The NFL Draft has come to a close and a new crop of Rice football pro hopefuls have signed with NFL teams as undrafted free agents.
Every college football player hopes to one day be an NFL Draft selection, but that’s not how every pro career begins. Conference USA had six players chosen.
Alex Wright, a defensive end from Charlotte was the first C-USA player taken. He came off the board in the third round. Marshall safety Nazeeh Johnson was the final C-USA selection, going to the Chiefs at pick 259, the fourth to last selection of the draft.
Rice did not have any players chosen in the 2022 NFL Draft. This year’s crop of Rice football NFL hopefuls will attempt to make their marks as undrafted free agents. We’ll keep you updated as announcements come out.
So far, these former Rice football players have signed with teams:
Elijah Garcia, a three-year starter on the defensive line for Rice, Garcia signed with the Los Angeles Rams shortly after the conclusion of the draft. After not hearing his name called during the draft, one of the Owls’ best shots at a selection this year was the first to sign on with a pro team.
As any additional updates come, they’ll be shared here. Safety Naeem Smith, offensive lineman Jovaun Woolford, running back Jordan Myers and quarterback Jake Constantine are the names to watch.
Rice Football recent NFL Draft history
The Owls’ streak of drafts without a selection has now stretched to seven. The last time a Rice football player heard his name called on stage was the 2015 NFL Draft when Christian Covington was chosen by the Houston Texans in the sixth round.
Covington’s selection marked the end of a nice run of selections for Rice. From 2009 to 2015 Rice had eight players chosen: Jarret Dillard (2009), James Casey (2009), Cheta Ozougwu (2011), Scott Solomon (2012), Vance McDonald (2013), Luke Wilson (2013), Phillip Gaines (2014), Christian Covington (2015). McDonald was the highest selection, going No. 55 overall to the San Francisco 49ers.
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