The 2013 NFL Draft is officially in the books and the Huskies set a school record: five players were taken over the three-day event in Radio City Music Hall: CB Dwayne Gratz (selected by the Jaguars), LB Sio Moore (Raiders) and CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson (Titans) all went in the third round; LB Trevardo Williams (Texans) went a round later, and TE Ryan Griffin (Texans) heard his name called in Round 6.
But that wasn't it for former UConn players. WR Mike Smith also signed with the Texans as an undrafted free agent. According to the Hartford Courant's Desmond Conner, Smith originally got a call from the Texans late Saturday as the draft was wrapping up.
“[Texans receivers coach Larry Kirksey] called me about the sixth round … and he was telling me they were really interested in me and stuff like that,” Smith told Conner. “They told me they wouldn’t be able to draft me because they didn’t have a seventh round pick but that they wanted to sign me immediately after the draft if I didn’t sign anywhere else or get drafted.
“I’m going to get a great chance to go out there and do what I’ve got to do, impress these coaches. Coach Kirksey likes me so i have to go in there and do what I’ve got to do. It doesn’t matter who is in front of me. I’m going to go in there work. You can’t go in there star-struck like ‘oh man there’s this guy or that guy’ when you’re trying to make a team you can’t have that type of mindset. You have to go out there and eat just like everybody else.”
The Texans headed into the draft with needs at wide receiver. Three days later, the depth chart looks like this: Perennial Pro Bowler Andre Johnson, just-drafted second-rounder DeAndre Hopkins out of Clemson -- and the Nos. 3 and 4 receivers yet to be determined. Which is good news for Smith.
It doesn't hurt that former UConn teammates Williams and Griffin will be in Houston, too.
“I talked to Trevardo after the draft I said," Smith told Conner. "‘Trevardo guess who just signed with the Texans?' When I told him he was like, ‘shut up!’ he couldn’t believe it. I haven’t talked to Griff yet but I’m going to be pretty excited to see him down here, too.”