Former Virginia Tech football defensive lineman tabbed as UDFA to watch on NFL roster

NC State v Virginia Tech
NC State v Virginia Tech / Ryan Hunt/GettyImages

Most NFL mini camps took place over the weekend and some former Virginia Tech football players earned undrafted free agent contracts after they went undrafted two weeks ago in the 2024 NFL Draft in Detroit.

It was a quiet weekend in terms of former Virginia Tech players hearing their names called in the Draft and it was a little surprising with some of the chatter ahead of it. Pheldarius Payne drew a lot of pre-draft recongization after an impressive Virginia Tech Pro Day in March. He got on some team's radars, but his name was not called.

Shortly after the draft, Payne agreed to an undrafted free agent contract with the Houston Texans, and Pro Football Focus named him as an UDFA to watch on an NFL roster.

Pheldarius Payne named UDFA to watch on Houston Texans roster

Payne, who transferred to Virginia Tech in 2023 helped to solidify the Hokies' defense last season and while he drew a lot of pre-draft hype, he needed to wait until after the draft to find out which team he would get his shot with the NFL, but still doesn't mean he can't make an impact as soon as 2024.

"Payne transferred to Virginia Tech in 2023 and was one of the top undrafted free agents on the market. The defensive lineman earned four 80.0-plus grades in 13 games this season and registered six sacks and 10 tackles for loss for the Hokies. Payne could be a nice complimentary piece on a much-improved Texans defensive line."

Houston coach DeMaco Ryans was impressed with Payne and sounds hopeful that he could make an impact down the line. Ahead of the draft Payne met with the New York Giants and other teams expressed interest in him, but it was the Texans that took a chance on him and now he's got a golden opportunity to make an NFL roster.