Gauging the NFL Opportunities for Departing Huskers

In addition to the three Nebraska players drafted by the NFL over the weekend, several were signed as undrafted free agents.  Simply signing with a team or even being drafted is no assurance that you'll make a team's roster.  Here's a closer look at the outlook for these rookies.

 

Stanley Jean-Baptiste (drafted 2nd round, 58th overall by New Orleans)
Jean-Baptiste will not only make the team but he will play this year.  The real question is whether he'll displace a veteran to become a starter or if most of his play will come in relief and in packages to defend 3, 4, or 5 receivers.  With guys like Champ Bailey getting long in the tooth, this might be considered an apprentice year as he develops into an NFL starter.

Spencer Long (drafted 3rd round, 78th overall by Washington)
Long is in a great position to make the roster.  The Redskins tend not to spend many high draft picks on offensive linemen, so this pick represents a fairly big investment on their part.  With a new coach and offense coming to DC, Long is not as far behind some of the players that have been in the league (or on the margins of the league) longer.  He's not likely to be an opening day starter (an injury to an incumbent could change that), but you'd give him an excellent chance to make the team as a top reserve guard.  The main concern might be his own health as he recovers from torn knee ligaments that may have cost him an All-American senior year.

Quincy Enunwa (drafted 6th round, 209th overall by the New York Jets)
Enunwa will have to show well to make the roster but he will have a chance.  Most teams keep six receivers.  Eric Decker is a lock and Jeremy Kerley and David Nelson seem entrenched as well.  After that there is only modest production returning.  Two fourth-rounders were taken by the Jets ahead of Enunwa.  But what you really like for Enunwa is how well he could compliment the Jets quarterbacks who struggle with accuracy.  Enunwa is very good at fighting for balls and winning the battle in tight spots.  That's exactly what these quarterbacks need.

Brent Qvale (Undrafted Free Agent, New York Jets)     
Qvale would seemingly have a very good chance of making the Jets roster as a reserve tackle.  The Jets don't have many prototypically tackle-sized linemen on their bench so Qvale's length makes him stand out, provided he shows well at the position.  With some older veterans currently starting, he could be ready to claim a starting spot in the next couple years.

Jason Ankrah (Undrafted Free Agent, Houston)
Ankrah has a surprisingly good opportunity given that he's joining a team that just selected Jadeveon Clowney first overall.  The Texans are a 3-4 defensive team, so Ankrah could be in the mix as a top reserve at an outside linebacker spot (which seems to fit his size profile).  He'll have to hit the books so that he can adapt to the change in responsibilities and playing a stand up spot.

Jeremiah Sirles (Undrafted Free Agent, San Diego)       
The Chargers have a lot of options at tackle including both regular starters back from a year ago.  So Sirles would have to show well even to make the team as a reserve.  It's possible he could be placed on the practice squad for a year.  That's where San Diego stashed a pair of tackles a year ago.

Mohammed Seisay (Undrafted Free Agent, Detroit)
It's hard to imagine a player like Seisay, who had trouble getting on the field for Nebraska.  It would be fair to call the Detroit Lions secondary undistinguished, so in that sense there's some opportunity.  Even then, the odds don't seem great for Seisay.

Taylor Martinez (Undrafted Free Agent, Philadelphia)
The best case for Martinez would be to make the practice squad.  You'd wonder if he could hang around the NFL long enough to draw a pension like Scott Frost.  The difference is that Frost had played some safety in college.  Even mastering the position of safety in college is tough, but trying to grasp it at the NFL level seems a near impossible task for someone who's not accustomed to it.  A "redshirt" year on the practice squad would be the best hope for Martinez to learn the position well enough to stay in the league.  He needs to be healthy too.

Cole Pensick (Undrafted Free Agent, Kansas City)
Pensick just seems too small to be an NFL center.  He might have to displace former Husker  Ricky Henry to make the roster.  The Chiefs have their starting center and so a reserve that can only play center is not that appealing.  Even a practice squad spot seems like a stretch.  He's likely just a practice player for the preseason.  

Ciante Evans (Undrafted Free Agent, ???)
The fact that Evans is not yet signed with a team could be more a function of the demand for him creating a lot of options to consider than a lack of opportunity.  He was placed on the All-Undrafted team at NFL.com.  You'd hope that Evans can find a team with enough need that he'll make the roster.  He was probably a better overall college player than Jean-Baptiste, though Baptiste probably became a better cover corner.  It would have helped in the draft if Evans was bigger or faster, but he can play which is why you expect him to be on an NFL roster in the fall.   

