Despite not being taken in the 2016 NFL Draft, five U-M players have signed with NFL teams as undrafted free agents. Here’s a list of Wolverines that were signed and where they stand heading into mini-camp.
Joe Kerridge, FB, Washington Redskins
The fullback position has become a dying breed in today’s NFL, but former Wolverine captain Joe Kerridge is joining one of the few teams that still utilizes the position.
Kerridge played in 48 games during his career in Ann Arbor, racking up over 250 total yards and a touchdown. He also had a knack of making big plays on special teams, which just might help him make the Redskins final 53-man roster.
Washington has had Darrel Young, the former Villanova standout, as their primary fullback the last two season. However, Young is now a UFA and has yet to re-sign with the Redskins. This fact alone gives Kerridge a good shot at making the team.
Sione Houma, FB, New Orleans Saints
Another Wolverine fullback has signed a UDFA deal after Sione Houma joined the New Orleans Saints.
Houma, known for his bruising running-style, was used by Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh as a goal line and short yardage specialist. The 6-foot 230 pound back was very productive for his postion with 185 yards on 43 carries and 5 touchdowns in 2015.
It will be interesting to see how the Saints utilize Houma’s talent and whether or not he will find a place on New Orleans’ 53-man roster.
Jarrod Wilson, S, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jarrod Wilson signed a $15,000 dollar deal with the Jaguars following the NFL Draft.
Wilson was a part of one of the best secondaries in college football in 2015. The Wolverines allowed 158.5 passing yards per game, which was good for tops in the Big Ten and No. 3 in the nation. Wilson also received All-Big Ten honorable mention after recording 61 tackles last season.
The 6-foot-2 and 210 pound safety joins a Jacksonville team that was one of the worst in terms of defending the pass last season.
Mario Ojemudia, LB, Baltimore Ravens
After suffering a season-ending Achilles injury in the Wolverines Big Ten opener last season, Mario Ojemudia’s football career is not over aftering signing with the Ravens as undrafted free agent.
Before the injury, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. had the linebacker as a 3rd or 4th round pick. Ojemudia is hoping to prove to Baltimore or perhaps another NFL team that he still has the talent to succeed at the next level.
At 6-foot-3 and 249 pounds, Ojemudia has the build to play either defensive end or linebacker and seems like a good fit for the Ravens 3-4 scheme.
James Ross III, LB, Baltimore Ravens
After Michigan DT Willie Henry was drafted by the Ravens and linebacker Mario Ojemudia was signed as undrafted free agent, it was beginning to look like the Harbaugh to Harbaugh pipeline was in full affect. You can make that three U-M players heading to Baltimore mini-camp after the team offered linebacker James Ross III a tryout deal.
Ross was inconsistent during his time at Ann Arbor, but showcased solid run-stopping and pass coverage skills. The one part of his game that falls short is the fact that he is not a great pass rusher, as evident by his three sacks during his college career.