Before continuing our ongoing series, “The Guys No One is Talking About” for the 2016 draft class, I wanted to do a recap on how some of our previous prospects have fared in the NFL.
Will all of the players we profile in this series become Pro Bowl players or even solid starters in the NFL? Absolutely not. Some may become solid special teams guys, backups, or not make final cuts in training camp. Others may have to begin their careers in another league such as the CFL. One of our previous candidates who has become a star in the NFL, Andrew Sendejo, started his career in the UFL.
We are firm believers in the Landry three year rule. Some of the players from “The Guys No One Is Talking About” series will need some time to develop, so please reserve any negative opinions on these guys until they have had a chance to do so. However, for those of you who are familiar with the series, you know many have gone on to have solid careers in the NFL. This series is about getting these guys some recognition.
Andrew Sendejo, SS 2010:
Andrew Sendejo was signed by the Dallas cowboys as an undrafted free agent after he had spent a year playing SS for the Sacramento Mountain Lions in the UFL.
He entered the Cowboys training camp during the NFL Lockout and was waived before ever getting a fair chance to compete with Barry Church.
He was then claimed by the New York Jets despite them being loaded with depth at the position. As the result of injuries they were forced to try and move him down to the practice squad to free up a roster spot for another position.
At that point he was claimed by the Minnesota Vikings where he is now the starter at SS. In 26 starts he has amassed 195 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 3 PDefs, and 2 interceptions. He is yet to allow a TD while in coverage. He is definitely a success story from “The Guys No One Is Talking About” Series.
Cole Beasley, WR 2012:
Cole Beasley was acquired by the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent out of SMU. I can still remember all of the naysayers with the remarks that he was too small and wouldn’t make it through training camp.
Needless to say, Cole Beasley has become the most reliable receiver in Tony Romo’s arsenal and had the highest completion percentage in the NFL among WR’s who had been targeted 25 times or more.
Beasley has been almost 100% on third down. Despite being listed as the #3 receiver and repeatedly being missed when he was open by both Weeden and Cassel, Beasley had a career season. He hauled in 52 catches for 536 yards and 5 Tds. He is one of our favorites among the guys profiled in “The Guys No One Is Talking About Series.”
Kellen Moore, QB 2012:
I graded Kellen Moore as the best quarterback in the 2012 NFL draft and still to this day stand behind it. He was signed by the Detroit Lions as an undrafted free agent out of Boise State where he became the winningest QB in NCAA history with a 50-3 record. With him under center BSU was ranked 3rd in the Nation. The highest ever in the schools history.
Unfortunately he came in behind the veteran Matt Stafford who had locked up the starting role and was under a large contract. The veteran Shaun Hill was in place as the #2 which left Moore in a bad situation. He played under Scott Linehan for two years there and had it not been for the coaching change, he would have taken over as the #2 quarterback when Shaun Hill left in free agency. However, the coach brought in his guy, Dan Orlovsky and once again Moore was left out.
When the new coach tried to waive Moore down to the practice squad in September of 2015, Moore elected to go with his former coach, Scott Linehan, and signed with the Dallas Cowboys. In his second NFL start, he not only set a Cowboys franchise record by throwing for 435 yards and 3 TDs in his first home start: it was the 2nd most passing yards in NFL history for a players first home start. This success story is to be continued following the Cowboys 2016 training camp when he will get to compete for the #2 role behind Tony Romo.
Vontaze Burfict, OLB 2012:
Vontaze Burfict was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Arizona state and has become a top 10 LB in the NFL. As a rookie he started every game and led the NFL with 127 tackles.
Over the course of his four year career, he has started 45 games (he missed 11 games in 2014 due to injury) amassing 401 tackles, 5 sacks, 15 PDefs, 3 interceptions and forced 2 fumbles.
Despite missing most of the 2014 season, he still averaged over 100 tackles per season.
Vontaze Burfict is definitely one of our favorite success stories from “The Guys No One Is Talking About” Series.
Kerwynn Williams, RB 2013:
Williams attended Utah State University between 2009 and 2012. He spent most of his first three seasons as a backup running back. Following the departure of Robert Turbin, he became the starting running back for his senior season. He rushed for 1,512 yards on 218 carries (6.9 ypc), 15 touchdowns, and caught 45 passes for 697 yards and five touchdowns, earning him first team All-WAC honors.
