Three days, seven rounds and 256 picks later, several talented young football players endured the entire NFL draft without hearing their name called.
To stomach such a grueling wait with no payoff is a difficult outcome to process, but the journey is far from over for these pro hopefuls. Now is when teams looked to pounce on undrafted players in free agency to stockpile as much young talent as possible.
ESPN Stats & Info gives us a reminder of some players who overcame the same precarious predicament and rose to stardom.
So don't feel too gloomy about a certain player not getting picked. Many of the best remaining names will still get an opportunity to fight for a roster spot during training camp.
|Top Undrafted NFL Prospects|
|QB||Connor Shaw||South Carolina|
|RB||Antonio Andrews||Western Kentucky|
|RB||LaDarius Perkins||Mississippi State|
|TE||A.C. Leonard||Tennessee State|
|TE||Marcel Jensen||Fresno State|
|OT||James Hurst||North Carolina|
|C||Tyler Larsen||Utah State|
|DE||Ethan Westbrooks||West Texas A&M|
|LB||Max Bullough||Michigan State|
|CB||Rashaad Reynolds||Oregon State|
|Author's personal list|
Brandon Coleman, WR, Rutgers
A raw talent who was expected to get taken over the weekend as a project pick, Brandon Coleman remains available.
Just something to consider for those out there that like 6'6" wide receivers with a 4.56 40-yard dash time, per NFL.com. CSNNE.com's Phil Perry tried to remind teams that he was still floating around, but nobody heeded his advice.
Coleman didn't do much at Rutgers during his senior season, catching 34 passes for 538 yards and four touchdowns. The previous year, however, he corralled 10 touchdowns for the Scarlet Knights, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that he played the 2013 season at less than full strength.
After persisting he was fine, he eventually admitted to MyCentralJersey.com's Ryan Dunleavy that a knee surgery from January 2013 continued to bother him throughout the season.
I’ve been working on a lot of things. It’s more power in my legs and my lower body and just rehabbing, trying to get back to as close to 100 percent as possible because I didn’t play at 100 percent this year. I had to play though. I wasn’t 100 percent. I wasn’t at 50 percent, either. I was somewhere in between. It depended on the week.”
As the old saying goes, you can't teach height. A wideout of Coleman's stature tends to fetch a late-round flier, especially if he has flashed any upside at school. He should get a chance somewhere to see if he is back to 100 percent.
Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee
NFL.com's Nolan Nawrocki projected Tennessee's Antonio Richardson to go in the second or third round. He painted a positive portrait of the offensive tackle becoming a reliable NFL starter.
A big, strong, athletic college left tackle who might be more naturally suited for the right side in the pros, Richardson is agile enough to protect the blind side if he learns to become a better hand technician. Has the look of a Pittsburgh prototype and compares favorably to Steelers 2011 second-round pick Marcus Gilbert. Has clear, unrefined starter traits.
He was off by four or five rounds, as Richardson watched while 45 offensive linemen were taken instead of him.
It's one thing or a few teams to drastically appraise someone differently, but the entire league? Something has to have caused the drop. Draft Headquarters' Shawn Zobel offered an explanation for his plummeting stock, attributing all 32 teams shying away because of health woes.
Tiny—get it? Because he's a rather large gentleman at 6'6" and 336 pounds. He will obviously need his knees to cooperate for an NFL organization to bite. If those fears are overblown, someone is snatching up a steal.
Marcus Roberson, CB, Florida
A cornerback predicted to go as early as Round 2, Marcus Roberson exited the three days without a new employee.
Roberson particularly made his mark in 2012, where he deflected 14 passes for the Gators. Like with Coleman, injuries deflated his 2013 campaign, during which he played just seven games without reeling in any interceptions.
He was also suspended during the season for an unspecified "violation of team rules," which means NFL clubs might have shied away due to character concerns. On talent alone, he has decent size and plenty of speed to at least make a dent as a nickel corner.
In a mock draft published on Thursday morning, The Plain Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot slotted Roberson as an early second-round selection for the Cleveland Browns at No. 36.
Roberson has good ball skills and can also return punts. He patterns his game after Richard Sherman and Darrelle Revis 'as far as Richard Sherman’s length and able to bump-and-run and play the ball down the field; Revis being the lockdown corner.'
Roberson is a far cry from the top corners in the draft such as Michigan State's Darquese [sic] Dennard and Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert, but he might be the best option at the top of the second round. With the right coaching and some extra bulk on his frame, he could prove to be a quality starter.
The worries about him as a person better be furious enough to pass up a ferocious defensive back that was clamoring for a Round 2 selection just a few days ago.
All height and weight info obtained from NFL.com.
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