Unfortunately for Roadrunner fans, UTSA didn’t have any of their players’ names called at the NFL Draft this year. That wasn’t a total surprise, though there was a hunch that a few guys would end up on practice squads. Not even 12 hours after the draft’s conclusion, three of last year’s skill players signed to NFL rosters as undrafted free agents.
RB Jarveon Williams - Cincinnati Bengals
UTSA’s all-time rushing leader and four-year starter was picked up by the Cincinnati Bengals. Williams is particularly admired amongst Roadrunners as the program’s first 1,000-yard rusher for his breakout 2015 season in which he averaged six yards per carry. He also led the backfield last season with 900 yards but shared a lot of the work load with Jalen Rhodes after suffering a minor ankle injury at the beginning of the year.
That ankle injury paired with the program’s downward slump in 2015 and growing pains in 2016 is probably what resulted in him and others not hearing their names called in the third and fourth rounds, as UTSA has only racked up nine total wins through the previous two seasons.
Williams has a chance to make a practice squad but he will have to play his best football in order to do so. He did a good job coming out the backfield to catch passes last season as he racked up 221 yards on 19 receptions. As a blocker Williams is solid but not lights out. He’s not the most elusive but he’s certainly quick, there’s no arguing that, and NFL coaches can count on Williams to be a player that does exactly what’s asked of him.
S Jordan Moore - Atlanta Falcons
UTSA’s graduate transfer generated a ton of offseason attention from his accolades as a track star at LSU. Widely considered a “sleeper pick” around NFL front offices, Moore was an SEC hurdles champion and almost qualified for the Olympics as a sprint hurdler last year. He received All Conference USA Honorable Mention honors for his play last season. Rumor has it that he worked out with over a dozen NFL teams.
Thank you to ATLANTA Falcons organization for getting one of the best safeties in the draft! #RiseUp WE COMING HOME— Jordan Moore (@JMOIAM) April 30, 2017
He was used a lot during special teams play as a kick returner alongside his efforts at safety. Moore still has a lot of football skills to develop, but from raw talent standpoint there’s not too many as good as he is. At 6’2” and 227 pounds with track speed, ball carriers will exercise caution when reaching the defensive backfield.
He also totes the proverbial chip on his shoulder and garnered some extra attention with his interview quotes; his swagger can precede him. That’s something NFL teams love when it’s done the right way. He spoke with Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press after visiting with the team and described his ability:
“In my safety class I feel like I’m one of the best athletes, hands down... There’s a lot of good guys that I’ve come across and that I’ve seen, but I’m unique in my own way. (Few players) in the draft can even say that they ran track in college, except maybe Adoree’ Jackson and Marlon Humphrey, but other than that, nobody can say that they’ve won a championship, let alone went to the Olympic trials. So I feel like I’m a cut above the rest. And at the same time, any of those guys that did say they run track, they’re not 220-some pounds jumping over hurdles, so I don’t think we even compare.”
Hard to argue that.
S Michael Egwuagu - Chicago Bears
“Egg” is UTSA’s fan favorite. A two-year defensive captain and electrifying playmaker, Egwuagu was a beacon of excitement in a turbulent time for Roadrunner Football. It seemed like he had highlight plays every week during the 2015 season. He greatly matured as a ball player under Head Coach Frank Wilson’s tutelage, all while maintaining a lovable style of play. This guy is fun to watch.
Through 2016 Egwuagu racked up 82 tackles, 42 of which were solo and seven behind the line of scrimmage. He’s also got a strong nose for the ball, batting down seven passes to earn him Second Team All Conference USA honors. However, biggest contribution Egwuagu made in his time as a Roadrunner was his ability to stop the big play. Egg never let the top spill over when it was about to overflow, seeming like almost always preventing a good play from being a great play.
UTSA Safety Michael Egwuagu's agent, Chris Turnage says his client has agreed with the Chicago Bears on a Rookie Camp deal.— Chuck Miketinac (@MaxSportsSA) April 30, 2017
He was a true safety net in the Roadrunners defensive backfield. Egg can certainly make an active roster at some point, but chances are he’ll land as a linebacker rather than a safety as he lacks the speed necessary to compete in NFL open fields. A work horse with a lot of natural instinct, he’ll have a real shot to compete.
Congratulations and best of luck at the next stage, gentlemen.