For the high profile college football players that did not get drafted in the 2010 NFL Draft, their excruciating wait was stretched over the course of three days so the draft could be televised in prime time. Although there were many recognizable players left over when the dust settled, that doesn’t mean that the dream is over. In fact, many experts claim it is better to be a free agent over being drafted in the seventh round, because it gives you the option of choosing a an offer that may be appealing due to depth charts of certain teams. Here are some of the names you may recognize, and where they appear to be headed.
Although Jarrett Brown, quarterback from West Virgina, had the likes of Mel Kiper singing his praises during the last round of the draft on Saturday, he was not selected. Brown is very athletic and has a strong arm, but not much touch or experience to back it up. He decided to go to camp with the 49ers, who have underachievers Alex Smith and David Carr competing for the starting job. It is possible that Brown sticks on as a third QB while he develops. Also landing on the 49ers is LeGarret Blount, of Boise State punching fame. A guy with 3rd round talent will always get a look, and if he can prove his maturity problems are in the past, he has a good shot at being one of Frank Gore’s backups.
Another speedy QB, Juice Williams of Illinois, is getting a look from Chicago, his home state team. Although there has been no comment on Williams, I would guess he is going in as a wide receiver, much like Antwaan Randal-El after he finished up his career as an athletic Big Ten QB. The Bears are also giving a chance to a pair of Michigan teammates, WR Greg Mathews and RB Brandon Minor, although both are longshots to make the regular season squad.
The Buccaneers are another team trying to find a diamond in the rough, picking up Jevan Snead, the quarterback from Ole Miss. Last season, draft quru Todd McShay claimed that Snead would be a top three QB in this draft, but with a lack of talent around him and inconsistent performance in 2009, he slipped past the seventh round. Tampa Bay also picked up Hunter Lawrence, the kicker from Texas, to challenge Conner Barth, who pulled kicking duties last season.
Another quarterback who pulled some ink from the media last year was BYU’s Max Hall. Hall was instrumental in the upset of Oklahoma, who was ranked third in the country at the time, and also made news by stating his hatred for Utah after a thrilling win. Hall is latching on in Arizona, who’s long term future at the position is cloudy with Matt Leinart and Derek Anderson, along with fellow prospect John Skelton. Sticking with quarterbacks, Western Michigan standout Tim Hiller caught on with the Colts, who let backup Jim Sorgi go in free agency, and Joey Elliot of Purdue will be in camp with the Eagles. The Colts will also have a tinge of Michigan State theme in their upcoming camp, with possession receiver Blair White hoping to nail down a roster spot, while kicker Brett Swanson, who has no shot at sticking with the team that has Adam Vinatieri, will try an at least establish a name for himself.
Remember, just because a guy signs a free agent deal with a team doesn’t mean he will make the roster going in to the season. Most of these players will be regulated to scout team duties, or cut altogether, however, the opportunity to give multiple teams a look at what the bring to the table is invaluable.