2019 NFL UDFA Tracker

Discussion in 'NFL' started by Deceptive Speed, May 1, 2019.

  1. Deceptive Speed

    Deceptive Speed Mentor

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    Thought I'd make a thread to post any new white UDFA's.

    Bills
    WR David Sills WVU
    WR Nick Easly IOWA

    Dolphins
    OL Ryan Anderson WAKE
    WR Trent Irwin STAN
    RB Patrick Laird

    Patriots
    TE Andrew Beck TEX
    OG Tyler Gauthier MIA

    Jets
    OL Toa Lobendaun USC
    OG Wyatt Miller UCF

    Ravens

    TE Charles Scarff DEL
    TE Cole Herdman PUR
    OG CJ Toogood ELON

    Bengals
    OT Keaton Sutherland T A&M
    QB Jacob Dolegala C CONNECTICUT St (D-11)

    Browns
    QB David Blough PUR
    TE Stephen Carlson PRINCETON

    Steelers
    TE Trevor Wood T A&M

    Texans
    S Chris Johnson N Alabama (D-11)

    Colts
    TE Hale Hentges

    Jaguars
    LB Connor Stratchan BC
    TE/FB Carson Meier OKL
    WR Michael Walker BC
    S Andrew Wingard WY

    Titans
    OT AT Hall STAN

    Broncos
    LB Joe Dineen KAN
    TE Austin Fort WY
    QB Brett Rypien BOISE St
    OT John Leglue TUL
    FB George Aston PITT


    Chiefs
    QB Kyle Shurmur VAN
    FB/RB John Lovett PRINCE
    WR Cody Thompson TOL
    C Bruno Reagan CIN
    TE Logan Parker S UTAH
    S Gaje Ferguson

    Chargers

    OG Chris Brown USC
    OL Blake Camper S CAR
    LB Josh Corcoran N ILL
    TE Daniel Helm DUKE
    OG Koda Martin SYR
    C Tanner Volson NDST
    TE Matt Sokol MICH St

    Raiders
    FB Alec Ingold WIS
    S Jake Gervase IOWA

    Cowboys
    OT Mitch Hyatt CLEM
    OG Brandon Knight IND
    LB Luke Gifford NEB

    Giants
    C James O'Hagan BUF
    OT Paul Adams MIZZ
    S Jacob Thieneman PUR
    CB Jacob Carlock LIU (D-11 Long Island Post white Corner alert!!)
    DE Jeremiah Harris EMU

    Eagles
    C Nate Herbig STAN
    LB Joey Alfieri STAN
    OG Ryan Bates PENN St
    OG Keagan Render IOWA

    Redskins
    DT Ryan Bee MARSH

    Bears
    OL Blake Blachmar BAY
    OT Alex Bars ND
    TE Dax Raymond UT St
    OG Joe Lowery OHIO
    DE Mathieu Betts LAVAL (Canadian college)
    WR Spencer Schnell Ill St

    Lions
    OT Alex Bookser PITT
    OG Beau Benzschawel WIS
    TE Nate Becker MIAMI (OHIO)
    DT Matt Nelson IOWA

    Packers
    TE Davis Koppenhaver DUKE
    DT Sam Brincks IOWA
    Vikings
    QB Jake Browning WASH
    TE Brandon Dillon MARIAN
    OL John Keenoy

    Falcons
    S Parker Baldwin
    C Chandler Miller TUL
    WR CJ Worton FIU
    LB Durrant Miles BOISE St

    Panthers
    LB Jordan Kunaszyk CAL

    Saints
    TE/WR Jake Powell MONMOUTH
    LB/S Chase Hansen UTAH

    Bucs
    QB/WR/TE Nick Fitzgerald MISS St
    OT Zach Bailey S CAR
    C Nate Trewyn WISCONSIN-WHITEWATER (D-11)

    Cardinals
    QB Drew Anderson MUR St
    TE Drew Belcher MAINE

    Rams
    LB Troy Reeder DELAWARE
    OL Brandon Hitner VILLANOVA
    OT Chandler Brewer MTST
    WR Alex Bachman
    C Vitas Hrynkiewicz YOUNGSTOWN St

    49ers
    QB Wilton Speight UCLA
    OG Ross Reynolds IOWA

    Seahawks
    QB Michael O'Connor BRITISH COLOMBIA (Canadian college)
    FB Winston Dimel UT EL PASO
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
  2. Leonardfan

    Leonardfan Hall of Famer

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    At least we have some white DBs going in as UDFAs. Not ideal but hopefully they can make an impact and land on practice squads.

