The University of Texas didn’t have a player drafted this year, something that came as a pretty big surprise after the team had a player drafted ever year since 1937.
It was a particularly big surprise because they had one of the conference’s top defensive players. Jackson Jeffcoat was the Big 12 defensive player of the year and he was named the Hendricks Award winner as the top collegiate defensive end, but all 32 teams passed on him several times and he wound up signing with the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent.
Jeffcoat says he chose the Seahawks over other offers because of a conversation with Seahawks linebackers coach Ken Norton, who played with Jeffcoat’s father Jim on Cowboys Super Bowl winners and who tried to recruit the younger Jeffcoat to USC when he worked as an assistant to current Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. Jeffcoat said not being drafted left him with a “boulder” on his shoulder and he was convinced that the Seahawks were the best team to take that and turn it into something positive.
“That’s what was enticing about Seattle,” Jeffcoat said, via Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News. “They see that chip you have and poke at it — and keep poking at it to make it grow in a positive way. It becomes motivation to become better than you ever thought you could be.”
The Seahawks parted ways with Chris Clemons this offseason, opening up a spot in their rotation for a pass rusher that Jeffcoat could fill if he impresses the team over the rest of the offseason. If that works out, not getting drafted will have worked out pretty well for Jeffcoat.