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.
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; Tyler Renew, FB, The Citadel; Taylor Reynolds, CB, James Madison; Alek Torgersen, QB, Penn
Arizona Cardinals: Tre'von Johnson, ILB, Weber State; Steven Wroblewski, TE, Southern Utah
Baltimore Ravens: C.J. Board, WR, Chattanooga; Donald Payne, S, Stetson; Pat Richard, DT, Maine
Buffalo Bills: Jeremy Salmon, LS, Maine; B.T. Sanders, S, Nicholls State
Carolina Panthers: Dylan Colucci, OL, Youngstown State
Chicago Bears: Alex Searce, LB, Coastal Carolina; Mark Spelman, C, Illinois State
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; Anthony Warrum, WR, Illinois State
Denver Broncos: Erik Austell, OG, Charleston Southern; Kyle Sloter, QB, Northern Colorado
Detroit Lions: Brandon Barnes, TE, Alabama State; Josh Thornton, CB, Southern Utah; Robert Tonyan Jr., WR/TE, Indiana State
Green Bay Packers: Thomas Evans, OL, Richmond; Raysean Pringle, RB, Southern Utah; David Rivers III, CB, Youngstown State; Christian Schneider, OT, UC Davis
Houston Texans: Dylan Cole, LB, Missouri State; Zach Conque, TE, Stephen F. Austin; Shaq Hill, WR, Eastern Washington
Indianapolis Colts: Dante Blackmon, CB, Kennesaw State (also Atlanta tryout); Dalton Crossan, RB, New Hampshire; Jerry Ugokwe, OT, William & Mary
Jacksonville Jaguars: Justin Horton, LB Jacksonville; Charlie Miller, SS, Dartmouth; Ezra Robinson, CB, Tennessee State
Kansas City Chiefs: J.R. Nelson, CB, Montana
Los Angeles Chargers: 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; Caleb Kidder, DT, Montana; Richie Sampson, FS, Coastal Carolina
New England Patriots: David Jones, FS, Richmond; Max Rich, OT, Harvard
New Orleans Saints: Andrew Lauderdale, OG, New Hampshire; Cameron Lee, OG, Illinois State
New York Giants: Armando Bonheur, OG, Samford; Jessamen Dunker, OG, Tennessee State; Sam Ekwonike, OG, Coastal Carolina
New York Jets: Austin Calitro, LB, Villanova; Xavier Coleman, CB, Portland State; Anthony Firkser, TE, Harvard; Javarius Leamon, OT, South Carolina State; Kevin Malloy, C, Albany; Darius Victor, RB, Towson
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; Tyson Graham, S, South Dakota; Lorenzo Jerome, S, Saint Francis; 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: Deondre Barnett, DE, Southern Illinois; Christian Kuntz, LB, Duquesne; Darnell Leslie, DE, Monmouth
Tennessee Titans: Rod Henderson, NT, Alabama State