Among the 19 undrafted free agents the Colts signed, there is Erik Swoope, Tight End from the University of Miami. The only thing is that Swoope has never played professional football. He was a four-year basketball player for the Hurricanes at forward, where he averaged 5.0 ppg and 2.7 rpg his senior season. The Colts are hoping he can become their next “Marcus Pollard”, converted college basketball player to tight end star.
As you may recall, Pollard was a two-year basketball player for Bradley University, before being signed as an undrafted free agent in 1995 by the Colts, having never previously played professional football. He finished his career with 349 receptions, 4280 yards, and 40 TD’s in 13 NFL seasons, 10 of which were in Colts’ blue. A pretty good football career for a basketball player, right?
The Colts are hoping Swoope can follow in Pollard’s footsteps and be a quality tight end at the next level. He’ll be a work in progress, but if he demonstrates enough potential, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Colts stash him on their practice squad to start the season. Other successful NFL tight end conversions from ex-collegiate basketball player include future Hall of Famer Antonio Gates (Chargers), All-Pro Jimmy Graham (Saints), Budding Star Julius Thomas (Broncos), and to a lesser degree of conversion, Pro-Bowler Jordan Cameron (Browns). If he’s anything like the aforementioned, Swoope will be a huge success.