NFL Draft sees teams take chance on handful of former college hoopers
With a better possible future in football, there are a few names who will be switching games in the coming months.
It took way too long for the 2014 NFL Draft to come, but now that it's gone, we've got another batch of college basketball players who will swap sneaks for cleats in the coming weeks.
It's unlikely any of the guys listed below can make an impact like former basketball players turned NFL stars Jimmy Graham, Tony Gonzalez or Anthony Gates, but they'll get a shot at making an NFL roster. At least one of them seems guaranteed to be playing in the pros come the fall.
Here are the former hardwood ballers who were drafted or picked up after the draft by NFL teams this past weekend. We should note the named listed played college football as well, ultimately making the transition from one sport to the other later in their undergrad careers.
No. 38: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington. Selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the sixth pick in the second round. Seferian-Jenkins wasn't much of a basketball player for the Huskies, but he did earn minutes on scholarship his freshman season, so he qualifies. Seferian-Jenkins is a tight end -- and a good one. He had 36 snags for 450 yards and eight touchdowns last season. Going this high in the draft signals he could wind up on your fantasy team a few years down the road. Keep an eye out.
No. 106: Bruce Ellington, South Carolina. Selected by the San Francisco 49ers with the sixth pick in the fourth round. Ellington was a very accomplished college basketball player, a three-year starter with the Gamecocks before switching priorities and going football-first last season. His hoops career ended with averages of 9.8 points, 2.7 assists and 2.4 rebounds. At 5-feet-9, Ellington was drafted as a wide receiver. Could wind up as a special teams player, it looks like. He caught 49 balls last season with South Carolina.
No. 197: Demetri Goodson, Gonzaga. Selected by the Green Bay Packers with the 21st pick in the sixth round. Goodson left college hoops and transferred to Baylor, which gave him the opportunity for an NFL career. His college highlight will always be the winning shot his freshman year in the NCAA Tournament. A 5-11, 194 pounds, Goodson will try to make it as a cornerback. It'd be great to see, because from what I've found, we've never seen a college basketball player make the true conversion all the way to the NFL level to CB.
Undrafted but signed by the Indianapolis Colts: Erik Swoope, Miami. Swoope is interesting ... because he's never played organized football. Ever. He spoke in media interviews six weeks ago about how he practiced putting on a uniform. Pretty remarkable. But at 6-5 and 220 pounds, he's going to get a workout from Indy, and who knows. He's got the physique. NFL teams like taking chances on big guys who are undeniable athletes.
And then there is the matter of former Memphis and Kansas power forward Tarik Black. We posted a week and a half ago about Black's unusual opportunity at the NFL level. Aaron Rodgers met him and started selling him on the NFL almost immediately. But Black is still pursuing pro basketball as an option.
Black is the biggest name of all the college basketball players flirting with the NFL.
Here's the latest from CBSSports.com senior NFL insider Jason La Canfora:
If you are wondering why Kansas PF Tarik Black, an intriguing NFL TE prospect who Aaron Rodgers was tracking, wasn't signed, here's why...— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) May 11, 2014
Several NFL teams are very interested in him as an UDFA, but Black was already committed to an NBA prospect evaluation camp this weekend...— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) May 11, 2014
So Black could not commit to NFL team yet, his agent, Chad Wiestling told me. Wiestling said Black will focus on NFL options after NBA camp— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) May 11, 2014
Final note on Tarik Black: Aaron Rodgers might get his way in the end. We shall see— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) May 11, 2014
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