university of washington blog

The shocking aftermath of UW Huskies tailback Chris Polk going undrafted

How did this happen?

A week has gone by and I’m still in shock that Washington Huskies junior running back Chris Polk went undrafted.

This wasn’t a case of Polk having a bad year (he was first team all conference) or that Polk just didn’t meet the NFL size requirements (think Kellen Moore) as he was projected to go anywhere between the second and third round.

Instead Polk witnessed a nightmare scenario in which he wasn’t drafted at all.

Medical reports came out that Polk has arthritis in his shoulder that is only getting worse. Polk has also had three surgeries with the Huskies although has yet to miss a game in the last three seasons.

After missing almost all of his true freshman season Polk flourished while at Washington.

The Dawgs

Polk as a redshirt freshman in 2009 rushed for 1,113 yards with five touchdowns for the Huskies. In 2010 Polk ran for 1,465 yards with nine touchdowns. He was also named Holiday Bowl MVP as the Huskies upset the Nebraska Cornhuskers 19-7.

Chris Polk

Chris Polk in his UW football career ran for 4,049 yards

As a senior Polk ran for 1,488 yards (5.1 YPC) with 12 touchdowns. He also caught 31 passes for 332 yards with four touchdowns.

For his Husky career he finished with 4,049 yards rushing (5.1 YPC) with 26 rushing touchdowns.

He also caught 79 passes for for 683 yards with four touchdowns all in just 40 career games meaning he averaged over 100 yards rushing per game in his career. Polk will leave behind a strong legacy as he and Kaufman are the only backs to ever rush for over 1,000 yards three straight seasons.

Polk was a first-team all freshman selection and honorable mention all Pac-10 in 2009, second team all Pac-10 in 2010 and the first Husky offensive player to be on the first team all Pac-12 team since Reggie Williams in 2003 when he was selected in 2011.

The Eagles

Polk is now going to a good situation with the Philadelphia Eagles who actually liked him in the combine.

Polk will have a short NFL career but he’ll make up for it in short time with his impact. Remember former Oregon Duck LeGarrette Blount went undrafted then signed with the Tampa Bay Bucanneers.

As an undrafted rookie Blount ran for 1,007 yards (5.0 YPC) with six touchdowns. He followed that up with 781 yards rushing (4.2 YPC) with five touchdowns. Not bad for an undrafted rookie.

Chris Polk

Chris Polk the next short yardage workhorse for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Arian Foster also went undrafted and after not playing much his first year has made the pro bowl the last two years.

His second year in the league the former undrafted running back ran for a league leading 1,616 yards with a league leading 16 touchdowns. He also had 66 receptions for 604 yards with two touchdowns.

He followed that up with 1,224 yards with 10 touchdowns and another 53 receptions for 617 yards with two touchdowns.

I’m not suggesting that Chris Polk will have quite the impact that those two have had. I do think Polk despite being undrafted will make the Eagles roster and will be a nice backup to LeSean McCoy.

Remember the Eagles pass a lot and Polk is a good pass blocker. He also features great hands and all his touchdown receptions this past year he was lined up as a wide receiver running a seam route or a fade route.

Polk can also provide a short yardage situation for the Eagles as well. Polk who is already a legend for the Huskies and a great player has another thing going for him.

Typically when talented players such as Polk have a huge chip on their shoulder they make everyone realize the mistake that team made by passing him up.

I’m shocked that Polk went undrafted just like I was last year when Isaiah Thomas was picked with the very last pick in the 2011 NBA draft.

Like Thomas who took advantage of his time once he made the NBA I expect Polk to do the same and make Washington fans proud like he has the last three years.

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