When the Washington Redskins report to training camp July 25, five relatively unknown contenders could have a chance of making the final 53-man roster after not being selected in the NFL draft months ago.
While it goes without saying only the very best make it in the NFL, with only 254 college players selected in the draft, hundreds more hope to get a chance to prove the naysayers and doubters wrong.
With a collection of 90 players ranging from returning starters, backups, rookies and free agents gathering in a few weeks, nearly half of those wearing the burgundy and gold in July will not be with the team when the 2013 regular season begins.
The Redskins front office faces a different kind of number crunching than the salary cap juggling they successfully maneuvered through this offseason. The Redskins must reduce their roster to a maximum of 75 players by August 27.
The round of first cuts falls between the third and fourth preseason game, with the final 53-man roster finalized by September 1, per NFL rules.
The Redskins lost one starter, linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, and chose not to offer contracts to nine players from last year's team, according to Spotrac, so the unofficial roster of returning Redskins stands at 43 players, assuming those players make the team.
This is just for argument's sake, so bear with me.
Add the signings of seven rookie draft picks, who I assume will make the final roster, and the Redskins already have 50 on the roster and don't have much space for new faces and talent. I realize none of these players is guaranteed a spot, but there is probably little room left.
College experience, achievements and statistics may be the only way they can be judged, unless you are a scout for the Redskins.
One of the more important criteria I considered in formulating this list was the versatility of these five players. Each of them is not tied into one role on the team. Each has flexibility.
All things considered, with so many players vying for so few available spots on the 53-man final roster, here is look at five dark-horse contenders who have what it takes to make it on the team when the Redskins assemble for Week 1 of the regular season.