EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – With the 2023 NFL Draft scheduled to begin on Thursday, draft hopefuls from around the country are hoping to hear their names called at some point this weekend.
Those hopefuls include former stars at both UTEP and New Mexico State. While it may be unlikely that anyone from the Aggies and Miners hear their names called in any of the draft’s seven rounds, they’re all staying ready for what happens next.
Many players that go undrafted get looks as undrafted free agents in NFL training camps, including former UTEP standout Nik Needham, who has put together a great NFL career since going undrafted in 2019.
For UTEP, the Miners hopefuls include Rey Flores, Ronald Awatt, Jadrian Taylor, Gavin Baechle and Walter Dawn. According to reports, Flores has heard from the Cardinals, 49ers, Raiders, Eagles and Vikings, while Awatt has fielded interest from the Texans and 49ers.
At New Mexico State, Trevor Brohard, Bryce Jackson and Chris Ojoh likely stand the best chance of getting some kind of opportunity as an undrafted free agent.
All any of them want is a chance to show teams what they can do at the next level.
“If I’m able to go to the next level, I’ll have to compete for a spot. I’ve been used to it my whole life, so it’s the same mindset I had coming here, that I’m going to be the guy to beat and I’m going to outwork everyone,” said Baechle.
Baechle may have the best opportunity of any of the players hoping for a shot at the NFL. The former UTEP kicker was speaking with coaches from the Rams at UTEP’s Pro Day last month.
The 2023 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday, April 27 in Kansas City with the first round. It continues Friday with rounds two and three and wraps up on Saturday with rounds 4-7.