Selection after selection of the 2017 NFL Draft had passed and all former BYU fullback Algernon Brown could do was wait.
When the 253rd selection was finally announced, his name hadn’t been called and that meant he was joining hundreds of other hopefuls as undrafted free agents.
Would the interest expressed by NFL teams prior to the draft turn into an opportunity?
Brown said he only had to wait seconds to find out.
“It was maybe 30 seconds after (the end of the draft),” he said in a phone interview Saturday afternoon, only minutes after he signed with the Seattle Seahawks. “It’s been crazy. There were a lot of emotions, not knowing what is going to happen. It’s waiting and waiting and waiting, and then in the end it’s a big sigh of relief.”
Former Cougar linebacker/defensive lineman Sae Tautu had to wait a few minutes longer — but not many.
“As we were talking to scouts and teams throughout this period, my spread was all over the place,” Tautu said after signing with the New Orleans Saints. “I had no clue when I would go but I hoped I would get in somewhere. I was waiting for my phone to ring but the draft comes to an end and it hit me that this may not pan out the way I thought it would.”
He said it was about five minutes after the draft that the Saints called.
“It’s not like college football where you have an offer and can put it in your back pocket,” Tautu said. “When a team calls you to be a free agent, they need to know if you can sign because if you can’t, there are other guys they are going to chase. They are trying to work through that list and get the best guy possible, so you definitely have to make that decision quickly.”
Tautu and Brown were two of the six ex-BYU athletes to sign as Cougar linebacker Harvey Langi signed with the New England Patriots and safety Kai Nacua signed with the Cleveland Browns.
“Headed to the #DawgPound,” Nacua tweeted from his @KaiNacua Twitter account. “Blessed and thankful to be apart of Browns organization!”
Defensive back Michael Davis is going to the Los Angeles Chargers on a rookie deal.
The biggest irony might be that quarterback Taysom Hill will be reunited with BYU running back Jamaal Williams in Green Bay. Williams — who was drafted in the fourth round by the Packers — and Hill both chose to return to Provo for their senior seasons in 2016.
While they didn’t sign free agent contracts, wide receiver Nick Kurtz is headed to mini-camp with the Oakland Raiders and offensive lineman Andrew Eide is going to the San Francisco 49ers’ mini-camp.
But no matter where they are going, there is something unfathomable about achieving this success and reaching their pro football dreams.
“I’m still having a hard time soaking it in,” Tautu said. “It doesn’t feel real quite yet. It’s crazy that this time is here. I can’t…