Neumann Goretti’s Leddie Brown, several others with Philadelphia ties sign NFL UDFA deals

Several players with local ties heard their names called this past weekend in the NFL draft, headlined by Penn State wide receiver Jahan Dotson and Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett (a former Temple commit) being selected in last Thursday’s first round.

The local ties did not stop with the culmination of the draft on Saturday night, as a handful of locals have since signed on with NFL teams as undrafted free agents. Here’s a look at seven players, each of whom played high school ball in Philadelphia or South Jersey, who recently signed with NFL teams.

  • Leddie Brown, RB, Los Angeles Chargers: The former Neumann Goretti star, who played his college ball at West Virginia, inked a UDFA deal with the Chargers shortly after the completion of the draft on Saturday. The 5-foot-11, 216-pound back surpassed the 1,000-yard mark in each of his final two seasons in Morgantown, and ran for 13 touchdowns in 2021-22. Brown ranks No. 6 in Mountaineers history with 2,888 career rushing yards. A downhill runner, Brown will hope to catch on as a backup behind Austin Ekeler.

  • Brad Hawkins, S, Atlanta Falcons: A three-year starter for the Wolverines and a captain as a senior, Hawkins played his high school ball at Camden, before spending a prep year at Suffield Academy in Connecticut. Hawkins, whose strengths include coming up into the box and playing the run, finished fifth among Wolverines in total tackles with 60 in 2021-22 and tied for second in solos with 41.

  • Tyreek Maddox-Williams, LB, Los Angeles Chargers: Joining Brown with the Chargers, Maddox-Williams lands in LA after a six-year career at Rutgers. A five-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, Maddox-Williams previously played at Timber Creek, where he led the team to a South Jersey Group IV state title as a senior.

  • Irvin Charles, WR, New York Jets: A four-star recruit out of Paul VI by Rivals and Scout, Charles ’first catch at Penn State was an 80-yard touchdown against Minnesota. After that, Charles was mostly relegated to special teams duty under James Franklin, leading him to transfer to Division II Indiana University of Pennsylvania for his final season. Charles hauled in 39 passes for 792 yards and 12 touchdowns last season for the Crimson Hawks.

  • Markquese Bell, S, Dallas Cowboys: Many thought the former Bridgeton city could sneak into the seventh round, but Bell ultimately went unselected and signed with the Cowboys. Initially signed with the University of Maryland, the 6-foot-3, 205-pound safety starred this past season at Florida A&M, amassing 95 tackles (6.5 for loss), one interception and five forced fumbles for the Rattlers. Bell ran a 4.41 40-yard dash at the NFL draft combine and was a first-team all-conference performer in both seasons he played at FAMU.

  • Jahmir Johnson, OT, Green Bay Packers: The well-traveled Johnson spent time at four schools, starting at Rhode Island and finishing at Texas A&M, with spells at Arizona Western and Tennessee in between. Capable of playing guard or tackle, Johnson, who led Imhotep to an undefeated season and the PIAA Class 3A State Championship in 2015, is lean for a tackle at 300 pounds, but he started 11 games last season for the Aggies and was voted the team’s top offensive newcomer.

  • Isaiah Graham-Mobley, LB, Carolina Panthers: Born in Bryn Mawr, Graham-Mobley starred at Upper Merion in high school, playing linebacker, wide receiver and even some quarterback for the Vikings. He amassed 151 career tackles in 34 games for Temple, including 70 as a redshirt sophomore, before transferring to Boston College for his graduate season. Graham-Mobley racked up 52 tackles in his lone season at Boston College, and he will reunite with former Temple coach Matt Rhule with the Panthers.


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