The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Anfernee Orji signs with New Orleans Saints as UDFA

After going undrafted in the 2023 NFL Draft, linebacker Anfernee Orji signed a contract with the New Orleans Saints.
Anfernee+Orji+playing+against+Alabama+on+Sept.+24%2C+2022.+%28Vanderbilt+Athletics%29
Vanderbilt Athletics
Anfernee Orji playing against Alabama on Sept. 24, 2022. (Vanderbilt Athletics)

Vanderbilt linebacker Anfernee Orji was not one of the 259 men who heard their names called in the NFL Draft this weekend but signed a contract with the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent a few hours after the draft concluded.

Orji, the 6’1, 230 lbs. linebacker, will look to make the 53-man roster for the Saints. For many undrafted free agents, making the 53-man roster is a long shot. However, NFL scouts feel that Orji displays traits that will lead him to be a core special-teamer. For Orji to better his chance at making the Saints’ final roster, bringing his athleticism and versatility to special teams will be crucial.

Orji had an outstanding 2022 season, which included earning Second Team All-SEC Honors and having 106 total tackles (4th in the SEC). Beyond a stellar senior campaign, the linebacker excelled at the NFL Combine. Orji led all linebackers in the vertical jump, posting a score of 38.5 inches and posted a noteworthy 40-yard dash time of 4.53 seconds.

A three-year starter and captain for the Commodores, Orji was expected by several experts to be a late-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. One of those experts was NFL Media’s Lance Zierlein, who predicted Orji to be a sixth-round pick.

“When the ball is snapped, he’s in attack mode, whether he’s a run blitzer or an urgent linebacker. He makes up for what he lacks in timed speed with aggressive angles and an ability to slip climbing blocks to meet the ball-carrier near the line,” Zierlien said. 

Stay tuned to The Vanderbilt Hustler sports section on Twitter for 2023 NFL Draft news.

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About the Contributor
Andrew Wilf
Andrew Wilf, Former Sports Editor
Andrew Wilf (’24) is Sports Editor for The Vanderbilt Hustler. He is from Livingston, N.J., and is majoring in history and minoring in business. He joined the sports staff his freshman year, previously serving as a Staff Writer, Assistant Sports Editor and Deputy Sports Editor. Beyond writing for The Hustler, he is also the host of Anchor Analysis, Commodore Clash and Live From West End. In his free time, Andrew enjoys watching the NFL and playing golf. He can be reached at [email protected].
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