Some people may think that signing undrafted free agents is just another way to fill the roster through training camp. Undrafted free agents are essential to every team in the NFL, and there is a high probability that there are many key contributors in the NFL that did not get their name called on draft day.
The San Francisco 49ers signed several undrafted free agents, but there is one that sticks out the most. The player is Shayne Skov. Skov was a heralded prospect out of Stanford, and was expected to have his name called on draft day.
Skov didn’t have the luxury of getting his name called, but he still received a phone call that will give him an opportunity to make an NFL roster.
The former Butkus Award finalist led the Stanford Cardinal in tackles for three seasons. Skov is a productive player when strapping on the pads, but his workouts at the NFL combine raised concern. Injuries were a concern as well since Skov tore his ACL, MCL and broke his tibia while at Stanford.
Despite not participating in his pro day due to injury, and having a lackluster combine, Skov should have been selected at some point in the NFL draft.
Skov is competing with a crowded group of linebackers, but with the boulder sized chip on his shoulder, I am sure he will find his niche. Skov has the opportunity to play with his former head coach Jim Harbaugh and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, so the feeling of familiarity will make it a smooth transition.
After being doubted in the past after returning from injury, Skov responded by being a Butkus Finalist in his last season. Fighting as an undrafted free agent in the NFL may be new territory, but the result of success looks to be the same.