Nebraska's Lamar Jackson thought he was going to be selected in the 2020 NFL Draft. When he wasn't he was able to sign as an undrafted free agent, the defensive back made it clear he was disappointed he got passed up.
NFL insider Tom Pelissero announced on Twitter that Jackson had been given a contract shortly after the draft ended on Saturday. The New York Jets will be giving the player a chance to make an opening week roster. While he was quite excited to get the contract, he told the Omaha World-Herald's Evan Bland he was surprised and unhappy he didn't get taken during the three-day event.
Bland tweeted out Jackson told him he went through the full gamut of emotions as he watched each day come to an end without him being drafted. Jackson reportedly told the reporter he was quite surprised and he wasn't the only one.
Jackson came into Thursday believing he could be the first Nebraska player to be taken in the first two rounds of the draft for the first time in years. When Friday came and went, there were several NFL analysts who believed Jackson would be one of the first to go in the fourth or fifth round. It didn't happen.
Nebraska fans also watched most of the sixth round before any Huskers players were selected. The first Cornhusker taken turned out not to be Jackson but Khalil Davis. His brother Carlos was picked just a few players later. Then the draft came to an end.Jackson wasn't the only Nebraska player who thought he was going to get drafted and left looking for a free-agent contract. Darrion Daniels had a very good combine and like Jackson, several NFL analysts believed the big defensive tackle would get picked. While Jackson is not happy he had to go the UDFA route, he's not letting it keep him down. Instead, the defensive back is going to use the situation as a motivator. He told Bland he's "going back to the drawing board" and is going to work harder than ever.
He's using the UDFA situation as a motivator to show all the NFL teams that decided not to take him how wrong they were. He does have some former teammates he can lean on and learn from.
Last season, both Stanley Morgan Jr. and Devine Ozigbo signed UDFA contracts shortly after the 2019 draft was over. Both managed to make and stick on NFL rosters for the entirety of last season. Morgan eventually went on to appear in 11 games and caught three passes for 18 yards last year.