Shea Patterson saw 12 of his Michigan Wolverines teammates receive NFL opportunities before he did with 10 of them drafted and another two signing as free agents. However, he had to wait over a week before an NFL team gave him a chance, as he would sign with the Kansas City Chiefs over the weekend.
By the middle of last week, Patterson was the only player invited to the NFL Combine that did not land on an NFL roster coming out of the 2020 NFL Draft. In an interview with WTOL’s Jordan Strack, Patterson spoke on the record for the first time since going undrafted.
I talked to former Michigan QB Shea Patterson this morning. It's been a roller coaster of emotions the last week, but he's finally signed a free agent deal with the Kansas City Chiefs.— Jordan Strack (@JordanStrack) May 4, 2020
Full interview is here: pic.twitter.com/9EB6RbahPM
“It’s been tough,” Patterson said. “Not how I thought it would go. I had a talk with my quarterback coach Ben McDaniels before the draft. He kept telling me that it’s not about when it’s where. Whenever you get that opportunity, you’ll be ready. That’s kind of where I’m at. It was a bit of struggle early on. I’m just happy I have the opportunity.
“Not everything goes how it’s expected to go. I didn’t hear my name called and I didn’t have a free-agent deal right after the draft so there was a lot of waiting around and a lot of time on my hands. I just used that as motivation to work harder. I think I’ve worked out more over the last 11 days than I have my entire life. Just try to stay ready.”
Patterson was seen as a late-round prospect — at best — by analysts heading into the draft, but even he admitted that it was surprising to have to wait as long as he did to receive an opportunity.
“I was a little shocked,” he said. “I had a great chance to meet every coach at the Senior Bowl and build relationships at the combine with most of the coaches and GMs. To not hear my name called, it was a little weird. I didn’t know how to react. I’ve been through a lot so if this is the toughest thing I have to go through, I think I’ll be all right.”
The Chiefs are obviously set at quarterback for the forseeable future with Patrick Mahomes, but Patterson now joins a quarterback room that also includes former Wolverine Chad Henne and former Ole Miss teammate Jordan Ta’amu. Patterson is looking forward to the chance to prove himself.
“I don’t think it’s an extra boost of motivation, I’m just blessed to be able to do this,” Patterson said. “It was one of those things, a waiting game for me. The Chiefs finally gave me the opportunity to go show what I got. I’m just ready to go in there and learn from the best quarterback in the league. Great coaching staff, great fanbase, great atmosphere at Arrowhead.
“I’m just ready to enjoy it and work my tail off. I’m going to be a sponge as soon as I get there. I’m going to get into practice and take it all in. Learn every single day.”