I'm back! While geeves is finishing up this thing called "exams", I'm going to clean up the undrafted free-agents today with the defensive players and the lone specialist on the list. These hidden gems could be the next James Harrison, but they first have to make the roster.
So let's jump right into it with the first signee:
Ishmaa'ily Kitchen (DT, Kent State) - (Baltimore) Well, Kitchen joins a stacked Baltimore DT squad, so the prognosis is grim. Haloti Ngata is the starter, and he's just a monster. Behind him is the fat, but strong Terrence Cody. The Ravens run a 3-4 defense, so anything after these two is just icing on the cake. Kitchen might make the practice squad, but that's all I can really give him when you play this position for this team.
More after the jump.........
Adrian Robinson (DE, Temple) - (Pittsburgh) Can these guys pick worse teams? Actually, Robinson sits in a decent position. He is a a hybrid player, meaning he can either play the pass rush, or OLB. The Steelers also run a 3-4. The hybrid is a huge advantage. The Steelers don't have a solid DE behind Brett Keisel, so maybe Robinson could compete for a spot. The OLB have mainstays in LaMarr Woodley and Harrison, so as a change of pace player, Robinson could possibly get a spot in.
Desmond Marrow (FS, Toledo) - (Houston) Marrow had some red flag injuries, which hurt his stock. Playing in the MAC where defense is seemingly horrid doesn't help either. Nevertheless, Marrow joins a Houston squad that is relatively fresh in make-up in the DB department. With a 6-3 frame, he could also play CB, a position where the Texans may be severely lacking. I think Marrow could possibly be a dime player, and play his way up the charts with some time.
Drew Nowak (DT, WMU) - (Jacksonville) The reigning MAC Defensive POTY joins the 6th best defense from last season, but a D-line that really has no big names on it. Nowak signed right after the draft, so the Jags must have really liked him. Maybe the run a "D-Line by committee". If so, Nowak has a shot at being a 2nd or 3rd option there. Time will tell, but this Jags line is relatively young so anything could happen.
Morkeith Brown (DE, Temple) - (Tampa Bay) The Bucs have a nice 1-2 combo at DE in Adrian Clayborn and De'Quan Bowers. After that, it's just Michael Bennett, and nothing serious. Brown is 26 years old though, so he's the oldest DE that the Bucs have listed. Not sure if that is good or bad, but Brown should get a fair shot at the back-up spot for the team that was last in the league against the run.
Sean Baker (S, Ball State) - (Tampa Bay) Staying with the Bucs, we go to the Safety position. Baker has no shot at the corner position, because they are absolutely stacked there. Tampa took Mark "The Red" Baron with the 7th overall pick, but other than that, they are relatively weak at safety, meaning Baker could get a decent shot to win a spot on the roster.
Patrick Schiller (LB, NIU) - (Atlanta) Schiller probably was one of the better defensive players the MAC had to offer, but a knee injury threw up a red flag that might have scared some teams off. Nevertheless Schiller wound up in Atlanta, where they have a relatively weak core right now. The Falcons just signed Lofa Tatupu, and Sean Weatherspoon was pretty solid last year, but that's about it. Schiller can play either outside or in the middle, and I think he has a really good shot at being a back-up and seeing decent playing time this fall.
Stephen Johnson (LB, Temple) - (New Orleans) Another LB, and Johnson joins the mayhem that is the New Orleans Saints. If you haven't heard by now, the Saints got in a little trouble for some bounty program by Gregg Williams. Johnson led the Owls in tackles last year, so his ball-hawkness could get him a shot on the fairly unstable Saints squad. The starting core of David Hawthorne-Curtis Lofton-Chris Chamberlain should be fairly solid, but Johnson could be a back-up if he has a good work-out.
Noah Keller (LB, Ohio) - (St. Louis) Hello opportunity! The Rams are bad. Last year they were 2nd to last against the run. Teams didn't even need to pass on them. Keller, like Schiller, was a good prospect, but had some injury flags. Nevertheless, Keller instantly bolsters a very shaky LB core for the Rams. They have James Laurinaitis. That's about it. Keller could instantly put himself in a position where he could compete for a starting, or platoon position at OLB if he bumps out there.
Paul Hershey (P, Ohio) - (Kansas City) Hershey vs Dustin Colquitt. I don't know why the Chiefs signed Hershey. Colquitt was a 3rd round draft choice a few years ago, and averaged 46 yards per punt last year, his career high. Hershey averaged 41 in 2010, but dropped a bit last year. I.........I just don't think the Chiefs will carry two punters, and Colquitt is the obvious choice since he turns just 30 on Sunday.
That's it for the Undrafted Free-Agents. We missed a couple players, so here is a quick hit of them.
Rocky Weaver (OL, CMU) - (Tampa Bay) If you read the 2nd part of this series, you know what I think about VanDerMuelen. Think of this as a slightly less version. Weaver played on a line that won 6 games the past 2 years.
Jacquise Terry (RB, Kent State) - (Detroit) The only good in this is that we don't know what is going on with all the RB injury/pot smoking trouble that is going on in Detroit. Maybe Terry has a chance, but unlikely.
Cameron Bell (FB, NIU) - (San Francisco) I thought the FB position was dead. Nevertheless, you only really need 1, or a bruising RB, but the 49ers have 4 good RBs in their stable so I don't think Bell will make the final squad.
Pat Boyle (OL, Temple) - (Detroit) Another O-Lineman, another hard to guesstimate player. The Lions seemed to have everything clicking on offense last year, including their line. Rilely Reiff comes in to eventually take over for Jeff Backus so Boyle would be one of those backups to practice squad guys.
Geeves should be back with the next installment of MAC In The NFL. I want to thank him for letting me take over for the UDFA pieces, and wish him the best of luck on those exams that kept him away.