NFL

Wishnowsky Is First Draft Pick To Sign Contract

May 1, 2019, 3:38 PM
(Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)...
(Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
(Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – The NFL Draft was last Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Now is the time where the picks join their new team and prepare for rookie minicamp. It is also a time where they can sign their contracts.

Out of the 254 players that were taken in the draft, the first player to sign his NFL contract was former Utah punter Mitch Wishnowsky, who signed a four-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers.

Wishnowsky was the first local prospect selected on the third day of the draft, going in the fourth round. When the draft ended, seven players from the state of Utah were drafted. The Australian was one of five Utes taken that includes Marquise Blair and Cody Barton to Seattle, Matt Gay to Tampa Bay and Jackson Barton to Indianapolis. Former BYU linebacker Sione Takitaki was selected by the Cleveland Browns and former Utah State running back Darwin Thompson was picked by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Wishnowsky has the perfect setup to begin his NFL career, the 49ers announced on Monday that they have waived punter Justin Vogel, the other punter on the roster. The three-time Ray Guy Award Finalist will have every opportunity to start from day one.

When Wishnowsky got the call from the 49ers, he became emotional.

“I was ecstatic to get the call, unbelievable, it is a dream come true. I cannot remember the last time I was that emotional,” Wishnowsky told KSL Sports.

When general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan held their press conference after the draft, they were immediately asked about taking a punter in the fourth round.

“We really liked him,” Lynch said. “We felt like with all due respect to the other punters, we though Mitch Wishnowsky was a big time prospect. Kyle [Shanahan] and I have studied punters this year more than we ever will and hopefully he is the long term answer. We are talking like a ten-year guy,” he added.

Lynch had plenty of great things to say about Wishnowsky.

“He checks all of the boxes in terms of what you want in a punter,” Lynch said. “He has a huge leg. He is very adept to pinning people back. He also has different styles which is kind of a new thing in punting. We felt like he was a really good prospect at that position,” he stated.

“Everyone knows that he was the best punter in the draft,” Shanahan said. “You always want to take them as late as possible. So, you feel the same way in the fourth that you would love to take them in the seventh, but I promise you that he would have been gone if we tried to take him in the fifth round,” he added.

Wishnowsky will report to the 49ers mincamp on Thursday.

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Wishnowsky Is First Draft Pick To Sign Contract