The 2015 NFL Draft came and went without a single Commodore picked, but hat doesn't mean that Vanderbilt won't have any rookies playing football on Sundays this fall. Word slowly began to trickle in that three of Vandy's five draft prospects had earned camp invitations that would keep their pro football dreams alive this summer. They'll face an uphill battle to earn playing time, but a look at players like Wes Welker, Kurt Warner, and Antonio Gates shows that they can rise above their draft day snubs to earn respect at the next level.
Andrew East, Vandy's long snapper and a member of the All-State Good Works team, is headed to Kansas City. Apparently, he's bringing his gold medalist girlfriend with him:
Defensive tackle Vince Taylor, a player that Yahoo rated out as a potential fifth-to-six round pick, got a camp invite with the Oakland Raiders.
@VandyFootball defensive lineman Vince Taylor has accepted an invitation to Oakland Raiders mini-camp— Adam Sparks (@AdamSparks) May 3, 2015
However, he wound up signing with the New England Patriots instead.
Patriots Add Vanderbilt Defensive Tackle Vince Taylor As Undrafted Free Agent: http://t.co/cE4pWUCGYv— Doug Kyed (@DougKyedNESN) May 4, 2015
His D-Line teammate Barron Dixon may have benefited from Taylor's change of heart. He latched on with the Raiders on Monday.
There's no word yet on whether Joe Townsend or Kyle Woestmann have latched on as undrafted free agents as of Tuesday morning. According to Jim Wyatt, Woestmann and Townsend both met with the Titans before the draft, suggesting that there has been some interest in the former Vandy standouts.
If any of these players wind up on an NFL roster this fall, they'll be in good company. Last season, Jonathan Krause and Kenny Ladler both went undrafted but worked their way onto pro rosters for 2014. Ladler worked his way onto the Buffalo Bills' active roster early in the year before going on injured reserve with an arm injury. Krause stuck with the Patriots' practice squad and eventually won a Super Bowl ring for his work sharpening New England's defensive backs.
We'll have updates on Vanderbilt's other senior football veterans as they develop.