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Professional Hustlers: Toledo

The best NFLer from Toledo ever? Bears RB Chester Taylor could be that guy, even though his career is reaching a denouement.
The best NFLer from Toledo ever? Bears RB Chester Taylor could be that guy, even though his career is reaching a denouement.

Professional Hustlers looks at the Mid-American Conference studs of yesteryear and what they're doing in the pro ranks right now. Will they make the team? Are they still an elite player? Did they wander off into Canada?

You may not realize this, but there are so, so many freaking Rockets in the NFL. More than I initially thought. And they're not just cracking rosters ... they're going to impact some games.

RB Chester Taylor — No question about it, he's had a nice, nice career. But now he's 30, the age at which every tailback's legs begin to handle like Corinthian pillars. Still, it's either him or Matt Forte in Chicago. Whichever one gets the ball more is anyone's guess, especially Windy City Gridron's guess.

QB Bruce Gradkowski — Between him and Kyle Boller as the backup to Jason Campbell, I choose Bruce. For one, no matter who Gradkowski marries, his wife will not be nearly as polarizing. Secondly, Bruce has shown his proclivity for occasionally, occasionally putting a spark in an otherwise lethargic franchise. He did it his rookie year with the Bucs, and again his tenacity last year in some games was perhaps the straw that stirred JaMarcus Russell's purple drank and his subsequent team release. And that's what you want out in a No. 2 backup. That doesn't exactly describe Boller.

WR Lance Moore — The Saints are hogging all the good wide receivers, which is just like them. Moore is probably their current fourth receiver, should they plan on playing four-wide, which is for the entire second half in every game. Injuries set him back last year, and it's cliché to say this in August, but "expect big things from him this year! Turnaround, and so forth!"

S Barry Church — I was really surprised when Church wasn't at least drafted. Four years as a first-team all-MAC safety? That's worth at least a sixth-round flier. But instead, he signed with Dallas and is working his way up the depth chart. The team is "high on him," which is footballspeak for "like him but not, like 'like him' like him."

WR Stephen Williams — Oh, and this guy too. Not even drafted. But the Cardinals just might make him their fourth receiver. And that's a hell of a place to crack the rotation.

RB Jalen Parmele — Parm 'n Hammer has gotten most of his NFL time returning kickoffs. He'll be doing that again with the Ravens, although if they're serious about trading Willis McGahee, that can only mean happy tidings for his depth chart positioning, which is now No. 3.

OT Nick Kaczur — Well, now he needs the painkillers.

P Brett Kern — He'll be punting for the Titans. As for fake punting? If his teammates continue to say he throws like a girl, perhaps they'll try someone else to toss the oblong object when the defense least expects it. Such as Vince Young.

OG John Greco — Know how the Rams offensive line is probably going to practically usher the defense to Sam Bradford's seat? Well, Greco is a backup on that line.

DT J.P. Bekasiak — Remember this first-round draft pick? Probably not, since it was with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL. Edmonton's native son is on the defensive line for the Montreal Alouettes.

WR Andrew Hawkins — Also with the Alouettes, but very much injured. Also, for whatever reason, the Alouettes have a total of 7 MAC players. Just in case you're looking for a favorite CFL team that hustles for kilometres at a time.

WR Nick Moore — After being handed off from team to team in training camp, he's playing for the UFL's Florida Tuskers.

S Tyrrell Herbert — Him too. The copycat.