Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian


Former Bulldogs sign with NFL teams following draft

Jacqueline Carrillo/The Collegian
Former Fresno State linebacker Levelle Bailey speaks at press conference at the Duncan Josephine Theater on Nov. 9, 2023.

Several former Fresno State Bulldogs have found their way onto NFL rosters following the conclusion of the 2024 NFL Draft on Saturday, April 27. Here’s the full list:

Levelle Bailey: Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos added former Bulldog Levelle Bailey to their roster as an undrafted free agent.

Bailey will compete as an off-ball linebacker in a Denver room where he will certainly have his work cut out for him with players like Alex Singleton, and newly signed Cody Barton, who are ahead of him on the depth chart. However, Bailey certainly has the tools to succeed and find a place on the roster this fall.

Bailey had arguably his most productive year during the 2023 season at Fresno State where he tallied 80 tackles, two and a half sacks, two forced fumbles and three interceptions total.

Morice Norris Jr.: Detroit Lions
Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell has cultivated a culture of toughness and accountability in Detroit’s locker room since the moment he arrived three years ago. A Fresno State Bulldog now gets to join that defense.

Morice Norris Jr. recorded 59 total tackles, three and a half sacks, two interceptions and a forced fumble during his final year in college, which earned him a second-team All-Mountain West honor.

Norris Jr. is a versatile player who can likely compete as a safety or a hybrid linebacker at the professional level.

Carlton Johnson: Seattle Seahawks
Carlton Johnson’s 54 total tackles, four interceptions and seven pass breakups during his final year at the collegiate level was bound to get him noticed by an NFL team, but those stats likely weren’t even his biggest draw for scouts in the pre-draft process.

Johnson has absolutely blazing speed, and his 4.28 second 40-yard-dash time has turned some heads.

Johnson is slightly undersized compared to most outside cornerbacks at the pro level, but his speed is a trait that can be used in the right circumstances.

Jaelen Gill: Los Angeles Chargers
The Los Angeles Chargers need all the help they can get at the wide receiver position. After losing wide receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams in the offseason, many fans were certain that the Chargers would target a wide receiver such as Rome Odunze or Malik Nabers with their first round draft pick.

The Chargers instead opted to take offensive tackle Joe Alt and waited to add receivers later in the draft process. Jaelen Gill will be competing with seventh round draft picks Cornelius Johnson and Brenden Rice, son of Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice, to make the Charger’s initial roster this fall.

Gill brought in a team high of six touchdowns on 49 receptions during his 2023 season with Fresno State and certainly earned his opportunity to compete on an NFL roster.

Nick D’Ambra: Denver Broncos
Another Bulldog to end up with the Denver Broncos this offseason is long snapper Nick D’Ambra.

D’Ambra has been offered a mini-camp invite from the Broncos and has not been signed as an undrafted free agent like the rest of the players on this list. That is typical for the long snapper position since this is not a position that teams typically spend a draft pick on.

D’Ambra has scored a tryout with the Broncos after snapping on field goals and punts in all 13 games for the ‘Dogs in 2023, and earning an invitation to the Tropical Bowl, which is an All-Star game for college football seniors.

Johnny Hudson: Pittsburgh Steelers
Defensive lineman Johnny Hudson was the most recent Bulldog to receive an invitation to an NFL rookie mini-camp.
Starting in 12 of 13 games as a senior for the Bulldogs, Hudson totaled 21 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, four quarterback hits and one sack. Pittsburgh has a lethal defensive front with Cameron Heyward, Larry Ogunjobi and five-time pro bowler T.J. Watt. Now they’ve just added a little more competition to the group.

Evan Williams: Green Bay Packers
Former Bulldog safety Evan Williams was drafted in the fourth round of the 2024 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers.

Williams played his final collegiate season at the University of Oregon after spending four years at Fresno State between 2019 and 2022. He will potentially serve as a backup behind star safety Xavier McKinney and 2024 second round pick Javon Bullard from Georgia, but he and Bullard will undoubtedly compete in camp for the second starting safety role.

It is expected that Williams will at the very least be a lock to make the Packers’ 53-man roster as a backup on the depth chart for the 2024 season.

The NFL preseason begins in August, and this is when these former bulldogs will get the best chance at impressing their current NFL teams before rosters are cut down ahead of the 2024 season.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Collegian
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Fresno State Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *