Louisville Cardinal NFL draftees Teddy Bridgewater, Calvin Pryor, Marcus Smith and Preston Brown have company in the form of four more ex-University of Louisville stars have signed free agent contracts with various teams in the NFL. These signings occurred earlier this week.
Charlie Strong turned out not to be the long term coaching solution that Cardinal athletic director Tom Jurich was looking for, but he brought in some amazing talent during his tenure and now several of those players are cashing in.
One player that should have been drafted but wasn’t is Damian Copeland. He piled up big numbers from his wide receiver spot including 5 touchdowns and 885 all purpose yards this past season.
To all the expert eyes at the NFL combine in Indianapolis, he looked great. But the draft came and went and Copeland found himself on the outside looking in. Then he signed his free agent contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars. His signing will up the Jags game, which has been woeful for many more seasons than Jacksonville fans would care to remember.
Safety Hakeem Smith seemed like he should have been a sure middle round pick but things didn’t work out that way for him either. And he was one of the better safeties in the NCAA for his Cardinal career. Smith did work out for a number of teams and his star takes him to the Tennessee Titans. Should be make the team, not all free agents do, he’ll bolster their secondary with grit.
The Pittsburgh Steelers gave a contract to defensive tackle Roy Philon. He wasn’t widely sought after when the season ended, but he gave a competent showing at the Louisville Pro Day. That was the day when Bridgewater didn’t look so hot. Now Philon has a chance to make the Steelers squad.
The Chicago Bears want a close look at Brandon Dunn. He didn’t figure to be drafted at all even though he was a four year player at a defensive tackle. Dunn had an in, however. Ex-Louisville assistant Clint Hurtt is the Bears new defensive line coach. Dunn should get a fair shot at making the Monsters of the Midway.
One Cardinal player that has yet to land with a team at press time is running back Senorise Perry. He’s a hard runner that put up impressive stats until he was slowed with an ACL injury. There are plenty of teams that need a speedy back who can also be a bruiser despite being a little undersized and Perry could be that player.