Undrafted FCS players have NFL opportunities
(STATS) – Feeling overlooked and undervalued has a way of fueling FCS players heading into the NFL – especially the many who go undrafted and become even longer shots.
Past awards, honors and statistics don’t matter, even for a player as highly decorated as former Northern Iowa defensive end Karter Schult, the 2016 STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award winner.
“It helps build my motivation. Not that I need any more,” he said.
“I love being an underdog. If that’s the way it is, that’s fine with me.”
Undrafted players from the FCS were among those in demand as soon as the three-day NFL Draft ended Saturday evening. The bargain shopping included Schult signing with the Cleveland Browns and some of the other top undrafted players finding homes: Tennessee State offensive guard Jessamen Dunker (New York Giants) and cornerback Ezra Robinson (Jacksonville Jaguars); Missouri State linebacker Dylan Cole (Houston Texans); Saint Francis safety Lorenzo Jerome (San Francisco 49ers); and Charleston Southern offensive guard Erik Austell (Denver Broncos).
Going undrafted can be an advantage for a player who has multiple free agents offers and can pick a team that offers a favorable situation for him.
Following are many of the FCS players who have signed, agreed to terms or accepted a tryout with NFL teams. The list will continue to grow as teams head toward rookie minicamps in May.
Arizona Cardinals: Tevin Floyd, OLB, The Citadel; Tre’von Johnson, ILB, Weber State; Javancy Jones, OLB, Jackson State; Justice Liggins, WR, Stephen F. Austin; Lucas Nikolaisen, TE, Holy Cross (also Kansas City tryout); Steven Wroblewski, TE, Southern Utah
Atlanta Falcons: Kendall Anderson, RB, William & Mary; Dante Blackmon, CB, Kennesaw State (also Indianapolis tryout); Marcelis Branch, DB, Robert Morris; Larson Graham, OL, Duquesne; Will Hines, CB, Southeastern Louisiana; Cam Keizur, C, Portland State; Myles Overton, DT, Northern Colorado; Desmond Owino, DE, Jacksonville State; Tyler Renew, FB, The Citadel; Taylor Reynolds, CB, James Madison; Alek Torgersen, QB, Penn
Baltimore Ravens: Aaron Bailey, RB, Northern Iowa; Zavian Bingham, CB, Jackson State; C.J. Board, WR, Chattanooga; Donald Payne, S, Stetson; Pat Richard, DT, Maine
Buffalo Bills: Voghens Larrieux, OT, Coastal Carolina; Jeremy Salmon, LS, Maine; B.T. Sanders, S, Nicholls State
Carolina Panthers: Dylan Colucci, OL, Youngstown State
Chicago Bears: Rashard Davis, WR/PR, James Madison; Chris Fraser, P, Cornell (also San Francisco tryout); Lance Lenoir, WR, Western Illinois; Alex Searce, LB, Coastal Carolina; Mark Spelman, C, Illinois State; Jordan West, QB, Eastern Washington
Cincinnati Bengals: Karel Hamilton, WR, Samford; Landon Lechler, OG, North Dakota State
Cleveland Browns: B.J. Bello, OLB, Illinois State; Karter Schult, DE, Northern Iowa
Dallas Cowboys: Brian Brown, WR, Richmond; Michael Coe, C, North Dakota; Kade Harrington, RB, Lamar; Anthony Warrum, WR, Illinois State
Denver Broncos: Erik Austell, OG, Charleston Southern; Kyle Sloter, QB, Northern Colorado
