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Four Former Hoosiers Sign Free-Agent Deals with NFL Teams

Indiana stars Whop Philyor, Stevie Scott, Harry Crider and Jerome Johnson were quickly scooped up by NFL teams and signed to free-agent contracts not long after the draft ended on Sunday.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Safety Jamar Johnson was the only Indiana football drafted over the weekend, but several others signed undrafted free agent deals once the 2021 NFL Draft ended on Sunday.

Wide receiver Whop Philyor, running back Stevie Scott, center Harry Crider and defensive tackle all signed deals with NFL teams. Here's where they're going:

  • Whop Philyor – Minnesota Vikings
  • Stevie Scott – New Orleans Saints
  • Harry Crider – Philadelphia Eagles
  • Jerome Johnson – Miami Dolphins

Here's what you need to know on all the signings:

Whop Philyor, Minnesota Vikings

Slot receiver Whop Philyor had a great career at Indiana, making 180 career catches for 2,067 yards during his four years in Bloomington.

The Tampa, Fla., native doesn't mind going over the middle and he's got great hands. He's also capable of turning short passes into long-gainers with his quick feet. At Indiana, 2019 was his best season, where he had 70 catches for 1,002 yards.

Kirk Cousins is Minnesota's quarterback and the Vikings were 7-9 a year ago. Veteran Adam Thielen (74 catrches, 925 yards) and rookie Justin Jefferson (88 catches, 1,400 yards) were their top two receivers a year ago, but no other wideout had more than 20 catches. 

Philyor does have some special teams experience, as well. Making the opening day roster might be tough, but he's a sure-fire practice squad candidate at worst where he can improve his route-running skills.

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Stevie Scott, New Orleans Saints

Stevie Scott doesn't have a lot of speed, but he has two traits that teams love. He's great at pass protection and he knows how to find the end zone in short-yardage situations.

The Saints have a star running back in Alvin Kamara, but depth and versatility at that position is always important. He finished his career fourth in program history with 30 rushing touchdowns, fifth with 32 total TDs, seventh with 562 attempts, ninth with 2,543 rushing yards and tied for 10th with nine 100-yard games. 

Scott joined running back Anthony Thompson (1986-89) and quarterback Antwaan Randle El (1998-2001) as the only Hoosiers to score at least 10 rushing touchdowns in three straight seasons. The Saints were 12-4 a year ago, but are moving on now without future Hall of Famer Drew Brees, who retired after the season.

Harry Crider, Philadelphia Eagles

Harry Crider had some unrestricted free agent options after the draft, but he thought the Eagles were the best situation for him, so he jumped quickly on their offer.

“I knew before the draft was even over that if nothing changed, I would end up going there,” Crider told the Columbus Republic. “After the draft was over, I ended up talking to the O-line coach (Jeff Stoutland). Immediately after the draft, I was communicating with my agent (Joe Linta). We had some other opportunities, and we found that was the best fit for us.

“Their O-line coach has shown the best interest in me throughout this whole process. I always knew the Eagles were interested, and when it came down to it, the opportunity was right.”

Crider is a natural center, but he played a lot of guard at Indiana as well, and his versatility will come in handy at the next level. The Eagles are in transition mode this season, moving on from head coach Doug Pederson and quarterback Carson Wentz. 

Jerome Johnson, Miami Dolphins

Former Indiana defensive tackle Jerome Johnson led the Hoosier's stout defense in the middle, and his run-stopping ability is a big reason why the Miami Dolphins snatched him up quickly after the draft. 

Johnson started 29 games for the Hoosiers during his four-year career. The 6-foot-2, 300-pound Bassville, Miss., native had 111 total tackles, 21 tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries and a fumble forced. Johnson was a first-team All-Big Ten selection this year.