It’s not secret that Devonte Fields’ senior year at UofL didn’t go exactly as expected. The former Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year had a strong finish in his first season with the Cards leading the nation in tackles for a loss with 22.5 and had a team-leading 11 sacks. The Texas native really came on at the end of the year with nine sacks in his final four games.
Fields’ draft stock appeared to be in good shape heading into the 2016 NFL Draft, but he decided to return to Louisville for this senior year. Looking back, that may be a decision that Fields regrets. Although he didn’t have a bad year, his production dropped quite a bit. Fields finished with nine tackles for loss and six sacks.
Needless to say, Fields draft stock wasn’t where we thought it would be when the NFL Draft rolled around. That said, he was still expected to be taken anywhere between the fifth and seventh round. Surprisingly, not only did Fields not hear his name called in the seven round draft, but he also never signed with a team as undrafted free agent.
Those who don’t follow the NFL closely may not know this, but you don’t need a college football resume filled with notable accolades to earn an invite to a rookie mini camp. However, all 32 NFL teams decided to pass on Devonte Fields.
At this point, the best guess is that Fields’ history has led to him not getting a chance in the NFL. Prior to joining the UofL program, Fields was accused of punching a woman in the face in July 2014. The case was dismissed on July 2, 2015. He agreed to attend an anger management class. Fields did everything right once he got to Louisville and didn’t get into any off the field trouble. It’s hard to believe the incident from 2014 could keep Fields from getting an invite to a rookie mini-camp, considering players with extremely questionable character were taken in the first two rounds.
Mac Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tried to talk to Fields about his current situation, but he declined.
Here’s to hoping Fields gets a chance to prove NFL teams they made a mistake…
Nick Coffey is the creator and lead publisher for TheCardinalConnect.com. Along with covering Louisville basketball, football and recruiting, Nick also hosts The Red Zone weekdays from noon – 3:00 PM on Cards Radio 790 KRD.