2024 NFL Draft: Arizona Football alumni Jacob Cowing, Tanner McLachlan get "the call"

NFL Combine
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The 2024 NFL Draft is in the books and rookie minicamps are mostly wrapped up, but that doesn't mean it's too late to re-live the best moments from draft night.

A fan-favorite social media series during the draft is when teams post the moment they send out the "draft call" to an eagerly-awaiting former college star. While the Green Bay Packers haven't posted any of their calls, the San Francisco 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals have.

Let's throw it back to April 26 and 27 to hear the moments when the 49ers called former Arizona wide receiver Jacob Cowing and when the Bengals called former Arizona tight end Tanner McLachlan.

Jacob Cowing: Round 4, pick 135

Cowing was the second receiver taken by the 49ers after they drafted Florida's Ricky Pearsall at the tail end of the first round. The two of them will both play out of the slot, but Cowing is smaller and shiftier while Pearsall is long and lean.

Despite other smaller slot receivers like Virginia's Malik Washington and Texas A&M's Ainias Smith still sitting on the board, the 49ers decided to make Cowing one of the final picks of the fourth round. So, why Cowing over the other two?

"It was your 'thank you' letter that put you over the top, man. You were raised right; that was awesome."

Kyle Shanahan

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan cited a thank-you letter Cowing wrote after a draft workout as an influential factor. It's a given that every player in the NFL draft pool is talented, but high character is not so easy to find. Cowing's letter — and his tape, as Shanahan reassures moments later — put him ahead of the rest of the pack.

Tanner McLachlan: Round 6, pick 194

Like Cowing, McLachlan was the Cincinnati Bengals' second swing at a position of need after drafting former Iowa tight end Erick All in the fourth round. Three more tight ends were taken in the fourth round and Cincinnati made a fifth-round selection before drafting the former Arizona walk-on-turned-star.

McLachlan is poised to be a steal for the Bengals. The NFL graded him as the seventh- or eighth-best tight end in the class and worth a fourth- or fifth-round pick. However, he was the 10th tight end taken and had to wait until the middle of the sixth round. The wait was long for McLachlan, but the relief is evident:

"Thank you so much coach. You will not regret it!"

Tanner McLachlan to Zac Taylor

While Bengals head coach Zac Taylor tells him that the coaching staff is "fired up", McLachlan thanks him in a trembling voice. The road to the NFL that wound through Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada; Cedar City, Utah; and Tucson has finally come to a head in the Cincinnati jungle.

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