If all you knew about former Miami Hurricanes defensive tackle Gerald Willis was what he did on the field in 2018, you might have thought he should be a first-round draft pick. If you knew the whole story, you weren’t surprised that he went undrafted.
Mel Kiper of ESPN may not have known the whole story of Willis’s college career, because Kiper spent much of the third day of the draft expressing surprise that Willis hadn’t been selected yet.
Now Willis has his NFL team, the Ravens, who signed him as an undrafted free agent on Saturday evening.
Kiper said before the draft that Willis would be off the board by the end of Round 3 “at the latest,” and on Saturday he said repeatedly that he was surprised Willis wasn’t going in Round 4, Round 5, Round 6 or Round 7. Based solely on 2018, it’s easy to see why Kiper felt that way: Willis was chosen as the Hurricanes’ MVP, and he was named on multiple All-American teams.
But NFL teams look at a lot more than that. For starters, they look at the fact that Willis began his career as a five-star recruit at Florida, played for the Gators as a true freshman in 2014, and then got…