They did not hear their names called during the NFL Draft that concluded Saturday evening, but four more local players are getting their shot at a career in the league after signing free-agent contracts after the draft.
St. Vincent-St. Mary star and Ohio State linebacker Dante Booker signed with the Arizona Cardinals, Tallmadge and Ohio University tackle Joe Lowery signed with the Chicago Bears, Nordonia and Fordham defensive back Dylan Mabin signed with the Oakland Raiders and Canton McKinley and University of Akron defensive end Jamal Davis II signed with the Houston Texans.
Mabin, 21, graduated from Nordonia High School in 2015 after helping the Knights finish as Division II state runner-up in 2014.
“I am really speechless about this opportunity,” Mabin said Sunday by telephone. “This is a dream come true. As a lot of people do, I have been dreaming about this since I was 7 years old. So the fact that I even get an opportunity to compete with the greatest athletes out there, I am not taking that lightly. I am looking forward to this.”
Mabin, who graduated from Fordham with a political science degree in December, said he will leave for Oakland on Thursday.
“The Raiders were at my pro day in New York, and I had seen them around our practice facility,” Mabin said. “I knew they were kind of interested. Their defensive back coach and scouts have been talking to me and my agent, so we knew there was some attention. During the seventh round, they reached out and said ‘We have an opportunity for you.’ ”
Mabin's older brother, Jordan Mabin, 30, also starred at Nordonia before playing at Northwestern University. Between 2012 and 2015, Jordan Mabin was with the Baltimore Ravens, Browns, Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Rams, but never appeared in an NFL regular-season game.
Booker joins fellow 2014 St. V-M graduate Parris Campbell (Indianapolis Colts second round pick) in getting an NFL opportunity. Booker and Campbell helped St. V-M win Division III state titles in 2012 and 2013.
Lowery was graded as the best run blocker from the Group of Five (Non-Power Five) conferences.
Jamal Davis II is expected to compete for a spot as an outside linebacker with the Texans. Davis is one of four Zips players who was tabbed by an NFL team this weekend — linebacker Ulysees Gilbert III was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the sixth round on Saturday, and cornerback Kyron Brown (New York Jets) and wide receiver Kwadarrius Smith (Tennessee Titans) signed as undrafted free agents.
“Woke up a STEELER … man it feels unreal, but I'm beyond blessed and I'm ready to get to work!!,” Gilbert said in a tweet on Sunday.
Former Kent State nose tackle Kalil Morris signed with the Baltimore Ravens and wide receiver Ashton Dulin of Malone signed with the Colts.
In addition to Campbell, the NFL Draft also included Wooster graduate and Utah free safety Marquise Blair (second round, Seattle Seahawks) and Barberton graduate and University of Charleston defensive end John Cominsky (fourth round, Atlanta Falcons).
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MBeavenABJ.