Far beyond the glitz and the glam of the NFL draft is a large legion of players who have to follow their dreams of playing in the NFL by going to regional combines in hope of attracting the attention of NFL scouts. This Tuesday, NFL Network chronicles some of these young men on their journey to the NFL!
I'm sorry. Did that sound too much like a press release? Hey, I had to do internships cutting press releases back in the day. You know who Pablo Francisco is? I did one of his first press kits when I was in college. I apologize for that.
I'm looking forward to this show "Undrafted" which starts tonight. I love reality TV shows. I'm the guy who watches "Total Divas" for crying out loud. It's not like I have a ton of discerning taste. But I don't have to be ashamed to watch this show, or the other reality TV show we did about the Giants scouting staff called "Finding Giants." That was really well done. In fact, we should do more reality TV shows on the network.
I look forward to "Undrafted" this week. In honor of that, I'm going to look at the six greatest moments of undrafted players in NFL history. Well, until you go into the comments section and point out all of the glaring omissions. But I'm going to stand by this list.
And without further ado ...
Many of us were youngsters getting our first taste of fantasy football when Holmes had 227 rushing yards against the Cincinnati Bengals in 1998 as a member of the Baltimore Ravens. (Yeah, he played for the Ravens.) I don't remember, but I do like to tell people that I won that week because of him. So let's stick with that.
There are a couple of things I will always remember Smith for. The first is that he wouldn't let Jerry Rice wear No. 80 during his ill-fated tryout with the team. And second, his 208 receiving yards in a game. But really, I will always remember him for sticking to his guns with Jerry, unlike Steve Largent, who let Rice take No. 80 out of the rafters.
Moon was not afforded the opportunity to play in the NFL right out of Washington, but when he made it to the NFL, he made the most of his opportunity. There were a number of high-profile games in his career. Probably none as mind-blowing as the 527 passing yards he dropped on the Kansas City Chiefs in 1990.
Everybody remembers the story of Warner going from grocery store clerk to Super Bowl MVP. It's like one of those Hollywood stories that would seem so hokey, you wouldn't believe it if you saw it in the theaters. So imagine how surreal it was to actually witness the whole thing in 1999.
Warner is often celebrated as this era's top rags-to-riches story, but Harrison also carved out a nice career as an undrafted free agent, too. A multiple Super Bowl winner, he put an emphatic stamp on his career when he picked of Warner's pass in Super Bowl XLIII and raced 100 yards for a game-turning touchdown.
One year before Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball's color barrier for the Brooklyn Dodgers, a pair of former UCLA Bruins were signed by the recently relocated Los Angeles Rams, which broke the NFL's long-standing color barrier. Washington and Strode wouldn't have the on-the-field success because of their age (both played semi-pro ball), but their accomplishments still stand.