The 2017 NFL Draft was held from Thursday and through the weekend in Philadelphia, and two former Cowboys were drafted on day three.
Former Cowboy running back Brian Hill was the first Wyoming player taken with the 156th pick in the fifth round by the Atlanta Falcons.
“It’s a dream come true, I can’t believe it,” Hill said in an interview posted by the Falcons. “I saw so many running backs get picked over me, but it was really emotional.”
Hill joins an impressive backfield headed by Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman for a Falcons team who lost to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl in February.
When asked about Hill, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said, “He’s a big, strong back and a fast guy as well. He has the ability to be very aggressive with his running style, but also has the ability to elude.”
The Washington Redskins drafted Chase Roullier with the 199th in the sixth round after he started 40 career games at guard and center for the Pokes.
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. toted Roullier’s versatility during the draft broadcast, saying “He’s a versatile guy who played guard his first two years… His strength I saw was in pass protection.”
In addition to Hill and Roullier being drafted, six other former Cowboys have caught on with NFL teams as undrafted free agents.
Wide receiver Tanner Gentry signed with the Chicago Bears shortly after the draft ended, joining former Pokes Chris Prosinski and Mitch Unrein. The Patriots signed tight end Jacob Hollister and will be joined with his brother Cody, who was a wide receiver at Arkansas.
Linebacker Lucas Wacha signed with the Dallas Cowboys, joining former Poke Mark Nzeocha, who was drafted by Dallas in 2015.
Punter Ethan Wood earned a tryout with the Tennessee Titans shortly after the draft ended. On April 30, wide receiver turned tight end Jake Maulhardt received an invitation to the New Orleans Saints’ rookie mini camp. Linebacker turned safety DJ May also received a mini camp invitation from the Detroit Lions.
The other draft day surprise came from ESPN insider Adam Schefter, saying, “One personnel director told me this week that you could put it in the books that Josh Allen will be the No. 1 overall pick of the NFL draft next year.”
In a 2018 mock draft released after the draft, Fox Sports had Allen going sixth overall to the Redskins, while CBS Sports and Bleacher Report pegged the Wyoming junior going second overall to the San Francisco 49ers.
Defensive end Myles Garrett of Texas A&M was picked No. 1 overall by the Cleveland Browns, who also selected Michigan safety Jabrill Peppers and Miami tight end David Njoku in the first round.
The Chicago Bears selected QB Mitchell Trubisky from North Carolina No. 2 overall, followed by the 49ers taking Stanford defensive end Soloman Thomas third. The Jacksonville Jaguars picked LSU running back Leonard Fournette fourth and the Titans selected Western Michigan wide receiver Corey Davis to round out the top five.
With this being said, we will see if any of the former Pokes will be successful in the NFL over the years to come.