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

Giovani BernardOct 31 11:12a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, shoulder) is unlikely to play in Week 9.

Trent RichardsonOct 31 10:32a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) is not on the injury report for Week 9, and should be able to play Monday, Nov. 3.

Rashad JenningsOct 31 10:12a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) is aiming to return for the Week 10 game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Ronnie HillmanOct 31 09:12a

Updating previous reports, Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) is expected to have his normal workload in Week 9, despite his limited practice repetitions.

DeAngelo HallOct 31 08:52a

Washington Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall (Achilles') tore his Achilles' again at home and had surgery to repair it Thursday, Oct. 30.

Ron JohnsonOct 30 08:22p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (back), DE Michael Bennett (toe), C Stephen Schilling (knee), CB Tharold Simon (knee), CB Byron Maxwell (calf), LB Malcolm Smith (groin), DT Jordan Hill [ More ]

Patrick WillisOct 30 07:52p

San Francisco 49res CB Tramaine Brock (toe) and LB Patrick Willis (toe) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Jimmie Ward (quadriceps) and CB Chris Culliver (hamstring) practiced in full.

Chris MatthewsOct 30 07:42p

The Seattle Seahawks re-signed WR Chris Matthews and TE Brett Brackett to their practice squad Thursday, Oct. 30.

Scott WellsOct 30 07:42p

St. Louis Rams OG Rodger Saffold (shoulder), CB Janoris Jenkins (knee), DT Aaron Donald (shoulder) and S Cody Davis (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Rodney McLeod [ More ]

Luke JoeckelOct 30 07:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars OT Luke Joeckel (concussion) has recovered nicely from the concussion he suffered in Week 8, and he could play in Week 9 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Joeckel [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 30 07:22p

New Orleans Saints RBs Khiry Robinson (forearm) and Pierre Thomas (shoulder) are both inactive in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers Thursday, Oct. 30.

Arian FosterOct 30 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (knee) was limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Johnathan JosephOct 30 07:12p

Houston Texans LBs Brian Cushing (knee), Brooks Reed (groin) and Jeff Tarpinian (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. RB Alfred Blue (ankle), LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee), CB Johnathan [ More ]

David HawthorneOct 30 07:12p

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB Austin Johnson, LB David Hawthorne, C Jonathan Goodwin, RB Khiry Robinson, WR Nick Toon, RB Pierre Thomas, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 9.

Amini SilatoluOct 30 07:12p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Amini Silatolu, CB Bene Benwikere, OT Byron Bell, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Philly Brown, FS Thomas DeCoud, OG Trai Turner inactive for Week 9.

Justin TuckOct 30 06:42p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), WR Vincent Brown (hamstring), CB Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring), CB Keith McGill (groin), CB Carlos Rogers (knee) and WR Kenbrell Thompkins (non-injury) did not [ More ]

Anthony CollinsOct 30 06:42p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Anthony Collins (foot) and LB Brandon Magee (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. C Evan Dietrich-Smith (knee), WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring) and DE Michael Johnson (hand) were limited.

Brian RobisonOct 30 06:32p

Minnesota Vikings DT Shariff Floyd (ankle, knee), TE Chase Ford (foot), CB Jabari Price (hamstring), CB Josh Robinson (ankle) and DE Brian Robison (glute) were limited in practice Thursday, [ More ]

Louis VasquezOct 30 06:22p

Denver Broncos S Quinton Carter (hamstring) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Lamin Barrow (concussion), TE Virgil Green (calf), LB Steven Johnson (ankle) and OG Louis Vasquez (illness) [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanOct 30 06:22p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) was limited in practice for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 30.

Billy WinnOct 30 06:22p

Cleveland Browns WR Rodney Smith (hamstring) and DE Phil Taylor (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DE Desmond Bryant (wrist), S Jim Leonhard (ankle), LB Barkevious Mingo (shoulder), [ More ]

Jordan CameronOct 30 06:12p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Chris JohnsonOct 30 06:12p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson, who carried the ball just three times for seven yards in Week 8, said he's frustrated with his limited role in the offense. [ More ]

Tom CrabtreeOct 30 06:02p

The New Orleans Saints waived TE Tom Crabtree Thursday, Oct. 30.

Patrick PetersonOct 30 05:42p

Arizona Cardinals S Tony Jefferson (head) and TE Troy Niklas (ankle) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DE Calais Campbell (knee), LB Kenny Demens (knee), S Rashad Johnson [ More ]

Cyrus GrayOct 30 05:22p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Jamell Fleming (hamstring) and LB Josh Martin (hamstring, knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Eric Berry (ankle) and CB Christopher Owens (knee) were [ More ]

Demario DavisOct 30 05:22p

New York Jets CB Darrin Walls (calf, knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OT Oday Aboushi (shoulder), CB Phillip Adams (groin), LB Antwan Barnes (knee), OG Willie Colon [ More ]

Keenan RobinsonOct 30 05:12p

Washington Redskins S Ryan Clark (ankle, shoulder) and OT Trent Williams (knee) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Ryan Kerrigan (wrist), LB Trent Murphy (knee), CB Tracy [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 05:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) practiced in full for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 30.

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 05:02p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) will start against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 9, barring any setbacks this week in practice, according to head coach Jay Gruden. [ More ]

Mike PounceyOct 30 05:02p

Miami Dolphins OG Daryn Colledge (illness, back) LB Chris McCain (foot) and TE Dion Sims (toe) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OG Nate Garner (neck), LB Koa Misi [ More ]

Andre BranchOct 30 04:42p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Will Blackmon (finger), DE Andre Branch (groin), DE Chris Clemons (non-injury), LB Geno Hayes (non-injury) and DT Roy Miller (non-injury) didn't practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB [ 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