Most National Football League prospects spend the weekend of the NFL Draft glued to their televisions, anxiously awaiting a phone call from an NFL suitor. Defensive back Kris Boyd found himself throwing a football in his backyard when the Minnesota area code popped up on his phone.
“(When I got the call), I just said, ‘I’m about to get drafted,’” Boyd said in a statement. “I said it so nonchalant that (my friends) were laughing and asking me why I said it like that. I know their stadium is always rockin’, and I’m ready to get there and get to work.”
Boyd was one of two Texas players to hear their name called at the draft, going in the seventh round as the 217th overall pick to the Minnesota Vikings. Defensive end Charles Omenihu was drafted by the Houston Texans with the 161st overall pick in the fifth round.
“I’m just ready to get in, get to work, be a sponge to the veterans and guys who have been there before me and just make my way and be a huge part for what’s coming in Houston,” Omenihu said in a statement.
This year’s draft class makes up the last of Texas’ transition class — the group that came in under former head coach Charlie Strong and now under current head coach Tom Herman — to head to the NFL. In that span, Texas has had just eight players drafted, but each has made the most of the opportunity given.
“I just reached out to the young guys, too, like (defensive back) Kobe Boyce. I texted him and said it doesn’t matter where you go, as long as you get your name called, that’s the goal,” Boyd said. “You want to get in the NFL, and once you get there, it’s still the same game.”
Three of Texas’ five NFL Scouting Combine invitees went undrafted. Wide receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey signed with the New Orleans Saints, while linebacker Gary Johnson inked a deal with the Kansas City Chiefs and defensive lineman Chris Nelson became a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Despite not being invited to the NFL Combine, some of Texas’ Pro Day participants capitalized on what was otherwise their only opportunity to show NFL scouts their potential. Among them were cornerback Davante Davis for the Seattle Seahawks, linebacker Breckyn Hager for the New York Giants, and both tight end Andrew Beck and offensive lineman Calvin Anderson to the New England Patriots.
Offensive lineman Patrick Vahe will be working out for the Baltimore Ravens at a rookie minicamp with a chance at getting an NFL contract.
For Boyd and many other players, the challenge ahead is just a repeat of the process they went through in college but at a different level.
“I feel really prepared,” Boyd said. “I learned a lot at UT, starting with my freshman year all the way to now, and this will be kind of like that all over again. Do your job and be happy and enjoy the moment, because you only get it once.”