NFL Draft: Vanderbilt's Riley Neal Signs UDFA Deal With Broncos

Greg Arias

The long weekend of the 2020 NFL Draft has come and gone. For 255 players, their dreams of being drafted into professional football became a reality, while many others waited patiently for the call that never happened.

Entering the weekend, former Vanderbilt quarterback Riley Neal was not projected to selected in that number of draftees. Those projections rang true as Neal went uncalled.

However, that's not the end of the story for Neal as he, like two of his former Commodores teammates and thousands more around the country now get their chance to join an NFL franchise and prove their abilities for that team or others in the league.

Neal is heading to Denver to join a Broncos team that is set at the quarterback position where former Missouri Tigers star and former first-round pick Drew Lock is the starter. Neal will compete for a place as the second or third team quarterback, or even a spot on their practice squad based on the number of quarterbacks the team decides to carry on their 53 man roster.

Neal's former head coach at Vanderbilt, Derek Mason, sent congratulations to the quarterback he recruited and coached for one season as a graduate transfer as Neal moves on to the NFL.

There's no way to rate the chance Neal has to make the roster with the Broncos, but that chance rests in the quarterback's hands to produce when given the opportunity.

It was a tough 2019 campaign for Neal and the Commodores, but none of that matters now as Neal along with the other rookie hopefuls from Vanderbilt trade in their black & gold for NFL colors and take their shot at realizing their childhood dreams.

Good luck to all these former Commodores wherever this journey takes them.

Follow Greg on Twitter @GregAriasSports and @SIVanderbilt or Facebook at Vanderbilt Commodores-Maven.