Jacksonville Center John Estes got his second chance and hopes to run with it.
On July 2nd I wrote an article detailing five rookie free agents from the 2010 draft that I thought deserved another shot to make an NFL roster. As the 2011 draft draws closer, I thought I'd step back and see how my five rooks made out. I wonder who my top five will be this year?
1. Riley Skinner, QB (Wake Forest) Riley wasn't drafted, but still found his way into the Giants camp. He was cut, and decided to retire as of August 2010.
2. Carlos Brown, RB (Michigan) Brown bounced from Saints camp to the Bucs camp before being cut in September, 2010. Luckily for Carlos, he was signed to a futures contract by the Jets in January 2011. He stands a lot to lose if the lockout continues—a futures contract could lead to a great camp, and most likely a practice squad designation. The Jets have three backs who are definitely ahead of him (Greene, Tomlinson, McKnight) but a game day call up could then be an injury away.
3. Rashaun Greer, WR (Colorado State) Greer spent December on the Bears practice squad, but had his contract terminated in January. If he can't get an invite to another camp, the UFL should be his first choice at getting some actual game time in and hope for some injuries to get him a call to the NFL.
4. Andrew George, TE (BYU) George had a small camp stint with Carolina, followed by a few weeks with the Bills before being cut loose on September 4th. He was active for two preseason games, but didn't record any catches.
5. John Estes, C (Hawaii) Unfortunately Estes had injuries drop him out contention for a draft selection, but the Jaguars signed him as a rookie free agent. While he was dealing with an MCL injury, the Jags put him on IR when they needed the roster space. However, the Jaguars line coach sees him as Brad Meester's eventual replacement, so the heralded lineman needs to get healthy fast, and pray the lockout ends as soon as possible.
So, looking back over those five players, at least one of them still looks on track to make his NFL dream come true. As for the others, it seems that only Brown has much of a chance to earn a spot on a squad, but we've all seen stranger things happen...so all I can say to the above players is:
- Keep working at it!
- Pray for the players and owners to get this thing settled fast...your careers hang in the balance.
As for the class of 2011...get ready!