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

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