Why Undrafted?: Cody Fajardo

Why Undrafted?: Cody Fajardo, QB, Nevada
By Charlie Campbell, @draftcampbell

Throughout the lead up to the 2015 NFL Draft, there was a lot of talk about the dearth of quarterback prospects. Only three signal-callers were selected in the first three rounds, but there were plenty of quarterback-needy teams that passed on taking a signal-caller altogether. One quarterback who surprisingly went undrafted was Nevada’s Cody Fajardo. The 6-foot-1, 223-pounder had enough arm strength to go with his mobility and athleticism to seem to warrant a draft pick. The senior completed 60 percent of his passes in 2014 for 2,498 yards with 18 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He had a decent week at the East-West Shrine and a solid Combine performance. Despite that, Fajardo fell undrafted.

Sources say the reason they had a late-round grade on Fajardo, but an injury concern had their team remove him from their draft board. Two other teams echoed that sentiment, so there must have been something significant in his medical file to cause teams to drop him into the undrafted pool.

After not being selected, Fajardo signed with the Oakland Raiders. Their long-term starter is set with Derek Carr, but Fajardo could factor into the competition for one of the backup spots. Veteran Christian Ponder looks like the favorite to be Carr’s backup, so that leaves Fajardo battling with Matt McGloin for the third quarterback spot. With a new coaching staff and offense, it seems feasible that Fajardo has a shot at beating out McGloin. McGloin has an edge of some starting experience from 2013, but Fajardo has a better skill set and more upside. Thus, it wouldn’t be surprising if the new staff, with offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, prefers to work on developing Fajardo over McGloin. It is up to Fajardo to play on a par or better than McGloin in training camp and the preseason games in order to win the third quarterback roster spot.

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