None of them heard their names called during the draft, but all of them will have a shot at an NFL career.
Four former Boston College players signed free-agent deals with teams soon after the final round ended on Saturday. Linebacker Nick Clancy signed with the Atlanta Falcons, offensive tackle Emmett Cleary signed with the Indianapolis Colts, tight end Chris Pantale signed with the New York Jets and offensive tackle John Wetzel signed with the Oakland Raiders.
After finishing his first season as a starter with an ACC-high 145 tackles, Clancy was named first-team All-ACC. Once he signed with the Falcons, the Plainfield, Ill., native tweeted:
So psyched to join the Atlanta Falcons!
— Nick Clancy (@nickclancy54) April 28, 2013
Cleary, who was named an offensive cocaptain and started at left tackle for the Eagles in 2012, will join fellow Boston College alumni Gosder Cherilus and Anthony Castonzo in the offensive line corps in Indy.
Pantale, the other offensive cocaptain in 2012, suffered a foot injury early in training camp and as a result had a subpar senior season after being named to the preseason Mackey Award watch list.
When word of his deal with the Jets spread, one former and now future teammate celebrated the news:
After going undrafted himself after the 2011 season and spending time with the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent, punter Ryan Quigley signed a free-agent deal with New York prior to this April’s draft.
And while he had to have been at least somewhat disappointed not to hear his name called as he watched the draft from home in Pittsburgh, Wetzel, like his former teammates, has a chance to fulfill his career ambitions after signing with the Raiders.
“I feel good,” Wetzel said by text Sunday. “Oakland was one of the teams who liked me and called me right after the draft to get a deal done.”
The Raiders made the best offer, and now Wetzel is ready to get back on the field.
“I am just looking forward to getting back into football stuff and making the most of the opportunity,” Wetzel said.
The draft may be over, but the NFL dreams aren’t.
Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.