Six Aztecs signed as UDFAs after the NFL Draft

SDSU's seniors pose together on Senior Night. (Don De Mars/EVT)

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Jesse Matthews runs after the catch. Credit Don De Mars/EVT

With the conclusion of the 2023 NFL Draft, San Diego State saw zero players get their names called in the annual event. This was the first draft since 2016 and just the second time in the last 15 years that no Aztecs were drafted. 

After having four players picked in last year’s draft and no Aztecs selected this year, SDSU was very active in the undrafted free-agent (UDFA) signings. Six Aztecs have been signed as UDFAs, with some more to possibly come. 

WR Jesse Matthews signed with the Houston Texans. Matthews, who finished each of his four years in the top two in Aztec receiving yards, finished his career No. 8 all-time on the SDSU receptions list. He will look to break onto the roster in Houston as a weapon for No. 2 overall pick C.J. Stroud. 

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Jordan Byrd running upfield after a catch during a drill. (Don De Mars/EVT)

RB Jordan Byrd was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Byrd was an Aztec for five years and was a four-time all-Mountain West returner. With a career average of 24.9 yards on kickoff returns (29.5 in 2020), Byrd could make the roster in Pittsburgh as a return specialist. He also caught routes as a WR at SDSU’s Pro Day, trying to show he has the ability to play that role in the NFL as well. 

WR Tyrell Shavers signed with the Buffalo Bills. Shavers, a former four-star recruit, started his college career at Alabama in 2019 and transferred to Mississippi State in 2020. After transferring to SDSU in 2021, he broke onto the scene in 2022, leading the Aztecs in receiving yards with 643. He will look to make the roster as depth as a weapon for Josh Allen. 

DL Keshawn Banks was signed by the Green Bay Packers. Banks had three seasons with double-digit tackles for loss at SDSU and ranks sixth all-time on the SDSU TFL list with 42. DL Jonah Tavai was signed by the Seattle Seahawks. Tavai had 14 TFL in each of the last two seasons and had 10.5 sacks in 2022. He ranks third all-time in sacks at SDSU with 25. Both linemen will hope to crack the roster as depth on the defensive line. 

Alama Uluave (OL) was signed by the Miami Dolphins, making a total of six SDSU players being signed as UDFAs. 

SDSU’s Pro Day on March 17 featured four more Aztecs who were not drafted or signed as UDFAs (as of April 29). WR Braxton Burmeister, DL Justus Tavai, LB Caden McDonald, and LB Seyddrick Lakalaka are all available and could still be signed. 

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