Gabe Marks has signed with the New York Jets following a college career with the Washington State Cougars. Though Marks didn’t get selected in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Jets came calling immediately after the final selection had been made. A report by Seattle Times writer Stefanie Loh confirms that Marks has signed as an undrafted free agent and is now a member of the New York Jets.
During his time at WSU, Marks played in 50 games for the Cougars. Marks caught 316 passes for 3,453 yards and 37 touchdowns in that time. His best season was in 2015 when Marks caught 104 passes for 1,192 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also led the Pac-12 in receptions during the 2015 season and set the all-time conference record with 316 receptions during his WSU years.
Once coming out of college, a player is on the draft board for any team to select them. All 32 teams passed on Gabe Marks during the 2017 NFL Draft, but it then allowed him the opportunity to choose the right fit as a free agent. Now that Marks has agreed to a contract with the New York Jets, he will report to training camps this spring and summer to try to make the final 53-man roster.
Congrats, Jets fans, on signing Gabe Marks https://t.co/q77EVg5DpO
— CougCenter (@CougCenter) April 30, 2017
Gabe Marks isn’t the only player from the Washington State Cougars who is joining an NFL team for the 2017 season. Strong safety Shalom Luani was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the seventh round. Luani was the No. 221 overall selection after getting honored as a first team All-Pac-12 member of the secondary. Luani will be in camp with the Raiders this spring and summer, working hard to get a spot on the final regular season roster.
Luani played two seasons for the Washington State Cougars, appearing in 25 games at safety for the team. He finished with 157 total tackles, 11 1/2 tackles for loss, two sacks, eight interceptions, 11 pass deflections, three fumble recoveries, and one forced fumble. Luani also had a defensive touchdown during his junior season at WSU, coming up big time-and-time again for the Cougars.
Nose Tackle Robert Barker was also signed as an undrafted free agent by the Carolina Panthers. A report by Barry Bolton confirmed the signing late Saturday evening (April 29). Last season with the Washington State Cougars, Barker played in nine games, posting two sacks, a fumble recovery, and a blocked field goal.
Receiver River Cracraft and center Riley Sorenson are two additional players who could get calls from NFL teams before the offseason comes to a close. Neither player was projected to get selected during the 2017 NFL Draft, but Cracraft is working hard to come back from an injury and Sorenson has the size that a team would want on the offensive line. Any team needing to add size might give Sorenson a call in the next few weeks.
Cracraft played four seasons for the WSU Cougars and put up amazing numbers before he got hurt in 2016. He finished his time at WSU with 218 catches for 2,701 yards and 20 touchdowns. Cracraft also played in two bowl games for the team during those years.
— WSU Cougar Football (@wsucougfb) April 29, 2017
As an undrafted free agent, players have a lot to prove once they get signed and report to an NFL team. There were a lot of rumors about why Marks went undrafted, including that there were a lot of receivers still left on the draft board late Saturday. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Seattle Seahawks passed on him late in the 2017 NFL Draft to select East Central receiver, David Moore. Now Gabe Marks has some bulletin board material to work with when he officially reports to the New York Jets and begins his NFL career.
[Featured Image by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images]