The NFL Draft, a 3 day wait to see if and where you could be playing professional football. Four players from Connecticut colleges had entered this year’s draft; two were drafted and the other two were signed as undrafted free agents. The only player to attend the NFL Draft in Chicago was UConn cornerback Byron Jones, who was selected 27th overall by the Dallas Cowboys. Wide receiver Geremy Davis, also from UConn, was picked by the New York Giants in the 6th round. Yale fullback Tyler Varga and Sacred Heart safety Gordon Hill may not have selected during the draft, but each player earned a contract with an NFL team by time the weekend had ended. Varga signed with the Indianapolis Colts while Hill is headed to San Diego.
If you didn’t watch ESPN’s and the NFL Network non-stop coverage of the draft, here’s a little look into each player.
Byron Jones – CB, 6’1″, 199 lbs.
Jones that is actually from Connecticut to be drafted, hailing from Bristol. His 2014 season at UConn was cut short due to season-ending shoulder surgery, but in the 7 games he played he got 24 tackles and 2 interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Being from Connecticut, which is home to many New York Giants fans, playing for the Dallas Cowboys makes him a little less liked here in Connecticut…
Geremy Davis – WR, 6’2″, 216 lbs.
Davis was the 186th overall pick by the New York Giants and he’s going to face some stiff competition if he wants to be catching passes from Eli Manning. Two guys that come to mind that he’ll be competing against; Victor Cruz, who is coming back from a knee injury, and the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year, Odell Beckham Jr. Davis started 10 games for the Huskies last season and caught 44 passes for 521 yards with 3 touchdowns.
Tyler Varga – RB/FB, 5’11”, 222 lbs.
During the draft about 10 teams had contacted Varga about possbily picking him. While he didn’t get drafted, it’s no big deal, he still signed with a team. Varga actually had to watch some of the draft at a pizza restaurant near Yale because the power had gone out on campus. This season, he became Yale’s 4th all-time rusher with 2,985 yards gained in his career and is also 3rd in all-time touchdowns with 31. He was the first ever Bulldog selected to play in the Senior Bowl where he was named a captain for the North and and scored 2 touchdowns en route to a 34-13 win.
The last Yale football player to be drafted was Shane Bonnan, who was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 7th round of the 2011 Draft.
Gordon Hill – S, 6’0″, 220 lbs.
Gordon Hill had met with 3 NFL teams prior to the NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and San Diego Chargers. The Chargers stood out the most to him, so that’s who he chose to sign with. I’m pretty surethe weather in San Diego was a pretty decisive factor as well.
In his final year at Sacred Heart, Hill racked up 104 tackles along with 6 sacks, 2 interceptions, and 2 fumble recoveries.
Keep an eye out for these 4 guys next season!
Sources; NFL.com ESPN, New Haven Register, Press of Atlantic City, UConnHuskies.com