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In case you haven’t seen James’ article on the NFL draft, the draft is where each NFL (national football league) team chooses the players they want from that year’s graduating class of college (university) football stars. Now often the best players are indeed picked up early on but those unfortunate enough to not be chosen by any of the NFL teams are left unemployed, or rather, undrafted. At that point they can go ahead and pursue other career choices or they can keep working hard on their football skills, showboating for the NFL teams and on occasion are signed later in the season. Often these undrafted players simply aren’t as good as the competition, but sometimes, just sometimes, some of the best talent is somehow overlooked by all 32 NFL teams, or maybe the players just work that much harder after being left undrafted. Either way, here is a list of every NFL’s team’s best pick of undrafted players. The moral of the story is of course that you can still achieve your dreams if you’re willing to work hard enough, even if you’re not successful at first!
In the AFC (American Football Conference) East:
Taking the spot for the Buffalo Bills is Centre Kent Hull. With three invitations to the pro bowl Hull is tied for the second most pro bowl appearances among undrafted players at Buffalo, and given he played for the team for longer and contributed more for them over his career, he has to go down as their undrafted star. Hull was so impressive that he is even a member of the Bills’ wall of fame!
Following a disappointing draft after graduating from Utah in 1968, DT (defensive tackle) Manny Fernandez was eventually picked up by Miami where he spent eight years, recording 35 sacks and playing a key role in two super bowl victories! Some argue he should even have been the MVP (most valued player) in Super Bowl VII but it is admittedly unusual for defensive players to receive MVP over such star offensive roles as QB (quarterback) and RB (running back).
New England Patriots:
Of course it had to be the legendary Malcolm Butler, hero of the patriots and nemesis of many he famously intercepted (or rather batted down) a pass in the final play of Super Bowl XLIX to secure victory over the reigning super bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. Butler joined a very impressive Patriots’ team in 2014 when they already had a full 90 man squad. He was so impressive in try-outs that they created a place for him and certainly did not regret it!
New York Jets:
WR (wide receiver) Wayne Chrebet played college football at Hofstra University, Long Island, the location of the Jets’ training facilities, and yet he was so unassuming and little known that a security guard infamously mistook him for a fan broken through the barrier on the first day of tryouts! At 10thspot on the depth chart he defeated the odds and worked his way to a starting position, becoming one of the most popular players of all time. He holds the teams’ second all time receptions at 580 and third number of receiving yards at 7,635.
IMAGE SOURCE: http://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/malcolm-butler-denies-missing-curfew-calls-rumors-hurtful/1082493167