Lots Of Interest In Undrafted Tiger

Jonathan Palmer discusses his shot to play in the National Football League.

Decatur, Ga.--Although he wasn't drafted, offensive lineman Jonathan Palmer found out that doesn't have to be a roadblock on what he hopes is a journey to success in pro football.

Palmer found himself a popular man as approximately a dozen National Football League teams wanted him to join their squads after the Auburn senior was not selected in the seven rounds of the NFL draft that ended on Sunday. Palmer decided to take a free agent offer to make the Philadelphia Eagles roster.

"It was disappointing that I wasn't drafted, but I look at it as the draft is only the beginning to a pro career," says the versatile Palmer, who started at tackle last season for the Tigers after previously seeing action at both guard and center.

"The Eagles told me they like me at all of the positions and I will be tried at all of them (center, guard and tackle) in camp," Palmer tells Inside the Auburn Tigers.

A high school teammate of former Tiger star and current NFL player Marcus McNeill, Palmer redshirted in 2002. He played as a backup in 2003 and 2004. He got his first starts the following season and had big games to finish the regular season at center vs. Georgia and Alabama. With the Tigers losing both of their starting tackles after the 2005 season, Palmer moved to right tackle and was the full-time starter there as a senior.

"I have been working out and I am ready to go to camp with the Eagles," says Palmer, who notes that he will report on May 11th.

Palmer notes that he was surprised by how much action his phone got on day two of the draft. "I was kind of shocked when about 10 or 12 teams called me," he says. "You figure with that many teams interested in you, you are going to get drafted it.

"It ended up working out because I had a choice of signing with all of those teams who called me. I picked the Eagles because the coaches there had expressed a great interest in me and I had worked out for them before."

Palmer is part of the winningest senior class in Auburn football history.

The Tigers had five players selected in the NFL draft, including their other starting guard, Ben Grubbs, who was selected in the first round by the Baltimore Ravens.

Palmer says he is eager to show what he can do with his opportunity. "The coaches told me to give my best effort in camp," he says. "That is what they are looking for. They said mental mistakes are something they can correct."


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