With the NFL Draft complete and the initial wave of undrafted free agents have putting pen to paper a handful of fresh IU alumni have found their first professional home.
Now there are many ways this process can go for each of them, with varying potential levels of success and longevity in the NFL, but their next goal should be to make the 53 man roster that gets carried into the regular season.
Each of them will face different challenges in different places and different things will be asked of them, but each one as of now has a chance, however slight, to play in the league moving forward.
Wes Martin, Washington Redskins
Martin has the best chance to make his team’s 53-man roster as his team has invested the most in him. Whereas each of the other players that have made the jump from IU to the pros in the last week were signed as undrafted free agents, Martin was a dratee. The guard was selected in the fourth round by Washington and joins a group that was plagued by injuries last season.
The two-time team captain will reportedly compete for the starting left guard job in the nation’s capital. His main competition should be Ereck Flowers, the former New York Giants tackle will try to make a move to the interior of the offensive line. He’ll also have to stave off Washington’s fifth round pick, Ross Pierschbacher, as well as journeyman Tony Bergstrom.
All in all it seems like the two-time All-Big Ten honorable mention is in a favorable situation and could see plenty of playing time as a rookie.
Brandon Knight, Dallas Cowboys
Martin joined an offensive line that was in rough shape. Knight’s situation is the opposite. In heading to Dallas he joins one of the better offensive lines in the league over the last several years, one that helped make Dak Prescott look like a star early in his career.
The Cowboys already have the likes of Pro Bowler Tyron Smith, La’el Collins, and Cameron Fleming on the roster as tackles, but also have depth across the line in general.
Knight could possibly be looking at a practice squad spot if he can stick in Dallas because of the sheer depth of the Cowboys line in its current configuration.
Dan Godsil, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Godsil was seen as a potential late round draft pick and the best long snapper coming out of college this year, but ultimately landed in Cigar City as an undrafted free agent.
Because of his unique position as a specialist Godsil actually has a very good chance to be donning red and pewter this fall. The Bucs have yet to bring back Garrison Sanborn, their long snapper from last season, and it doesn’t appear they will. That means that Godsil’s only competition at the moment is Zach Triner who’s never snapped in an NFL game.
Jonathan Crawford, Tennessee Titans
Another undrafted free agent, Crawford’s prospects look like they could be a bit up in the air. The Titans seem like they’re set as far as starting safeties go with Kevin Byard and Kenny Vaccaro in the defensive backfield, but the former Hoosier star could possibly cling on to a spot as a depth piece. Behind the two starters Tennessee also drafted nickelback/safety Amani Hooker from Iowa in the fourth round and he should make the roster pretty easily. If Crawford wants to hang around in Nashville whether it be on the 53-man roster or as a practice squad guy he’ll have to compete with Damon Webb and Brynden Trawick among others.
Now that the draft is over these four former Hoosiers will take their next steps with rookie minicamps, OTAs, training camp, and ultimately the preseason over the next couple of months.