2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Rising from the ashes

Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:00pm
By the National Football Post

It’s powerful to witness the raw emotion that takes hold in the moment a football player transforms from draft prospect into first round selection. Tears, smiles and bear hugs are unleashed upon anyone within striking distance, as what was once a dream has now become a reality.

At the other end of the spectrum lie the players who didn’t hear their names called during the seven-round NFL draft. Their dreams have just been crushed, their respective worlds sent into a tailspin of doubt. The tears, smiles and bear hugs are still present, but the tears are ones of sadness and despair, not joy. The smiles are forced in an effort to exude confidence to those around them, even if none is actually present within. The bear hugs are received instead of given.

Kellen MooreICONJust because he went undrafted this weekend doesn't mean that Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore won't make it in the NFL.

Whether we want to believe it or not, a player’s draft status is something that will stick with him for the duration of his NFL career. Never mind the fact that Matt Leinart is currently a man without a team. Everyone remembers that the former USC standout was a top-ten selection. And forget for a moment about the three Super Bowls that Tom Brady has won, because there are those who still look at the Patriots quarterback and see a guy who didn’t hear his named called until the sixth round.

But amongst the dejection and heartbreak that comes with going undrafted also lies opportunity.

I’d venture to guess that, if given the choice, just about every NFL prospect would opt to be selected during the seventh round instead of going undrafted. That’s the ego and the wallet talking. It may appear to be a better situation that offers a higher probability of catching on in the NFL, but often times that isn’t the case.

Undrafted free agents have a very powerful weapon at their disposal that seventh round picks do not: choice. Once the draft reaches its conclusion, teams begin the process of burning up cell phone minutes in an effort to sign as many quality undrafted players as possible. Several players will hear from multiple teams, giving them the opportunity to sign with the organization that offers the best chance for success.

Seventh round picks do not have this choice. If they don’t catch on with the team that drafted them, they’ll be sent packing and in search of another place to sign. And that could very well mean landing in a city and walking into a competition with an undrafted free agent who choose to sign with the same organization four months prior and is already very familiar with the team’s playbook.

Guess who has the leg up now?

I’ve told this story before, but it bears repeating now that we’re just two days removed from the conclusion of the 2012 NFL draft.

In 2005 I was working as an agent for fellow NFP contributor Jack Bechta at JB Sports in San Diego. One of Bechta’s rookie clients was a talented linebacker out of San Diego State named Heath Farwell.

Heath FarwellAfter going undrafted in 2005, Farwell earned a trip to the Pro Bowl in 2009.

Heath was prepared for the very real possibility that he would go undrafted, but like anyone in his situation, that didn’t stop him from hoping for the best. And after watching fellow Aztec linebackers Matt McCoy (second round) and Kirk Morrison (third round) find new homes early in the draft process, Heath began to think that getting selected was more likely to happen than not.

Making matters worse was the fact that a team in need of a linebacker called us during the sixth round and gave the impression that Heath was their guy. Hopes were raised again, until the team pulled the trigger on a linebacker not named Farwell.

Shortly after that, the draft ended. Heath wasn’t selected and subsequently stormed out of Bechta’s house visibly upset. I felt terrible for the guy and I was just some dumb law student who needed to get home to study for final exams that I was in no way prepared to pass.

Heath returned a short while later to find out that at least four teams had called about signing him, but that didn’t bring any happiness. Heath had gone undrafted. His ego and confidence were shot. His dreams had been crushed.

After a twenty-minute discussion, everyone involved in the process decided that the Minnesota Vikings gave Heath his best chance to succeed in the NFL. The depth chart at the linebacker position was far from imposing and if Heath could make a name for himself on special teams, he stood a very real chance of landing on the Week 1 roster.

Seven years have passes since that day and Heath no longer plays for the Vikings. That’s because after five solid seasons in Minnesota, Farwell signed a free agent contract to play with the Seattle Seahawks. The former San Diego State linebacker—who was devastated after going undrafted in 2005—will enter his seventh NFL season this year and even boasts a resume that includes one trip to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl.

Going undrafted may be a tough pill to swallow, but it’s not the end of the world. In some instances, it’s just the beginning of a career that could far exceed the expectations of simply hearing your name called during the seventh round of the NFL draft.

Hit me up on Twitter: @JoeFortenbaugh

Follow @footballpost on Twitter for the latest news

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

DeMarco MurrayOct 25 08:28p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray worked out with TE Jason Witten before the team's official offseason program, and he credits the veteran tight end with his increased stamina and [ More ]

Ryan ClarkOct 25 06:42p

Washington Redskins DE Chris Baker (thigh), OT Tyler Polumbus (knee), LB Perry Riley (knee) and OT Trent Williams (knee) practiced Saturday, Oct. 25, and are probable for Week 8. [ More ]

Edwin BakerOct 25 06:22p

The New Orleans Saints released TE Tom Crabtree Saturday, Oct. 25. RB Edwin Baker was promoted to the 53-man roster in his place.

Tom CrabtreeOct 25 06:12p

The New Orleans Saints released TE Tom Crabtree Saturday, Oct. 25.

Jerel WorthyOct 25 06:12p

The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed DE Jerel Worthy to the practice squad Saturday, Oct. 25.

