The Ferris State football program has produced some excellent players, and some have gone on to play in the NFL. These players are some of the best athletes that Ferris has to offer, and now they represent the university on the biggest stage.
Zach Sieler was drafted in the 7th round with the 238th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft to the Baltimore Ravens. He played with the Ravens in the 2018-19 season. Over those two years, he played in six games, and he combined for four tackles, two of which were solo tackles. He was then picked up by the Miami Dolphins on Dec. 5, 2019.
He has been with the Dolphins ever since and has continued to improve his stats and playing time. In his three seasons with the Dolphins, he has played in 36 games, recording 18 starts, 118 total tackles, with 53 of those being solo tackles, five pass deflections and one forced fumble.
Sieler’s play has allowed him to stay in the NFL for five years, and he has signed a contract with the Dolphins that goes through the 2023 season.
Tavierre Thomas was signed as an undrafted free agent for the Arizona Cardinals on April 30, 2018, and was waived by the team on Sept. 1. He was picked up by the Cleveland Browns a day after being waived by the Cardinals.
Thomas played with the Browns from 2018 to 2020. In his three seasons with the Browns, he played in 45 games and started in three of them. He has recorded 47 total tackles, with 39 being solo tackles, one sack and one forced fumble.
After the 2020 season, Thomas was picked up by the Houston Texans, where he appeared in 17 games, starting in eight of them. He posted 86 total tackles, 43 of which were solos. He also had two pass deflections, one forced fumble and two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown for 48 yards.
Thomas will be looking to have another good year for the Texans in the 2022-23 season.
Justin Zimmer signed with the Buffalo Bills back in 2016 as an undrafted free agent, and he was waived by them on Aug. 30, 2016. On Dec. 13, 2016, he signed with the New Orleans Saints, and he was then waived again in Sept. 2017.
After being waived, he spent the 2017 season playing in the Canadian Football League for the Montreal Alouettes, where he got a chance to play for the Atlanta Falcons in 2018. He only appeared in one game that season for the Falcons. He also played for the Cleveland Browns in 2019. He appeared in two games and recorded five tackles, two of which were solo tackles.
In 2020, he returned to the Buffalo Bills for a second stint with the team. This lasted until 2021. He appeared in 18 games and recorded 29 total tackles, 12 of which were solo tackles, two sacks and one forced fumble.
When a knee injury ended his season early and placed him on injured reserve, the Bills decided against resigning him. Zimmer is currently a free agent.
Malik Taylor was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he was released after four days. He then signed with the Green Bay Packers and has been with them since 2020.
During his time with the team, he has appeared in 25 games and recorded seven receptions, 80 yards and one touchdown. He also has one rushing attempt for nine yards. This season Taylor could be looking for a lot more opportunities with the Packers after the team lost Devante Adams.
Jared Bernhardt was signed as an undrafted free agent with the Atlanta Falcons in 2022, where he is currently fighting for an active spot on the 53-man roster.
Bernhardt has impressed many as a wide receiver in the Falcon’s preseason. In his first game, Bernhardt made the game-winning touchdown catch against the Detroit Lions, which was his only catch of the game, and he ended with one reception for 21 yards and a touchdown. In his next game against the New York Jets, he had three receptions for 67 yards.
Other notable Ferris alumni who are linked to the NFL are Austin Edwards, Brady Sheldon, Jake Lampman, Dylan Pasquali and Zein Obeid, who was signed as an undrafted free agent for the Detroit Lions before announcing his retirement in early August.
Be sure to keep up with these players and the future Bulldogs who will be joining these names in the NFL.