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Comments 13 comments so far

Surprised alot of those guys werent drafted, especially Evans.

TDogg is correct.  Reflects NU’s general standing of irrelevancy at this time in big time NCAA football.  Perhaps this 2014 will see a positive change for once in that regard.

Do you ever have anything positive to say? Damn if I was a woman, I’d hate to be married to you. What’s your problem?

Well I’m not a woman, and I’d hate to be married to him!

OKAY Kool Aide drinkers.  Describe how NU has been cracking that top 10 or 15 ranking during the past 11 years?  For PE, you don’t read my posts very carefully.  Comprehension goes with reading, unless you are intoxicated with so much bias, your Kool Aide intox level is ten times the NU legal limit!!!

By the way, I was a season ticket holder for 40 years and finally gave up two years ago.  What’s on display on the homefield (3 losses last year in Lincoln, for instance) isn’t worth the price of admission anymore.  Be rational and realista, not blinded by bias and prejudice.  Where’s BOP’s kittie???  Ruff Ruff TDogg!!!

No I just think your mad at the world.
Frankly I don’t even read your tripe usually.

Realistinha,

Are we supposed to be impressed that you ‘were forced’ to give up your season tickets after 40+ years of loyalty just cuz ‘BOP made ya do it’, ‘cant take it anymore’, ‘boycott BOP’, ‘viva la revolucion, coupe de ouster BOP’?  What is this?  Oh my heart bleeds at your ‘show of principle’. 

Thing is, if your ‘BOP Be Bad’ theory holds any water after your innnumerable and incredibly redudant exortations thereof, well, theoretically, he’ll be outta here in a year or so and you, uh, won’t have your f’ing season tickets no mo’!

Bad move, amigoid.

PE ~ actually, I am fairly content.  What people need to get riled up about is tolerating $3 million coaches who can’t produce a ‘relevant’ team in the national title race for six, going on seven years.  Those who tolerate mediocrity are numb to life.

T Dogg, i predict BOP will be “outta here” sooner, rather than later.  Those who have yet to cut him loose in their minds will be forced to face the truth after this 2014 season.  As for season tickets, even with a really good team on the field, it isn’t worth the price of admission when you factor in the “capital improvment” contribution season ticket holders must pay in addition to the face value on the tickets.  Paying that kind of price to watch a team that cannot win its division anymore or loses 3 home games in one season is insane.  Save the $ and watch them on TV.  Besides, the kittie litter boxes kind of stink up the joint nowadays.

Go Big Pussie!!!

Well if bop is that bad then I guess u all bo haters out there HATE TOM OSBORN TO EVEN know it took him 25 yes to get him 1st NATIONAL TITLE, SO MY POINT IS GIVE BO SOME TIME, PPL ARE SOOOOO QUICK TO WANT A NU FOOTBALL COACH OUT IF HE DOSENT MESSURE UP TO TOM, but there’s one thing j all don’t understand 1.he’s not Tom , 2. GIVE THE MAN SOME DM the like we did for tom!!and quit beating so impasiont!!if your a TRUE HUSKER FAN LIKE ME U WILL STICK BY BO, AND IF TOM DIDENT THINK BO COULDENT GET THE JOB DONE THEN HE WOULDENT OF HIRED HIM BACK !!!

holdon there! did someone who is no-one just call for riled up? un realish you got your DEPENDS on the wrong end of your ASS. The shit just keeps on come’n. Kool-aid again?  I guess you’re about 80 and your bitch daughter (ou7turds), did’nt get you to mcdonalds this week. Pull the trigger ASSHOLE.

Hey BIGRED10 ~ No one has said BOP should be fired because he hasn’t won a NC!!!  He flat lines with 4 loss seasons and is not fielding a team that comes close to a top-ten ranking.  All we BOP haters want is for NU to be a relevant team in the national scene, especially after his 6 years at the helm.  TO’s record never produced such mediocre consistency, year after year, as BOP has.  That’s the fact 10.

The AD extended the contract ONE YEAR in order to save the program from free falling after BOP’s childish display on and off the field during the Iowa game.  “if the University wants to fire me, go ahead.”  Wow, that’s our $3 million man at work.

I say, shoot BO’s cat if he loses another 4 games this season.  If BO is 4-0 after the Miami game, has wins all four with last second Hail Mary passes, he should end up no worse than 9-3 or 10-2.  We could be surprised with an 11-1, but that is perhaps doubtful.

15-0 or bust!

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