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Minnesota Football: Gophers drafted and signed by NFL Teams over the weekend

Following the NFL Draft, several Gophers were signed to UFA contracts

Miami-Ohio v Minnesota Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

Over the weekend there were 3 former Gophers who were drafted in the 2023 NFL Draft. This makes 15 players drafted over the last 6 NFL Drafts under PJ Fleck.

The 6 seasons of the previous coaching staff had a total of 9 players drafted. And Tim Brewster before that had 3 in his 4 years. Glen Mason had 19 players drafted over the course of his 10 years leading the program. Of course there are nuances in those numbers, like who recruited the players and who should be given credit for development, etc. But having 15 players drafted over 6 seasons, especially considering 14 of them have been over the last 4 drafts, is impressive and new territory for Gopher football.

But it wasn’t just the 3 players we highlighted over the weekend who will be pursuing their NFL dreams. There were 6 other Gophers who have signed undrafted free agent contracts, making a total of 9 rookies who will be looking to make an NFL roster this summer.

The Drafted Players

John-Michael Schmitz
Round: 2
Team: NY Giants

JMS is coming to the Giants with a very realistic shot at earning the starting center position in training camp after their top 2 centers from last year’s roster have departed. The Giants seem to be very excited to have a player of Schitz’s character and talent.

Jordan Howden
Round: 4
Team: New Orleans Saints

Perhaps a bit of a surprise that Howden went this early but the Saints wanted the safety. He is expected to play in the slot for New Orleans and has a very good chance of earning a roster spot while providind secondary depth and quality special teams play.

Terell Smith
Round: 5
Team: Chicago Bears

There seems to be some excitement about this value pick for the Bears in the 5th round. Smith, similar to Howden, has a chance to make the team as a key special teams player and provide secondary depth. Maybe he ends up on a practice squad, but I do believe that Smith will be spending next year playing football.


Mohamed Ibrahim
Team: Detroit Lions

Mo has signed with the Lions and this may be a good landing spot for him. Sure, the Lions drafted a running back in the 1st round, but they also traded away D’Andre Swift. This is a room with a lot of running backs but Ibrahim was giving a $100,000 contract and certainly has the ability to make this roster.

Thomas Rush
Team: Tennessee Titans

Apparently Rush was a DE in high demand through this UDA cycle and he earned himself a $175,000 contract. The Titans employ a 3-4 defensive scheme so presumably Rush will play that rush OLB/DE.

Tanner Morgan
Team: Pittsburgh Steelers

Currenlty sitting as #3 on the Steelers depth chart, means Morgan has a good shot at making the team. Most likely his best shot is to make their practice squad and develop, but the only names ahead of him on the depth chart are starter Kenny Picket and Mitch Trubisky.

Mariano Sori-Marin
Team: San Francisco 49ers

The Niners did spend actual draft picks on 2 other linebackers and this room is looking to be rather full. But Sori-Marin will head to the Bay Area hoping to earn his way on to the roster.

Chuck Filiaga
Team: Green Bay Packers

Filiaga will have his shot to earn a roster spot in Green Bay. According to Acme Packing, there are likely 2 open spots along the line that are open for competition this summer. Perhaps Filiaga and surprise and earn one of them.

Matthew Trickett
Team: Atlanta Falcons

Trickett will be brought in to provide competition to Younghoe Koo.

Now we get to watch and see who can make a roster and potentially have an impact on an NFL roster. Best of luck to these elite former Gophers.