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Colorado’s Montez, Brown and Abrams sign as undrafted free agents

They weren’t drafted, but they have found NFL homes for now.

Reese’s Senior Bowl Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

The Colorado Buffaloes celebrated another successful NFL Draft with three former players taken over the course of the past three day.

Laviska Shenault Jr. was the first off the board, going to the Jacksonville Jaguars with the 42nd overall selection in Round 2. Buffs linebacker Davion Taylor went 103rd overall in the third round to the Philadelphia Eagles. Later on, offensive lineman Arlington Hambright was selected in the seventh round (226th overall) by the Chicago Bears.

Among the CU players not to hear their names called were quarterback Steven Montez and wide receiver Tony Brown. Montez will head to the nation’s capital after signing a priority undrafted free agent deal with the Washington Redskins. Aside from Dwayne Haskins starting, the Skins only have Kyle Allen and an injured Alex Smith on the roster; they didn’t draft any quarterbacks, so there’s a strong chance Montez will be third on the depth chart.

The pivotal leader of the offensive as a three-year starter, Montez threw for 9,492 yards which was second all-time behind his one-time roommate and mentor Sefo Liufau (9,568 yards). During that time the El Paso, Texas native accounted for 61 career touchdowns, the most in CU history. Perhaps a not-so-impressive outing in the Senior Bowl, along with non-contact with scouting due to COVID-19 hurt Montez’s chances to be drafted. A former teammate by the name of Phillip Lindsay went undrafted as well, and he turned out to be pretty good in the league.

Brown has also found a potential home with his namesake, signing a free agent deal with the Cleveland Browns. One person smiling from ear-to-ear has to be Colorado assistant coach Darrin Chiaverini. No only because he sees another one of his great receivers entering the league, but the Browns took Chiaverini twenty-one years ago in the 1999 NFL Draft. Brown, a transfer from Texas Tech, had 114 receptions for 1,409 yards and seven touchdowns in four seasons.

Brown will compete for back-end roster spot. Cleveland has two star receivers in Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, but their depth is spotty at best. They only drafted one receiver, Donovan Peoples-Jones in the sixth round, so Brown will compete with him, Taywan Taylor, Damion Ratley, K’Daral Hodge and J’Mon Moore, none of whom are guaranteed roster spots.

Delrick Abrams Jr. heads south after signing with the Atlanta Falcons. The JUCO transfer from ‘Last Chance U’ Independence Community College came to Colorado as an elite cover corner. Abrams finished with 89 tackles (two for loss), 15 pass break-ups, nine third down stops, four quarterback pressures and one forced fumble while at CU.

Like Montez and Brown, Abrams has a good chance of sticking in Atlanta because they have limited depth at his position. The Falcons have Isaiah Oliver and first round A.J. Terrell penciled in as starter, but beyond them they only have Kendall Sheffield, Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Jordan Miller and Josh Hawkins, of whom only Sheffield is a roster lock.

There is still no news on where other CU players will land including punter Alex Kinney, offensive lineman Tim Lynott, safety Mikial Onu and linebacker Alex Tchangam. In most years all of these players would have signed deals by now, but there may not be rookie camps this summer, so rookie classes may be smaller than ever this draft cycle.

This story is developing.