Detroit Lions: Brandon Barnes, TE, Alabama State; Jonah Hodges, RB, San Diego; Josh Thornton, CB, Southern Utah; Robert Tonyan Jr., WR/TE, Indiana State; Cameron Young, OG, Weber State
Green Bay Packers: Thomas Evans, OL, Richmond; Josh Letuligasenoa, DE/OLB, Cal Poly; Lucas Nikolaisen, TE, Holy Cross (also Arizona tryout); Raysean Pringle, RB, Southern Utah; David Rivers III, CB, Youngstown State; Christian Schneider, OT, UC Davis; Riley Shantz, OL, Missouri State
Houston Texans: Dylan Cole, LB, Missouri State; Zach Conque, TE, Stephen F. Austin; Shaq Hill, WR, Eastern Washington; Dee Virgin, CB, Chattanooga
Indianapolis Colts: Dante Blackmon, CB, Kennesaw State (also Atlanta tryout); Dalton Crossan, RB, New Hampshire; Brian Riley, WR, San Diego (also New England tryout); Jerry Ugokwe, OT, William & Mary
Jacksonville Jaguars: Royus Amos, OL, Samford; Jamerson Blount, S, Samford; Justin Horton, LB Jacksonville; Charlie Miller, SS, Dartmouth; Ezra Robinson, CB, Tennessee State
Kansas City Chiefs: Cornelius Henderson, DT, Jackson State; J.R. Nelson, CB, Montana; Anton Wahrby, OG, Wofford
Los Angeles Chargers: Omar Howard, LB, Richmond; Eli Jenkins, QB, Jacksonville State
Los Angeles Rams: Folarin Orimolade, ILB, Dartmouth
Miami Dolphins: Chase Allen, LB, Southern Illinois
Minnesota Vikings: Derrick Griffin, TE, Texas Southern; Zack Johnson, OL, North Dakota State; Caleb Kidder, DT, Montana; Richie Sampson, FS, Coastal Carolina
New England Patriots: David Jones, FS, Richmond; Max Rich, OT, Harvard; Brian Riley, WR, San Diego (also Indianapolis tryout)
New Orleans Saints: Miles Bergner, P, South Dakota; Andrew Lauderdale, OG, New Hampshire; Cameron Lee, OG, Illinois State; Jet Moreland, LB, South Dakota; Mike Sharp, WR, Southern Utah
New York Giants: Joshua Appel, LS, Indiana State; Armando Bonheur, OG, Samford; Jessamen Dunker, OG, Tennessee State; Sam Ekwonike, OG, Coastal Carolina
New York Jets: Chris Bordelon, OL, Nicholls; Austin Calitro, LB, Villanova; Xavier Coleman, CB, Portland State; Anthony Firkser, TE, Harvard; Kevin Kenton, OL, Tennessee State; Javarius Leamon, OT, South Carolina State; Kevin Malloy, C, Albany; Darius Victor, RB, Towson
Oakland Raiders: Najee Harris, LB, Wagner; Yamen Sanders, SS, Montana; Dan Williams, WR, Jackson State
Philadelphia Eagles: Winston Craig, DT, Richmond
Pittsburgh Steelers: Wayne Capers Jr., WR, Duquesne
San Francisco 49ers: Kendrick Bourne, WR, Eastern Washington; J.P. Flynn, OG, Montana State; Chris Fraser, P, Cornell (also Chicago tryout); Tyson Graham, S, South Dakota; Lorenzo Jerome, S, Saint Francis; Chad Geter, LB, Gardner-Webb; Jihaad Pretlow, CB, Fordham; Jameer Thurman, LB/S, Indiana State; Bret Treadway, OL, Lamar
Seattle Seahawks: Michael Birdsong, QB, Tennessee Tech; Ronald Butler, QB, Tennessee State; Calvin Steyn, OL, Weber State
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kyle Avaloy, OG, Illinois State; Deondre Barnett, DE, Southern Illinois; Christian Kuntz, LB, Duquesne; Darnell Leslie, DE, Monmouth; Christophe Mulumba Tshimanga, Maine; Chad Newell, RB, Montana State; Bret Niederreither, OG, Mercer
Tennessee Titans: Rod Henderson, NT, Alabama State
Washington Redskins: Verlan Hunter, WR, Grambling State