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2021 Cougs set to become 2022 Professionals

It was a busy Saturday for football alums

PULLMAN, WA - OCTOBER 9: Washington State captain Jaylen Watson (0) walks out for the coin toss prior to a PAC 12 conference matchup between the Oregon State Beavers and the Washington State Cougars on October 9, 2021, at Martin Stadium in Pullman, WA. Jack Ellis/CougCenter

Good morning. After a 2021 NFL Draft in which there were not any Washington State Cougars football players selected, the 2022 version saw two Cougs go off the board. Abraham Lucas went to the hometown Seattle Seahawks on Friday, and then the Kansas City Chiefs selected cornerback Jaylen Watson in the 7th Round on Saturday, 243rd overall.

While Watson likely learned the news via a phone call from the Chiefs coaches, the diehards who were still tuned in toward the end of the draft got to see some guy in a t-shirt make the announcement to the masses. The link, including Charles Davis’ reaction, is linked here because the dumb NFL won’t allow embeds.

In terms of pay, Lucas will obviously come out with a lot more guaranteed money than Watson. By way of comparison, the 72nd pick in the 2021 NFL Draft was Detroit Lion Alim McNeill. McNeill received a prorated bonus (to be paid out over the four-year life of the contract) of just under $1.1M, in addition to his rookie salary of $660,000. If he is on the active roster for the final three years of his deal, McNeill will make a total of about $5.1M, so Lucas can expect to earn a little more than that. And hopefully he signs a big money second contract because of his outstanding performance in Seattle!

Given the contract terms of last year’s 243rd pick, Arizona Cardinals safety James Wiggins, Watson’s bonus and salary will be much less than Lucas. Wiggins receive $98,296 to sign, but was waived before opening day. He did end up on the Arizona practice squad, and was eventually promoted to the active roster, earning about $620,000 over the course of the year. So in the event that Watson doesn’t make the final roster, there should be space for him to earn a living (at least at first) on the practice squad.

Then there are the undrafted free agents (UDFA). Running back Max Borghi unfortunately took the same path as his one-time backfield mate James Williams, departing school with eligibility remaining, only to not get picked. I think a year in Eric Morris’ offense, along with a lot more preseason hype than he got following an injury/pandemic shortened 2020 could have really helped Max’s prospects for next year, but alas. Borghi quickly signed with the Indianapolis Colts, which he announced on Twitter.

Max will be reunited with fellow Cougar Dez Patmon, where they’ll both get to work with new quarterback Matt Ryan.

In addition to Borghi, Cougar speedster Travell Harris signed with the Cleveland Browns, and safety Daniel Isom will be headed to the Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams. On the former Coug front, Tay Martin, who left WSU before 2020 to try and raise his draft stock with a school that had a plan to play an actual season, signed a UDFA deal with the San Francisco 49ers, and safety Skyler Thomas is headed to the Los Angeles Chargers. As far as I know, all of the above signed UDFA contracts, and not mini camp tryout deals.

That’s an important distinction, because UDFAs get some semblance of a bonus for their time. NFL teams can sign as many UDFAs as they’d like, in order to get the roster up to 90 players. However, the bonus pool for UDFAs isn’t exactly deep.

Teams can spread that bonus money around however they like, which means that highly sought free agents will garner a higher bonus price. If any of the WSU players make the active roster, their rookie salary will be around $700,000. Hopefully they’re all suiting up for either their new team or a different one on opening day, 2022.

Football

Washington State cornerback Jaylen Watson picked by Kansas City in seventh round of NFL Draft; several other Cougs sign UDFA deals | The Spokesman-Review
The Kansas City Chiefs selected Watson in the seventh round with the 243rd overall pick of the draft on Saturday.

2022 NFL Draft: Scouting report on Seahawks third-round pick Abraham Lucas - Field Gulls Lucas is a safe but not sexy pick at 72; he does not possess a particularly high ceiling. However, he will walk in on day one and be a starter for this team.

NFL Draft Grades: Chiefs pick Rutgers running back Isaih Pacheco at 243 - Arrowhead Pride With the 243rd overall pick in the seventh round, the Chiefs took Washington State cornerback Jaylen Watson. We have insta-grades from the three members of the Arrowhead Pride Draft Team: Ron Kopp, Rocky Magaña and Talon Graff.

Baseball

Cougs win! The weekend of quality pitching continued Saturday, as WSU bounced back from a 4-1 Friday defeat to beat USC 4-2. The rubber match is scheduled for noon, and you can watch on the Pac-12 Networks.

Cougar Bats Back Taylor to Even Series with USC - Washington State University Athletics
Washington State starting pitcher Grant Taylor worked seven innings as the Cougars evened the series with a 4-2 win over USC at Bailey-Brayton Field Saturday evening.

This Week in Parenting

Baseball. Baseball. All the (bleeping) baseball. But hey, at least my kids’ teams are better than the Mariners.

I was watching the 10 year-old take batting practice on Wednesday, when his teammates began to talk rather loudly about all the girls who are apparently pursuing him. Here was the following sequence:

He swings and hits a ball, turns and says, “yeah, they all like me” and without missing a beat, turns back and swings at the next pitch. When pressed on the way home about these three young ladies, he swore he could only name one. Yeah, sure.

It was downhill from there, though, as we got yet another email from an authority figure about his act. When he arrived home on Thursday, I asked him a question. “Do you have any idea how many emails I’ve received this year with ‘Carson’s Behavior’ written in the subject line?” I think Mrs. Kendall and I are up to at least five combined. tl;dr he’s been doing a lot of yard work this weekend.

Oh yeah, baseball. Both kids had games scheduled in a town about 75 miles away on Saturday, and of course it was raining. After a delay, the 13 year-old’s first of two games hit the 2-hour mark as Mrs. Kendall and I nearly froze to death, but we pulled out a 14-13 win. Then, magically, we learned that there would be no second game since the first took so long. THINGS ARE LOOKING UP!

Now we had a few hours to kill, so we went to a BrewDog nearby and warmed up in the meantime. Well, we thought we had a while to kill. The 10 year-old’s game was initially scheduled for 4:30 p.m. In the morning, we got a message that said the game was delayed until 5 because of the rain. While at BrewDog, we learned that he was supposed to arrive at 4 to warm up. We realized this after 4. So we jumped into the car and made our way there - arriving just before 4:30 - only to see that everyone was already in the dugout getting ready to start. Turns out that somewhere along the way, the start time was reset to 4:30. Did I mention that NOBODY BOTHERED TO INFORM THE PARENTS??!!

If that weren’t enough, the “2-hour or 7 inning game, whichever comes first” stretched to nearly THREE hours. Did I mention that this was an exhibition? And that the score after 6.5 innings was 18-6 in favor of the home team? Didn’t matter! We played on for reasons that I still haven’t comprehended. It was damn near 9 by the time we rolled into the garage. If it weren’t for that BrewDog respite, I’d have been in a mood.

Thankfully, this Sunday is bereft of formal events, and we are free to waste the day away as we see fit. Halle frickin’ lujah.

Non-Sports

The End of the All-Male, All-White Cockpit - The New York Times
About 95 percent of airline pilots in the U.S. today are male. Nearly as many are white.