ASHLAND — Drew Dickinson can’t wait to get to work, but the 2015 Ashland High School graduate isn’t sure when his new job will start.
A four-year starter along the offensive line for the University of Findlay, Dickinson signed as a priority free agent with the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday. He was one of 20 undrafted rookies the organization inked after the NFL Draft concluded.
“I had a feeling I would get picked up somewhere. I knew I was probably going to go undrafted with everything that’s been going on this year, but I had a good feeling I’d get signed,” Dickinson said. “Arizona is a really good fit for me. The scheme they play and their depth chart … a lot of things go into it, but it was a really good fit.”
Unlike players selected in the NFL Draft, rookie free agents can sign with any franchise. Dickinson also drew interest from the Super Bowl-champion Chiefs, Rams and Dolphins.
“It’s always nice to hear your name called (in the draft) but being able to pick where you want to go and what the best fit is for you is a blessing,” Dickinson said. “That way you have a better chance to make the 53-man roster.”
The Cardinals used their third-round pick on Houston tackle Josh Jones. Dickinson was one of four offensive lineman signed as undrafted rookie free agents.
“They’re excited to get me out there and I’m excited to get out there and get working,” Dickinson said. “Hopefully I can make a name for myself in the preseason and continue it throughout the whole year.”
When the preseason will begin is still up in the air. Arizona, like every NFL franchise, is in a holding pattern because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’ve still got to talk to the coaching staff a little more, but right now everything is virtual until everything clears up and we can get out there,” Dickinson said. “We don’t really have a timeframe right now.”
Whenever that time comes, the 6-foot-3, 308-pound Dickson will be ready. He started 46 games at Findlay after redshirting as a true freshman in 2015, seeing time at both tackle spots and left guard. He was a three-time Greater Midwest Athletic Conference selection and a d2football dot com preseason All-American.
In his four years as a starter, Findlay was 31-16 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs in 2017.
“Drew is one of the hardest-working players I’ve had the opportunity to coach”, Findlay coach Rob Keys said. “His 46 consecutive starts speak volumes about his physical and mental toughness. We as a program are so proud of him getting an opportunity in the NFL. We can’t wait to see him play on Sundays.”
The Oilers averaged 484 total yards 39 points a game with Dickinson in the starting lineup. Findlay was 7-4 last fall.
“I loved my time at Findlay,” Dickinson said. “I can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done for me to get me to this point.
“I’m looking forward to this next opportunity and I can’t wait to get started.”