Six Miners may head to NFL teams sign undrafted free agents

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Six Miners may head to NFL teams sign undrafted free agents

Fullback Winston Dimel signed as an undrafted free agent with the Seattle Seahawks.

Fullback Winston Dimel signed as an undrafted free agent with the Seattle Seahawks.

File Photo

Fullback Winston Dimel signed as an undrafted free agent with the Seattle Seahawks.

File Photo

File Photo

Fullback Winston Dimel signed as an undrafted free agent with the Seattle Seahawks.


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The 2019 NFL draft has come and gone and six Miners have been presented the opportunity to play for an NFL team. Although no player was officially drafted, two players signed as undrafted free agents and four Miners were given NFL rookie camp invitations.

These Miners have all been given an opportunity many college football players dream of. They look to capitalize on this golden opportunity as former Miners have done.

Cornerback Nik Needham has signed a deal to play for the Miami Dolphins.  This comes as no surprise as Needham finished his UTEP career with 212 total and 33 pass breakups. Needham’s 33 career pass breakups are the most all time by a Miner.

Many sports analysts saw Needham being taken in the fourth or sixth round, and although that did not happen, Needham is still going to have his shot in the NFL.

Fullback Winston Dimel, son of UTEP head coach Dana Dimel, also signed as an undrafted free agent for the Seattle Seahawks. Despite missing games in his last season due to injury, Dimel has still proven himself to be NFL-worthy, especially with his impressive accolades from his time at  Kansas State University.

At Kansas State, Dimel was named to the 2017 All-Big 12 second team, and in 2015 and 2016 was named to the All-Big 12 first team.  Dimel ended his college career with 22 rushing touchdowns and three of those coming in as receiving touchdowns.

Tight end David Lucero is one of four Miners who got rookie camp invitations to compete for a shot in the NFL. Lucero was picked up by the Oakland Raiders, and has played the position of tight end for both UTEP and Arizona Western College. Lucero stands at 6 feet 5 inches, which is tall even for NFL standards and makes him an appealing choice along with his  41 career receptions.

Offensive lineman Jerrod Brooks was given a camp invite for the Kansas City Chiefs. Brooks has proven to be a valuable lineman for the Miners, and during the 2016 season, he ran run-blocking schemes that helped Aaron Jones obtain a single-season program record of 1,773 yards and played a total of 37 games for UTEP.

Cornerback Kalon Beverly is another defensive back from UTEP who has got a shot in the NFL. Beverly was invited to training camp for the Buffalo Bills. Beverly racked up 171 tackles and four interceptions during his career for the Miners. The Louisiana native was also a 2017 All-Conference USA honorable mention selection.

Cornerback Kahani Smith will be joining Dimel in Seattle but at the  defensive back position. Smith played with UTEP for two seasons and totaled 127 tackles, two interceptions, and scored two defensive touchdowns for the Miners in 2017.

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