Waiting for a phone call that wasn't coming probably wasn't how Cierre Wood envisioned his NFL Draft experience. Wood declared for the draft in January, bypassing a fifth year at Notre Dame, after a 2012 season in which his carries were cut by about 100.
"Ultimately it came down to what I felt was the right decision that would most benefit my family," Wood said then.
Wood has a 1-year-old daughter who he hoped to support with an NFL salary. He said after Notre Dame's pro day in late March he heard he had a third-round grade attached to him, but on Saturday, the Oxnard, Calif. native wasn't selected in the final four rounds of the NFL Draft.
He quickly signed as an undrafted free agent with Houston, which also signed former Pittsburgh running back Ray Graham as an undrafted free agent. The Texans, of course, have All-Pro running back Arian Foster as well as Ben Tate, who appeared in 15 of Houston's games last year, on their depth chart.
"I don't care if I go in there fifth or sixth in line, I guarantee I'll make my way up to that first spot the first chance I get," Wood said in March. "That's like that with anything, you're in class, you got homework, you got tests, you gotta do what you gotta do. Sometimes you gotta stay up all night to get that good grade. So I'm gonna do whatever I gotta do to get my spot, or at least get on the field, whether that be special teams -- whatever I gotta do to help the team, that's what I'm gonna do.
"When I get there, I'm gonna show them what I got, show them I can play the game and everything should fall into place."
Wood, though, wasn't expecting to slide so far he wouldn't be one of the 254 players to hear their name called between Thursday and Friday.
"Long day," he tweeted. "Things didn't plan out but god had a plan for me. I'm proud to be apart of the Houston Texans organization."
Lewis-Moore, Slaughter get their shots
While Wood figured he was a lock to be picked, Lewis-Moore said in March it was likely he'd have to catch on with a team as an undrafted free agent. The former Notre Dame defensive tackle tore his ACL in the BCS Championship, and while his thought his recovery was progressing well he wasn't able to take part in workouts at the Scouting Combine and pro day.
Still, Baltimore took a flier on Lewis-Moore, picking him in the sixth round with the 200th selection in the draft.
Safety Jamoris Slaughter, who missed Notre Dame's final 10 games after rupturing his Achilles' Sept. 15 against Michigan State, was picked by Cleveland in the sixth round with the 175th selection.
That Slaughter and Lewis-Moore were selected ahead of the likes of Zeke Motta (7th round to Atlanta), Wood and Braxston Cave (undrafted) wasn't expected. Theo Riddick was picked by Detroit in the sixth round -- on slot ahead of Lewis-Moore -- despite a skillset that wouldn't appear to translate to the NFL as well as that of Wood.
Cave signed as an undrafted free agent with Cleveland, while fellow offensive lineman Mike Golic, Jr. signed with Pittsburgh after not being selected on Saturday.