East Carolina didn’t have any players selected in this year’s NFL draft. But that doesn’t mean the Pirates have been shut out of opportunities to make it into the league.
Their players will just have to work a little harder to make a roster.
Six ECU seniors — wide receivers Davon Grayson and Jimmy Williams and defensive end Kiante Anderson, offensive tackle Brandon Smith, tight end Stephen Baggett and Gaelin Elmore — were among those with state ties signing free agent deals after going all seven rounds without being drafted.
Grayson and Baggett will go to camp with the New York Giants, Williams with the Denver Broncos, Anderson with the Houston Texans, Smith with the Baltimore Ravens and Elmore with the Bengals.
Although the odds are against them and their dozen or so fellow hopefuls of ever playing a game in the NFL, they now at least have the same shot at proving themselves on the field as those that were drafted over the past three days.
The list of state undrafted free agents includes (check back for additions to the list):
ECU: Dayvon Grayson, WR (Giants); Jimmy Williams, WR (Broncos), Kiante Anderson, DE (Texans); Gaelin Elmore, DE (Bengals); Brandon Smith, OT (Ravens).
UNC: Bentley Spain, OT (Jets); Donnie Miles, S (Falcons); Cayson Collins, LB (Dolphins); Cam Dillard, C (Falcons); Dajaun Drennon, DE (Giants); R.J. Prince, OG (Packers); Khaliel Rodgers, OT (Bills).
NC State: Tony Adams, OG (Jaguars); Jerod Fernandez, LB (Redskins); Shawn Boone, S (Texans); Airius Moore, LB (Cardinals); Cole Cook, TE (Falcons)
Duke: Austin Davis, C (Packers); Mike Ramsay, OT (Titans), Shaun Wilson, RB (Buccaneers), Bryon Fields, CB (Chiefs); Jela Duncan, RB (Browns).
Wake Forest: John Wolford QB (Jets); Cam Serigne, TE (Saints); Wendell Dunn, DL (Steelers); Jaboree Williams, LB (Eagles).
Appalachian State: A.J. Howard, DB (Cardinals); Beau Nunn, OL (Lions)
Western Carolina: Detrez Newsome, RB (Chargers).
NC A&T: Khris Gardin, WR/RS (Bears)
NC Central: Reggie Hunter, LB (Jaguars)
Elon: Ikenna Nwokeji, OL (Steelers)
Gardner-Webb: Chad Geter, LB (Cardinals)
Others with state ties: Pharoah McKever, TE, Tabor City/NC State/FIU (Steelers); Kurt Benkert, QB, ECU/Virginia (Falcons)