A school-record eight former Utah Utes football players were taken in the three days of the 2017 NFL Draft. They will be joined in the league by several other former teammates who signed undrafted free agent contracts. Players who are taken late in the draft or sign undrafted free agent contracts are not guaranteed to make the final roster of 53 after all of the roster cuts, but it is a great first start to live out the dream of playing in the NFL. Below are the players who have signed undrafted free agent contracts so far:
Tim Patrick - WR - Baltimore Ravens
This is a great landing spot for Patrick. He is a long, rangy receiver with good top end speed. Injuries slowed his Utah career, but he has the ability to be a great receiver in the NFL. He is 6’ 5” and has enough speed to beat defenders deep. He can also go up and get jump balls with his height and basketball background. He will team up with former Utah safety Eric Weddle and could replace former Raven and Utah wide receiver Steve Smith, Sr. who retired after last season.
Hunter Dimick - DE - Jacksonville Jaguars
Snacks will take his pass rushing skills to Jacksonville. Dimick was very productive in his Utah career, registering 29.5 sacks in four years and 45 tackles for loss. He has an endless motor and above average athleticism. The reason no team drafted Dimick is he lacks length that NFL teams want in their pass rushers. My hunch though is that there will be more than a few teams in the NFL that regretted drafting Dimick because he plays with a huge chip on his shoulder and is a hard worker, so I expect him to succeed as a pro.
Jason Thompson - S - New England Patriots
Thompson is heading to the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots where he will pair up with former teammate Eric Rowe. Thompson is a leader as a football player and will likely have his biggest impact on special teams where he excelled at Utah.
Andy Phillips - K - Chicago Bears
Automatic Andy, one of the best kickers in school history, will get a shot at the NFL with the Chicago Bears. Few kickers get drafted, so it is not surprising that he was not drafted. Phillips has a big leg and is an accurate kicker. He can also be a weapon for onside kicks.
Chase Dominguez - LS - New Orleans Saints
Dominguez is a name you rarely heard in the four years he played at Utah, and as a long snapper, that is a good thing because it means he did his job. Dominquez was Utah’s starting long snapper since his freshman year. He will join safety Marcus Williams in New Orleans, who was drafted by the Saints in the second round.
Reggie Porter - CB - Indianapolis Colts
Porter is headed to Indianapolis. He will have a chance to make the roster because cornerback is a huge need for the Colts. The Colts only took two cornerbacks and one safety in the draft, so Porter was likely signed to add depth and to be part of a position battle at cornerback.
We will keep you updated if any other players sign UFA contracts.