Williams was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the seventh round, 230th overall, in the 2013 NFL Draft. After being waived by the Colts, he spent a short time with the Chargers later being waived, he then signed signed by the Cardinals where he started off with a bang. On December 7th, 2014, Williams rushed for his first career 100 yard game in a win against the Kansas City Chiefs.
On September 5, 2015, he was waived injured and on September 7, 2015, Williams was brought back to the team and was placed on the practice squad. On September 19, 2015, he was promoted to the Cardinals’ active roster. On September 22, 2015, Williams was released again by the Cardinals due to injury and on September 23, 2015, he was re-signed to the Cardinals’ practice squad. On December 1, 2015, he was elevated to the active roster where he remains.
Williams had a rough start to his career, but the coaches have seen enough to want to keep him around. Despite being primarily a returner, he fared well when given an opportunity to carry the ball. Williams has amassed 388 yards on 80 attempts (4.8 YPC) and one TD, while adding 4 receptions for 27 yards. The recurring affects from the injury early in his career set him back a bit, but I expect to see him emerge in 2016.
Zach Moore, DE/DT 2014:
When the New England Patriots waived second-year defensive end Zach Moore, they wanted to sign the former Concordia-St. Paul star to their practice squad. Moore said he got about a dozen practice-squad offers from other teams, but decided Mike Zimmer and the Vikings gave him the best opportunity.
“New England tried,” Moore said after his first practice with Minnesota. “But it was a decision me and my agent (Blake Baratz) made. I wanted to get the best possible chance to get on the 53-man roster.”
The 6-foot-6, 290-pound Moore, was a sixth-round pick by the Patriots in 2014. He spent all of his rookie season on the 53-man roster, but he was inactive for their Super Bowl win over Seattle. He saw action in eight games and started one.
When he came out of college, Moore was being talked about as a candidate to also play defensive tackle or even some linebacker.
“He’s a big guy that ended up playing some games last year,” said Vikings coach Mike Zimmer. “We’re always looking for big guys. … I think he’s got some position flexibility that we can use him in.”
We expect Moore to be a future success story from “The Guys No One Is Talking About” series under Mike Zimmer in Minnesota.
Brock Coyle, ILB 2014:
Coyle played college football at the University of Montana. As a true freshman in 2009, Coyle amassed 30 tackles and 2 interceptions for the Montana Grizzlies while playing linebacker. He red-shirted the 2010 season following off-season surgery. In 2011, after playing in all 14 games for the Grizzlies, Coyle finished the season as the team’s 16th leading tackler despite not starting a single game.
In 2012, Coyle enjoyed a breakout season when he started 11 games and tallied 107 tackles. His average of 9.73 tackles a game ranked him 28th in the nation, and he was an honorable mention All-Big Sky Conference selection.
In 2013, Coyle had his best college season with the Grizzles as the starter at inside linebacker. Coyle led the Grizzlies with 125 total tackles, which put him among the nation’s leaders. He also forced 4 fumbles and intercepted 2 passes, giving him 5 total interceptions for his college football career. He was named to the 2013 Big Sky All-Conference Team as a second-team selection.
Although Coyle went undrafted in the 2014 NFL Draft, he was signed to a contract by the Seattle Seahawks just minutes after the draft’s completion.
The Seahawks coaches praised Coyle for his productive play during the NFL preseason and while he filled in for injured middle linebacker Bobby Wagner. Coyle started his first NFL regular season game at middle linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday November 2, 2014 while playing against the Oakland Raiders.
Coyle has been primarily a special teams player due to being buried on the depth chart behind Wagner, but in only 2 NFL starts he has amassed 17 tackles and showed he is capable of playing at the NFL level. Wagner signed a contract extension in August, but I expect Coyle to find a starting job when his rookie contract expires. I believe Coyle will end up another success story from “The Guys No One Is Talking About” series.
Editors Note: Unfortunately, the original scouting reports on some of the players in The Guys No One Is Talking About series were done way back when I was writing fan blogs at dallascowboys.com and when they changed the site layout, they did away with the fan blog section and the posts were deleted. Therefore, I linked the players to the follow up articles I did at the Landry Hat and Sport DFW.
Other standouts from “The Guys No One Is Talking About” series include: Kyle Arrington, Buster Skrine, Henry Hynosky, Arian Foster, Julian Edelman and Wes Welker. If you would like to see all of the players we have profiled since starting here at YDCFF, click here.