For former Utah star Britain Covey, the NFL draft was a crazy ride.

Covey, who is the school’s all-time leader in punt return yardage and recorded multiple electrifying returns for touchdowns during his career, signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles on April 30.

But it wasn’t as simple as that. 

Covey described how things went down for him during the draft with Jarom Jordan, host of the “W Nation” podcast.

“It was chaotic. Every free agent kind of has a different experience. Some have to actively pursue teams, others, right after the seventh round. For me, the Eagles called me at the end of the fifth round,” Covey said. “They called my agent. They only had five picks. And it was just chaos from there. They gave me a timetable to basically decide by this point in the sixth round.

“I had to make my decision early in the sixth round, before I got to hear all of the other offers from different teams, and still assuming I wasn’t going to get drafted. It was a fun experience because nobody in my family had any idea of what to do. Most of the time, you’ve got guys you can ask advice in the moment. No one had ever done it in my family, so it was pretty fun.”

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Leading up to the draft, Covey was hoping to land in a favorable spot. 

“I didn’t care about the money as much because it’s all about fit. It’s all about where you line up on the depth chart, how coaches see you,” he said. “Money is a representation sometimes of how much they want you but it’s not everything. I leaned on my agent.”

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One of the teams Covey met with before the draft was the Eagles. He talked to several coaches in the organization, including head coach Nick Sirianni, offensive coordinator Shane Steichen and receivers coach Aaron Moorehead. Former Utes quarterback Brian Johnson is Philly’s quarterbacks coach.

Covey felt good about all of those conversations. 

“I just realized that I really wanted to be there. That was early in the sixth round. I basically told my agent, ‘Any team that calls you that’s wondering if they need to draft me, just tell them I’m going to be a free agent so they don’t feel the need to draft me because I want to go to Philadelphia’ because Philadelphia didn’t have any more picks. But there were still five or six teams in the mix that were possibly going to draft me in the seventh round if they didn’t feel that I would be available in free agency.”

That’s how Covey found a home in Philadelphia. Now, he can’t wait to fly with the Eagles. 

Utah Ute receiver Britain Covey poses after working out in Salt Lake City at the University of Utah’s football facility.
Utah Ute receiver Britain Covey poses after working out in Salt Lake City on April 23, 2019. Covey inked a free agent deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
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