NFL Rookies Who Will Struggle to Make Final Rosters
Someone has to be the "hater," so allow me the honor of selecting 10 rookies who will struggle to make an NFL roster in 2013.
This doesn't mean that their careers are over. Practice squads and injuries will give them a chance to find new life in the league.
However, the odds are against most rookies finding a place in their chosen profession. It's a numbers game.
There are only 1,696 spots available, and roughly 250 rookies are drafted each year. Take away spots for stalwarts who stick around for more than seven years (just about how many years it would take for a complete turnover if every rookie made it), and the odds shrink considerably.
Best of luck, gentlemen. You're going to need it.
Denver Broncos QB Zac Dysert
The Denver Broncos made a great value pick when they selected quarterback Zac Dysert in the seventh round. There's a lot to like.
He's built like an NFL quarterback and has the arm to put the ball where it needs to be.
However, the Broncos have a starting quarterback, and Brock Osweiler isn't going to lose his job to the rookie. Osweiler has the same (if not better) physical traits as Dysert and a year of tutelage under Peyton Manning and professional coaches.
Some NFL teams carry three quarterbacks, but the en vogue move is to carry two. Remember, despite the neck surgeries, Manning played every game last year and didn't miss a start in 227 straight games.
Dysert will need a great preseason to earn a roster spot for a team in the middle of a ring quest.
Oakland Raiders WR Sam McGuffie
I'm sure this isn't the way Sam McGuffie envisioned his future.
The former high school video phenom was going to be the next big thing at Michigan, and after his studly performance against Notre Dame (178 total yards), he was.
However, concussions started to take their toll, and he presumably missed his family. He ended his college career at Rice University and ultimately landed with the Oakland Raiders as a wide receiver.
Last year, Rod Streater proved that the Raiders are certainly willing to give their UDFAs a fair shake. But it's going to be a long road for the once-destined star considering he'll be fighting my personal favorite (Conner Vernon) for a spot that might not even exist.
Cleveland Browns OG Garrett Gilkey
Let's get this out of the way: I love this pick from a developmental standpoint.
Garrett Gilkey played tackle at Chadron State but lacks the size and athleticism to stay outside in the NFL. He'll move inside, as his nasty streak will be better conditioned to the smaller spaces.
However, he's going to need time to adjust to a new position, and the Browns have a solid offensive line as it is.
Can he make the roster? Yes, but he'd be better suited to the practice squad where he can develop.
San Francisco 49ers QB B.J. Daniels
Let's get this out of the way, again: I didn't like this pick at first.
But after reading Dylan DeSimone's piece, I get it. At least, I understand why the San Francisco 49ers would take the chance, especially since they had so many draft picks.
Yet it's hard to envision a scenario where he sticks to the roster. He's small, isn't much of a passer and currently sits behind Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien on the depth chart.
Detroit Lions WR Corey Fuller
Out of every player featured here, Corey Fuller has the best chance to stick on the roster. He's exactly what the Detroit Lions needed entering the draft: a big, speedy receiver capable of stretching the field.
However, that doesn't make him a sure thing to be there when the season starts. He needs a lot of work to become a professional, and that lack of experience could hold him back just enough.
The other guys in front of him aren't so special as to make it impossible, but Kris Dunham (Matthew Stafford's college buddy) and Devin Thomas are somewhat proven.
As a Lions fan, I hope Fuller is everything Martin Mayhew wants him to be. Yet, the sports analyst in me knows that it's far from certain.
New York Jets DT/OG William Campbell
William Campbell is a physical beast. What else do you label a 6'5", 305-pound man?
Well, that's exactly the problem. Nobody knows what to label him in the NFL, or, more importantly, what position he'll play.
Campbell played defensive tackle for Michigan but was underwhelming. Now, the New York Jets will be moving him to guard.
There isn't much room on a 53-man roster for a guy learning to play another position, much less one playing on the opposite side of the ball. Still, it'll be fun to see how well Campbell takes to the position over the next few years.
San Francisco 49ers DB Nick Moody
Nobody would say that the San Francisco 49ers are hurting for linebackers. Their starters are the league's best, and the second line was heavily bolstered by the additions of Tank Carradine and Corey Lemonier.
That leaves sixth-round pick Nick Moody on the outside looking in.
With the type of offense that the Niners run, they are a likely candidate to carry three quarterbacks on the roster. That's one less spot that can be used for special teamers. And, at this point, that's the only way Moody would make the roster.
San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore
If you aren't rooting for Marcus Lattimore, you have no heart. And that includes anyone from Clemson.
So don't take this pick as a knock on Lattimore's desire or talent. It's more about the reality of the situation.
The San Francisco 49ers took Lattimore to be a long-term asset. He'll be given the year off to get healthy after the most devastating knee injury any of us has witnessed.
Here's betting this is the last time Lattimore is ever included on a list like this.
Minnesota Vikings OG Jeff Baca
I might have lied when I said Corey Fuller had the best shot at making the active roster, because Jeff Baca certainly has a good chance.
The versatile offensive lineman from UCLA will make the Minnesota Vikings happy they spent a sixth rounder on him some day. But I'm not convinced it'll happen in his first year.
At best, he's starting off as a third-string guard who will need to improve before he becomes the valuable commodity that his potential suggests. In other words, he'll have to take a significant leap to be included in the Vikings' top 53 players.
Seattle Seahawks RB Spencer Ware
Pete Carroll loves competition. Whether it is on Sundays featuring his Seattle Seahawks and another NFL team—or at every practice.
Spencer Ware isn't going to be welcomed with open arms by a crowded backfield. Everyone will be running for jobs, and Ware will need to beat out last year's fourth-round pick, Robert Turbin.
There is a possibility of Ware playing fullback for the Seahawks, but he isn't likely to push Michael Robinson off of the roster.
It's a long road to the top if you want to run the ball. (Did you see what I did there? I know. I'll stop.)