University of Akron offensive lineman Jake Anderson was disappointed when the Browns were the only NFL team that showed up to watch him and a few of his teammates work out during the Zips’ pro day March 8.
Although Anderson wanted more exposure, he can’t complain now. The Browns called him Saturday night about an hour after the conclusion of the NFL Draft and offered him a contract as an undrafted free agent. He agreed to terms with the team.
“I was kind of disappointed at first — not that it was the Browns, but that there was only one team that came to the pro day,” Anderson said Monday morning.
“All the numbers get sent out to every team, but I think it [is better] the more teams that are actually there in person to see you. But I guess it paid off in the end, since the Browns are the ones that had the interest. It’s all good to me now.”
The 6-foot-5, 310-pound Anderson must have made a favorable impression on Sam Summerville, the player personnel assistant who represented the Browns at UA’s pro day. Anderson, a native of Erie, Pa., ran the 40-yard dash in 5.33 seconds, bench-pressed 225 pounds 28 times and had a vertical jump of 32 inches and a broad jump of 8 feet, 6 inches.
Anderson was not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, though he still kept busy during the predraft process.
He spent nearly two months in Hiram, Ga., where he worked out at Doyle Sports Performance with fellow prospects, including Temple running back Bernard Pierce, whom the Baltimore Ravens drafted Friday in the third round. They trained under Paul Doyle, who has coached several track and field Olympians.
Anderson also played in the Casino Del Sol All-Star Game Jan. 16 in Tucson, Ariz.
“That was one of the big keys just to getting my name out there,” Anderson said. “We didn’t have too much success last year at Akron, so I think just highlighting myself and getting out there [was important].”
Anderson started all 36 games at right tackle for the Zips during the past three seasons. He’s confident he would be able to perform well at guard, too, if the Browns asked him to switch positions.
Either way, Anderson is glad all of his hard work has helped him earn a shot with an NFL team. He’ll report to the Browns on May 10, a day before the team’s rookie minicamp begins.
“This is a great opportunity to get in the door,” Anderson said.
“I just want to fight for a position to get on the team. I know it’s not set in stone that I’m on the 53-man roster. There’s a lot more work to be done, but I was a little bit relieved [to find out I’ll get a chance].
“It’s a long process when you start [training] back at the end of the season all the way till now, but [you don’t] know whether you’re even going to get a shot. Now I have my chance, and I want to take full advantage of it.”
Stanford cornerback Johnson Bademosi and Pittsburgh cornerback Antwuan Reed also have agreed to sign with the Browns as undrafted free agents, league sources confirmed.
Northern Iowa linebacker L.J. Fort also agreed with the Browns, his school announced.
Nate Ulrich can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Browns blog at www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NateUlrichABJ and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/browns.abj.