TCU football failed to have a player selected in the NFL Draft for the first time since 2008, but that doesn’t mean those who were draft-eligible won’t have an opportunity to compete for a spot on an NFL roster. Three TCU players have already signed undrafted-free-agent contracts, while a fourth will have the chance to showcase his skills for two NFL teams.
Offensive tackle Obinna Eze signed with the Detroit Lions, while defensive back T.J. Carter inked a deal with the Los Angeles Rams and safety La’Kendrick Van Zandt signed with the Dallas Cowboys. Long snapper Antonio Ortiz has been invited to participate in rookie minicamp with both the Cowboys and the Chicago Bears.
Surprised Obinna Eze is still on the draft board. Great story and driven to make it. Will be a nice pickup for someone. https://t.co/NyQwuTdWPi— Drew Davison (@drewdavison) April 30, 2022
Eze was the TCU prospect most likely to be drafted, but the standout offensive tackle will now look to earn a roster spot as an undrafted free agent with the Lions, who already deploy former Horned Frog offensive lineman Haalapoulivaati Vaitai. Eze reportedly signed a contract with the Lions that includes a $20,000 signing bonus and $150,000 in base salary.
La’Kendrick Van Zandt would have stacked up well with safeties at the NFL Combine. He had the second-best short shuttle and vertical jump; 13th-fastest 40, per Pro Day numbers. May sneak into late-round mix. #NFLDraft https://t.co/trKDqUdVe6 pic.twitter.com/qIk3mnqlp7— Drew Davison (@drewdavison) April 26, 2022
Van Zandt struggled with injuries, but was highly productive when on the field. The strong safety performed well during TCU’s Pro Day and will now attempt to find a role with the Cowboys, who’ve signed notable Horned Frogs such as Sewo Olonilua and Artayvious Lynn to undrafted-free-agent contracts over the past few years.
Carter played cornerback and safety throughout his college career, which included stops at Memphis and TCU. The versatile defensive back now heads to the Rams, who plucked former Horned Frog running backs coach Ra’Shaad Samples away earlier this offseason. Los Angeles rosters two former TCU players including Joseph Noteboom and Travin Howard.