Undrafted rookie P.J. Locke chose the Steelers because he can make the roster
Former Texas safety P.J. Locke didn’t get drafted last month, but he was a good enough player in college that as the third day of the draft was winding down, he got several offers from teams that wanted him to come in as an undrafted free agent. He told them all he wasn’t ready to sign just yet.
What Locke did instead was spend the Sunday after the draft researching NFL rosters to get a feel for which team he thought he had the best chance of making, given their needs on defense and the skill set he brings to the table. And then on Monday, the Steelers called, and they were one of the teams he thought would be a perfect fit.
“I had some offers on the table; I was kind of like weighing my options,” Locke told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I just didn’t want to make a decision real quick. I wanted to see what the best fit was me. And then, come that Monday. . . . As soon as they gave me the offer. I looked into it and I felt like it was the place for me.”
Every undrafted rookie has an uphill battle to make the roster, but some players may actually consider it better to go undrafted than to go in the seventh round, as undrafted rookies get to choose from multiple offers while seventh-round picks have to go to the team that drafts them. Locke thinks he found the best team for him, which might not have been the case if his name had been called on the third day of the draft.