughts?