Athletes with Montana ties drafted, sign with teamsHELENA, Mont. — Nine athletes with Montana ties were chosen in the NFL draft or reached free-agent agreements shortly after the draft ended. Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler of Kalispell was chosen by the Denver Broncos in Friday’s second round.
HELENA, Mont. — Nine athletes with Montana ties were chosen in the NFL draft or reached free-agent agreements shortly after the draft ended.
Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler of Kalispell was chosen by the Denver Broncos in Friday’s second round.
Osweiler, who will be backing up four-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning in Denver, said he hopes Manning “doesn’t mind me looking over his shoulder and trying to take as many notes as I possibly can.”
Montana cornerback Trumaine Johnson of Stockton, Calif., was taken by the St. Louis Rams in the third round Friday. The Rams are coached by Jeff Fisher, whose son, Brandon, also played for the Griz. Fisher drafted another Griz, Marc Mariani, to Tennessee in 2010.
Montana inside linebacker Caleb McSurdy of Boise, Idaho, was the last player drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in Saturday’s seventh round.
McSurdy said he took a call from Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
“He asked me if I think I can play with a star on my helmet and I said, ‘Absolutely.’” McSurdy told the Missoulian.
Four other former Griz players reached free-agent agreements on Saturday.
Wide receiver and punt returner Jabin Sambrano of Temecula, Calif., has an agreement with the Indianapolis Colts.
“When it was all said and done, I went with the team that wanted me the most,” Sambrano said. “I just feel blessed to have this opportunity.”
Montana offensive lineman Charles Burton of Long Beach, Calif., reached a deal with the San Diego Chargers, offensive lineman Jon Opperud of Portland, Ore., plans to sign with the Seattle Seahawks and kicker Brody McKnight of Vancouver, British Columbia, has a deal with the New York Jets. McKnight also was drafted by the Montreal Alouettes in the 2011 Canadian Football League draft.
Montana State wideout Elvis Akpla has a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles as does ASU receiver Aaron Pflugrad, son of former Montana coach Robin Pflugrad.
MSU coach Rob Ash said Akpla was pretty excited.
“I’m very excited for him that he got signed on the same day as the draft. It really doesn’t matter if you’re drafted or signed on the same day as the draft; it’s all the same really,” Ash told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. “Let’s say it’s the eighth round instead of the seventh round.”
Montana cornerback Donny Lisowski of Seattle was invited to the Seahawks camp.