Dicaprio Bootle Setting an Example in Nebraska's Secondary
Photo Credit: Hail Varsity

NFL Draft 2021: Former Huskers Sign Undrafted Free Agent Deals

May 01, 2021

The 2021 NFL Draft ended with two former Huskers selected: Brenden Jaimes and Matt Farniok. Jaimes is headed to the Los Angeles Chargers, while Farniok is headed to the Dallas Cowboys.

Now that the draft has officially ended, news about undrafted free agent deals is coming to light. NFL teams took fewer UDFA players in 2020 due to uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t appear to be the case in 2021. In fact, the draft boards of various teams have shown that it might actually be a competition between teams for key players as undrafted free agents. As Jordan Reid of The Draft Network tweeted, there appears to be a much smaller pool for team’s to select from 2021.

Where are the former Huskers headed? Find out in our running list below.

DB Dicaprio Bootle

Defensive back Dicaprio Bootle will sign a free agent deal with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Bootle started every game at cornerback as a senior for the Huskers, extending his streak to 32 consecutive starts. He finished the 2020 season with 25 tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss, five pass break-ups and one interception. He was named an honorable-mention All-Big Ten selection by the media.

Throughout his career, Bootle tallied 26 pass break-ups. That ranked him ninth in Nebraska football history upon the completion of the 2020 season.

For more on Bootle’s journey to Nebraska and how he hopes to be remember, check out our story from the 2020 Football Yearbook.

RB Dedrick Mills

Dedrick Mills will sign a free agent deal with the Detroit Lions.

Mills was Nebraska’s lead running back over the 2019 and 2020 season. As a junior, he amassed 745 yards on 143 rushes, averaging 5.2 yards per rush. He was limited by injuries as a senior, but managed to finish the 2020 season strong. He played in six games and started in five. He had 84 carries, 396 rushing yards and three touchdowns, averaging 66.0 rushing yards per game. He also had 13 receptions for 86 yards.

It feels a little like the situation Devine Ozigbo found himself in following the 2018 season. Big guy, bruising guy, started catching it out of the backfield at the tail end of his career, and upon declaring for the draft, teams wanted to see him on the clock. Mills focused a lot of his training on quickness drills and catching the football, working on sideline catches and toe drags. Mills worked on his patience while at Nebraska, but admitted he’s a one-cut kind of guy and “sometimes I can get kinda anxious and just go.” Still, he’s made strides to become an attractive NFL tailback. 

Now he will have a chance with the Lions to show off that speed and hopefully earn a spot on the roster.

TE Jack Stoll

Tight end Jack Stoll will sign a free agent deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. Stoll confirmed the news to Hail Varsity.

Stoll battled through injuries as a senior, but managed to appear in seven games with one start in 2020. He earned his 25th consecutive start against Ohio State before an injury took him out of the game. After missing the Northwestern matchup, he returned to play in Nebraska’s final six games of the season.

Stoll finished the 2020 season with seven catches for 89 yards. He ended his career at Nebraska with 61 total receptions for 657 yards and six touchdowns.

We will continue to update this page as more as known.

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