Former Utah Utes football cornerback Keith McGill officially became an Oakland Raiders member on Friday, May 30 when he signed a four-year deal with the club. Terms were not immediately disclosed but according to reporter Matthew Piper of The Salt Lake Tribune, the deal is worth an estimated $2.7 million with a $460,000 signing bonus.
McGill was riddled with injuries his senior season at Utah but had a great NFL Combine in Indianapolis to boost his NFL Draft stock. Couple that with extraordinary height at his position (he’s 6-foot-3-inches tall) and solid weight as well at over 210 pounds, and you knew that someone would select him on Draft Day.
The Raiders were that team, selecting McGill with the 116th overall pick in the fourth round of NFL Draft 2014. By doing so, the Raiders got a player who always had pro potential but never quite reached it at Utah because of injuries and a DUI that largely went unnoticed among local media.
McGill was also rumored to be a second or third-round draft pick on early Mock Draft boards, so his descent into the lower rounds of the draft came as a surprise to many. After teams like New Orleans passed on McGill and went for smaller, more agile players like Nebraska CB Stanley-Jean Baptiste in the second round and San Francisco simply passed on McGill to snag other players at different positions, you knew McGill would be in for a long night.
The Raiders, as they have been wont to do throughout their time in the NFL, changed all that on day 2 of the draft. McGill now joins former Ute Trevor Reilly as the only two rookies from Utah who have signed rookie deals.
Several others, including two on the Raiders squad alone--tight end Jake Murphy and fullback Karl Williams--signed free agent deals with Oakland after they went undrafted. But neither Murphy nor Williams signed multi-year deals with the club that included signing bonuses.
So for McGill, Friday was a special day, one of redemption but more to the point, one of vindication--not just for the career he never had but wanted to have in college. As a Utah Utes fan you hope he finally gets his opportunity to prove he can play at the highest levels of the game.