LaMarr WoodleyOct 25 05:02p

Oakland Raiders LB LaMarr Woodley (biceps) and FS Usama Young (knee) were placed on Reserve/Injured Saturday, Oct. 25. CB D.J. Hayden (foot) was activated from the Physically Unable to [ More ]

Derrick ColemanOct 25 04:32p

Seattle Seahawks FS Derrick Coleman (foot) was placed on Reserve/Injured Saturday, Oct. 25. The team signed WR Phil Bates to the 53-man roster.

Damian WilliamsOct 25 04:32p

Miami Dolphins DE Dion Jordan was activated to the 53-man roster Saturday, Oct. 25, after serving his suspension. WR Damian Williams was waived to make room for him.

Jack CrawfordOct 25 04:32p

Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter (thigh), FS Jakar Hamilton (personal), OT Jermey Parnell (chest) and DE Anthony Spencer (knee, foot) practiced Saturday, Oct. 25, and are probable for Week [ More ]

Doug FreeOct 25 03:52p

Dallas Cowboys OG Doug Free (foot) could return next week against the Arizona Cardinals. Head coach Jason Garrett said he hopes Free will be able to practice net week.

Ryan TaylorOct 25 03:02p

The Baltimore Ravens waived TE Ryan Taylor and promoted TE Phillip Supernaw from their practice squad to the active roster Saturday, Oct. 25.

Chandler JonesOct 25 02:12p

New England Patriots DE Chandler Jones (hip) could be done for the season with a hip injury he suffered in Week 7. Jones will reportedly miss at least six weeks.

Chris CookOct 25 01:22p

The San Francisco 49ers placed CB Chris Cook (hamstring) and C Daniel Kilgore (leg) on Reserve/Injured and signed S Ray Ventrone to a one-year deal Saturday, Oct. 25.

Gerell RobinsonOct 25 01:12p

The Cleveland Browns activated OL Nick McDonald and waived TE Gerell Robinson Saturday, Oct. 25.

Gerald McCoyOct 25 01:02p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers DT Gerald McCoy has agreed to terms with the team on a seven-year contract extension worth close to $100 million.

Marcus EasleyOct 25 12:42p

Buffalo Bills WR Marcus Easley (knee) will work out before the team's Week 8 game to see if he will be able to play, according to head coach Doug [ More ]

Jason TrusnikOct 25 12:42p

Miami Dolphins LB Jason Trusnik could start at middle linebacker in Week 8 if LB Koa Misi (ankle) is not able to play.

Tavarres KingOct 25 12:22p

The Jacksonville Jaguars signed practice squad CB Peyton Thompson to their active roster Saturday, Oct. 25. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The team also waived WR Tavarres King.

Calais CampbellOct 25 12:22p

Arizona Cardinals DE Calais Campbell (knee) likely will be a game-time decision for Week 8, according to head coach Bruce Arians. Campbell said his knee felt good during practice and hopes to play.

A.J. GreenOct 25 12:12p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) is not expected to play in Week 8, because he has ligament damage under his toe. The team wants to be careful with [ More ]

Shonn GreeneOct 25 12:02p

Tennessee Titans RB Shonn Greene was arrested Friday, Oct. 24, and charged with a handicap parking violation, driving on a revoked/suspended license, reckless driving and resisting stop/halt/frisk.

Sean SpenceOct 25 11:32a

Pittsburgh Steelers LB Ryan Shazier (knee) should be able to play in Week 8, but it is not known if he will start at inside linebacker. Shazier and LB [ More ]

Aqib TalibOct 25 05:22a

Denver Broncos CB Tony Carter has drawn interest on the trade market prior to the Oct. 28 deadline. CBs Aqib Talib and Bradley Roby have taken away some playing [ More ]

Alan BranchOct 25 05:12a

Free-agent DL Alan Branch (Bills) was spotted in the New England Patriots' locker room but still has not signed his contract with the team. An additional report by Mike [ More ]

Jason KelceOct 25 12:42a

Philadelphia Eagles C Jason Kelce (hernia) is listed as questionable for the Week 8 game against the Arizona Cardinals, but he is unlikely to play. He had sports hernia [ More ]

Cullen JenkinsOct 25 12:42a

New York Giants DT Cullen Jenkins (calf) is expected to miss at least a few weeks, so DEs Robert Ayers and Mathias Kiwanuka could be asked to play interior [ More ]

Jon BeasonOct 25 12:42a

New York Giants LB Devon Kennard might see more playing time with LB Jon Beason (toe) injured and possibly sidelined a while.

Emmanuel AchoOct 25 12:32a

Philadelphia Eagles LB Mychal Kendricks (calf) might be able to return for the Week 8 game against the Arizona Cardinals. If not, LBs Emmanuel Acho and Casey Matthews would [ More ]

Luke WillsonOct 24 10:44p

Seattle Seahawks TE Luke Willson (groin) will play in the team's Week 8 game, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Crockett GillmoreOct 24 10:32p

Baltimore Ravens rookie TE Crockett Gillmore will receive the start at tight end in Week 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Ravens appear to have plenty of confidence [ More ]

Golden TateOct 24 10:12p

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate will be facing the league's 29th ranked pass defense in Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons.

Steve JohnsonOct 24 10:08p

San Francisco 49ers WR Stevie Johnson has played only 20 percent of the snaps in the last month, but he's been the team's most effective receiver in that time. [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group