Football’s Searight, Mabin Signed as Undrafted Free Agents


Fordham’s Isaiah Searight was one of two Fordham players signed as undrafted free agents on Saturday. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

By Jimmy Sullivan

Two members of Fordham’s football team are making the leap to the National Football League.

Senior tight end Isaiah Searight and senior defensive back Dylan Mabin were both signed shortly after the NFL Draft’s conclusion on Saturday. Mabin was signed by the Oakland Raiders while Searight was picked up by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Searight was a three-time all-Patriot League selection in his time at Fordham. The 6’4”, 250-pound tight end had a career year last season, with nearly 500 receiving yards and four touchdowns on 42 catches. Searight was the team’s second-leading receiver to fellow senior Austin Longi, who hauled in 61 passes for 716 yards.

Searight will head into training camp as part of an organization in transition. Tampa Bay hired a new head coach — former Cardinals head coach and longtime NFL assistant Bruce Arians — and quarterback Jameis Winston is in the final year of his contract. Searight will also have to emerge from a crowd of talented tight ends; primary tight ends O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate combined for 11 touchdowns last season. Nonetheless, Searight’s athletic profile and ability to be a downfield threat — two skills he showcased throughout his Fordham career — could pay dividends as he tries to make the 53-man roster.

Mabin was also drafted for his athleticism, as he ran a 4.40 time in the 40-yard dash at his pro day. Mabin is an athletic corner who, at 6’1” and 190 pounds, also isn’t afraid to get physical. He was named to the Patriot League’s all-defensive first team for the second consecutive season in 2018; he did this in spite of missing two games after suffering a leg injury in the first game of the season against Charlotte.

If Mabin is unable to break through and see playing time in the defensive backfield, his tackling ability and athleticism could help him make the squad as a special teamer. Brian McLaughlin of HERO Sports reported on Saturday that Mabin chose the Raiders as his final destination, which means that he likely had other offers on the table, as well. Mabin will try to impress Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and the rest of the Raiders staff in his attempt to make the final roster for week one.

Ultimately, if you were to choose two players to make it to the NFL off of Fordham’s 2018 roster, these would be the two you would choose. Mabin and Searight were the team’s senior captains this season, and their abilities, combined with their leadership skills, were likely the main reasons for their respective acquisitions.

This is also somewhat of a bookend for a bygone era of Fordham football, as Mabin and Searight were part of the last recruiting class former head coach Joe Moorhead brought to Fordham. Moorhead is now the head coach at Mississippi State University after leaving Fordham to become the offensive coordinator at Penn State after the 2015 season.

As for Mabin and Searight, they will try to join their old teammate, Cardinals running back Chase Edmonds, as Fordham players on NFL rosters. For now, though, they will happily accept their status as undrafted signees.