Former Yellow Jacket Ayinde Eley signs with Panthers as undrafted rookie

Credit: Miguel Martinez

Credit: Miguel Martinez

Ex-Georgia Tech linebacker gets shot after rookie minicamp tryout

Former Georgia Tech linebacker Ayinde Eley has earned his shot at making an NFL roster the hard way. After not getting taken in the NFL draft or signed as an undrafted free agent, Eley was invited to the Carolina Panthers’ rookie minicamp on a tryout basis.

The Yellow Jackets’ leading tackler from last season made the most of it, impressing the Panthers enough for them to add him to their offseason roster. Eley, an All-ACC selection, signed Tuesday after Carolina’s minicamp concluded Saturday as the Panthers made room for him by releasing one of their undrafted free agents.

Eley’s signing makes it five former Jackets who have signed undrafted free-agent contracts after this year’s draft, joining Charlie Thomas (Cleveland Browns), Hassan Hall (Browns), E.J. Jenkins (New York Jets) and Malachi Carter (Cincinnati Bengals). Carter also was not signed on draft weekend, but went to the New York Giants rookie camp and then signed with the Bengals. Defensive end Keion White was drafted in the second round by the New England Patriots.