The 2023 NFL Draft concluded with eight Horned Frogs selected, the fourth most nationally and matching the most ever selected in a single draft in TCU history. As soon as the final selection of the draft was announced, NFL teams began reaching out to more TCU players for opportunities to earn a roster spot as an undrafted free agent. Three TCU standouts have signed UDFA deals and will be headed to NFL mini camps in May.
Offensive Lineman Alan Ali - Minnesota Vikings
Joining the Horned Frogs for a single season after five years in Dallas with the SMU Mustangs, Ali was an instant impact day-one starter anchoring the TCU offensive line, starting all 15 games at Center during the Frogs’ run to the CFP National Championship. He earned First Team All-Big 12 honors and was an honorable mention for Big 12 Newcomer of the Year. Minnesota has 2019 first round pick Garett Bradbury holding down the starting spot at Center and just signed a 3-year contract extension in March. Behind Bradbury the only Center on the Vikings roster is Josh Sokol who was added as a UDFA last season and did not see any regular season action.
Watch TCU C Alan Ali put BAY DT Ika on the ground while keeping his head on a swivel. Future pro pic.twitter.com/ECfuQn0DGN— Chad Reuter (@chad_reuter) November 19, 2022
Running Back Emari Dermercado - Arizona Cardinals
The three-time First Team Academic All-Big 12 RB spent five seasons with TCU after joining the Frogs from Juco Saddleback College, accumulating over 1,600 yards and 10 TDs for the Frogs. He had a career game in the Fiesta Bowl CFP Semifinal, filling in as the lead RB when Kendre Miller was injured, rushing for 150 yards and a TD. The Cardinals have a deep running back room, but not insurmountable: James Conner, Keaontay Ingram, Corey Clement, and Ty’Son Williams
Many college backs struggle in pass protection. Emari Demercado is not one of them. When he has a clear pass pro assignment, he brings it! Check out these clips of him up ending defenders. pic.twitter.com/JbEaLPn0Vx— BOLTS Draft Talk (@BoltsDraftTalk) March 21, 2023
Emari Demercado has never been the feature back at TCU but has always been a contributor. He has a good combo of speed & power, routinely running through arm tackles & accelerates. Check out this run! pic.twitter.com/E6g7kKDhUm— BOLTS Draft Talk (@BoltsDraftTalk) March 21, 2023
Wide Receiver Taye Barber - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The four-time All-Big 12 honorable mention had over 2,100 receiving yards and 11 TDs across 59 games in his five seasons with the Horned Frogs. He enjoyed a career year in 2022, including 100+ yard games in three games and key TDs in the Big 12 Championship and Fiesta Bowl CFP Semifinal. The Bucs have a clear top line on the WR depth chart with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Russell Gage, but beyond that it’s just 2022 UDFAs Deven Thompkins and Ft. Worth Paschal HS grad Kaylon Geiger, plus 6th round draft pick Trey Palmer.
TAYE BARBER #Big12FB x @TCUFootball— Big 12 Conference (@Big12Conference) October 8, 2022
WHAT A PLAY! TOUCHDOWN FROGS!— Big 12 Conference (@Big12Conference) December 31, 2022
@ESPNCFB #Big12FB x @TCUFootball pic.twitter.com/UMp8FkyBj9
It was also reported that two additional Horned Frogs would get a chance to participate in rookie mini camps with the opportunity to impress and earn a free agent signing to continue through the offseason program: WR Gunnar Henderson invited to the New Orleans Saints rookie camp and DL Lwal Uguak invited to the New York Giants rookie camp.
Congratulations to all of the Horned Frogs making the next step into professional football!