Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

NFL Outlook: Nebraska Undrafted Free Agents

May 17, 2022

Cam Jurgens, Cam Taylor-Britt and Samori Touré all heard their names called during the 2022 NFL Draft, but they aren’t the only Huskers pursuing professional dreams.

After the draft, five others signed undrafted free agent deals with NFL teams and will look to find their own place in the league.

JoJo Domann

Many expected JoJo Domann to be among the Huskers who heard their names called as a mid-round pick, but for whatever reason (His age? His injury history? Something else?) he slid all the way down past the final pick.

After the draft, the hybrid linebacker agreed to sign with the Indianapolis Colts and will look to earn a roster spot in training camp.

The Colts drafted eight players, but none of them were linebackers. They did draft two defensive backs in Maryland Terrapin Nick Cross (late third round) and Yale Bulldog Rodney Thomas II (seventh round), and Thomas has experience playing both safety and linebacker, but Domann is bigger than either of them.

Indianapolis also signed a large undrafted free agent class including 19 players, but that group includes just one other linebacker besides Domann in Villanova’s Forrest Rhyne.

Indianapolis has a good group of linebackers and safeties, but undrafted free agents don’t often make the team for their offensive or defensive prowess. Domann’s best chance to make the roster is as a special teams contributor, and he certainly has the tools with his size and speed to be an impact player on multiple teams units, and perhaps his coverage prowess could lead to some sub-package snaps on defense down the road.

If he doesn’t make the 53-man roster, however, it seems like Domann would be a no-brainer for the practice squad in Indianapolis.

Austin Allen

Austin Allen was one of the Huskers who earned an invitation to the NFL Combine prior to the draft, and some thought he’d get drafted. He did not, however, and the New York Giants scooped him up after the draft came to an end.

The Giants drafted 11 players including a tight end in the fourth round, Daniel Bellinger (6-foot-5, 253 pounds) out of San Diego State. They also signed 13 undrafted free agents including Allen and another tight end, Andre Miller (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) out of Maine.

The Giants lost their top two tight ends, Evan Ingram and Kyle Rudolph, in free agency but replaced them with veterans Ricky Seals-Jones and Jordan Akins. They also brought back seldom-used Chris Myarick who caught three passes last season, giving them six tight ends on the roster currently.

Akins and Seals-Jones are journeymen stop-gaps. Bellinger will likely make the team as a fourth-round pick. Allen will likely be competing with Myarick and Miller for a roster spot, depending on how many the Giants decide to keep on their roster. If he performs well in camp, Allen’s unique size for the position could separate him from the rest.

Allen seems to have a good chance to making either the 53-man roster or the practice squad with the Giants.

Damion Daniels

After going undrafted, Nebraska’s starting nose tackle returned to his home state of Texas as the Dallas native signed with the Houston Texans.

Houston drafted nine players this year including a defensive tackle in Stanford’s Thomas Booker (6-foot-3, 301 pounds). Daniels was part of a 12-man undrafted free agent signing class that featured three other defensive linemen in Central Michigan’s Troy Hairston (5-foot-11, 245 pounds), Notre Dame’s Kurt Hinish (6-foot-2, 300 pounds) and International Player Pathway Program alumnus Adeyado Odeleye (6-foot-5, 271 pounds).

Daniels is facing an uphill battle, but he showed glimpses of immense talent for Nebraska this season and is listed as the heaviest defensive lineman on the roster at 325 pounds (though he cut weight and got closer to 300 during the pre-draft process).

The Texans will have to decide how many nose tackle types they want to keep on their roster, but Daniels’ size and ability to occasionally make plays behind the line of scrimmage as well as eat up double teams could give him a chance to stick around. His older brother Darrion has been hanging around the league as a practice squad player, and Damion is likely looking at a similar path.

Deontai Williams

After going undrafted, safety Deontai Williams signed with the Seattle Seahawks.

The Seahawks drafted nine players, none of whom are safeties. However, they did sign four safeties in their 14-man undrafted free agent class. In addition to Williams, they picked up Miami’s Bubba Bolden, Virginia’s Joey Blount and Wisconsin’s Scott Nelson.

Seattle has a veteran group of safeties including starters Quandre Diggs and Jamal Adams plus back-ups Ryan Neal, Ugo Amadi and John Reid. Williams will likely be battling for a practice squad spot in camp.

Ben Stille

Finally, the pride of Ashland, defensive lineman Ben Stille, signed with the Miami Dolphins.

As they traded away most of their picks, the Dolphins drafted just four players in 2022, none of whom are defensive linemen. They also signed 14 undrafted free agents including three defensive linemen: Stille, Illinois end Owen Carney and Virginia Tech tackle Jordan Williams.

Stile’s experience playing at basically every spot on the line could give him an edge, and he’s the heaviest of the three undrafted linemen at 300 pounds. Stille is likely competing for a practice squad spot.

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