Four Utes were taken in the NFL Draft Friday and Saturday. Three of them were expected with Eric Rowe, Nate Orchard and Jeremiah Poutasi being taken. One was a little bit of surprise, with Kaelin Clay going in the sixth round. Once the final pick was announced Saturday, there were plenty of former Utes looking for a chance, and many of them were signed as undrafted free agents. Here are the other Utes that were picked up by a squad after the draft:
Dres Anderson: Drizzy Dres was picked up by the San Fransisco 49ers. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, as many as 15 NFL teams were looking to sign Anderson after the draft. Anderson said after his personal work out a few weeks ago, that he may be drafted around the fourth round, but it appears his knee injury scared those teams from calling his name during the selection process.
Brian Blechen: The former Utah freshman All-American finds himself with Star Lotulelei and the Carolina Panthers. Blechen battled injuries for stretches in his career, which really slowed down his progress between his freshman and senior seasons. Sounds like Blechen will be moving from safety to linebacker for the Panthers, which would be the best for Blechen's chances, since his speed wouldn't translate in the NFL at safety.
Westlee Tonga: Joining former Utes Alex Smith and Sean Smith in Kansas City is Westlee Tonga. Tonga had a nice senior season with 30 catches and just shy of 400 yards and four touchdowns. He will get a shot to make a roster, and Smith needs all the targets he can get in KC.
Jacoby Hale: The proverbial ball hawk and playmaker, Jacoby Hale is going to get a shot in Oakland with the Raiders. Hale hurt his knee last spring and didn't see the field until late in the 2014 season. In his junior season, Hale was constantly in the back field and was a terror for opposing offenses with 6.5 sacks, 10 TFL and 37 tackles.
Greg Reese: The JC transfer who came in as a tight end and moved to defensive end will get a shot with the Seattle Seahawks in a mini camp. Reese never made it into the rotation for the Utes, but has all the physical tools to make an impact.
It's great that all these guys will get a shot to make a roster, but they have a long way to go to make a final roster and see week one in the NFL. I believe Dres will make it, and I also think Hale could me a roster, the others will have a battle to do so, but at least they have a chance.