Weslye Saunders: From Top Tight End To Undrafted
In early February 2011, former South Carolina Gamecocks tight end Weslye Saunders (who I have referred to as “Woeful Wes”) was told that he was ruled ineligible for the 2011 NFL Draft. At one point in time, Saunders was recognized as one of the best tight ends in the country and was projected as a 1st or 2nd round pick.
But then Saunders was suspended and removed from the South Carolina football team for violating team rules, receiving improper benefits including heavily discounted rates at a South Carolina hotel, and making improper contact with an agent.
However, Saunders got lucky. A short while after he was told that he was ineligible for the 2011 NFL Draft, the NFL changed its mind and granted Saunders eligibility (even though he failed to file paperwork necessary for all football players who sit out their senior seasons yet want to retain draft eligibility). With an invite to the NFL Scouting Combine, perhaps Saunders would be able to turn things around and once again establish himself as one of the best tight ends in the draft. Would teams ignore his trouble at South Carolina?
The 2011 NFL Draft has come and gone, and Weslye Saunders never heard his name called in any of the seven rounds. His agent, Butch Williams, cannot be pleased. He likely had to pay the bill for Saunders to train at the expensive Athletes Performance in McKinney, Texas.
Saunders should be signed as a free agent once the NFL Lockout is lifted, but in the meantime, he is at home contemplating about how he went from being a Day 1/Early Day 2 pick to completely undrafted.