    Thieneman
    Carlock
    Baldwin
    Johnson
    Wingard
    Ferguson
    Gervase (I believe he has a tryout)
     
  3. Red raider

    Red raider Guru

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    Everywhere says Jake Carlock is a CB for some reason but I believe he’s playing OLB or SS, he’s 6’3” 225lbs, would be cool to see a white guy that size playing corner though.
     
  4. Leonardfan

    Leonardfan Hall of Famer

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    Just read that Thieneman suffered a non-contact knee injury and is now out and may require surgery. Sounds like an ACL. Terrible break for him.
     
  5. Deceptive Speed

    Deceptive Speed Mentor

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    Yes the Giants are giving a white CB a shot in Jake Carlock! It seems to me since the Giants were the last NFL team to start white CB in Jason Sehorn, they are best bet for a white CB to get a chance in Today's NFL. Although I would've thought the Patriots would have gaven a white CB a chance by now!??
     
  6. Truthteller

    Truthteller Mentor

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    Just did something I never thought I'd do, I spent about 30 minutes looking up New York Giants breaking news.

    It appears Jake Carlock is being listed as a safety by the Giants and one media reporter claimed Big Blue used him quite a bit at linebacker during rookie workouts. Carlock playing cornerback during the pre-season does not seem likely based on the early info, but who knows?

    In the rumors & musings thread, Shadowlight has done a great breaking down some of the more athletic quarterbacks trying to follow in Taysom Hill's footsteps. First thing to note, however, is Hill is much faster than most players in league, so to me he appears to be a bit of a "outlier" in the racist league... So for any white quarterback/athlete trying to gain his status as a QB/KR/WR/RB, I think that will be a very tough act to follow.

    As I've noted before on this site, I really loved Eric Dungey of Syracuse as a "athlete". I figured NFL teams would be wise to look at him as a wide receiver or even running back, if not the Taysom Hill role as Jack-of-all trades? Caste reality is, the Giants have listed Dungey as a quarterback/tight end. Yes he played mostly tight end the last two day in rookie workouts! If that's true, you can pretty much forget the Hill comparisons. I seriously doubt Taysom has had to bulk up to block linebackers fulltime?

    Also, things don't look great for Dominick Bragalone, tailback from Lehigh, who tested off the charts at Pro Day. He has not been signed after his tryout. So far the Giants have only signed a pair of foreign born blacks from try-outs -- a DB from Nigeria who attended Delaware and a DE from Bath, England, of all places? Bragalone might be wise looking into the CFL, at this point?

    If there was some good news from this weekend, the talented quarterback from Duke the Giants took in round 1 reportedly looked great in workouts. It's early, but after all the slings and arrows he's taken from black racists, white trash and the Caste media (mostly ESPN) the last 10 days for the crime of being selected ahead of Saint Dwayne Haskins, it was nice to see he looked sharp in non-contact drills and impressed most of the more objective media -- beat writers. Hopefully he's similar to Kristap Porzingis, who was also trashed by fans and media after he was picked, but impressed right off the bat in NBA Summer League. Heck, I read a "NBA Draft expert" from the Bleacher Report went on NYC radio after he was picked and predicted Porzingas would spend at least one year (perhaps two) in the D-League, due to a lack of strength and talent? Yea, how did that prediction workout, Bleacher Report Caste-Jackal!


    P.S: While looking up the info above, I saw the Buffalo Bills handed the scattered-armed, black quarterback from the University of Buffalo a $75,000 signing bonus as an undrafted player. That's stunning based on what I've seen -- last year teams were only allowed to spend $98,340 on all UDFA rookie bonuses*..... (By the way, the $75,000 figure came from ESPN's Caste-stooge Adam Schefter, who likely mixed up guaranteed base salary and guaranteed signing bonus?)

    * https://heavy.com/sports/2019/04/nfl-draft-undrafted-free-agents-salaries-contracts/

    P.S 2X: Kansas City Chiefs UFA signing bonuses posted; Toledo WR tops list: https://chiefswire.usatoday.com/2019/04/28/kansas-city-chiefs-undrafted-free-agents-earn-big-money/

    P.S. 3X: Buffalo Bills undrafted free agent David Sills a $35,000 signing bonus?


    If anyone cares and/or has the time, checkout the Twitter account of Houston Chronicle NFL writer Aaron Wilson, who is the source of the signing bonus totals. Players that get higher UFA signing bonuses tend to have a better chance to stick as rookies?
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
  7. Shadowlight

    Shadowlight Master

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    I certainly didn't know squat about UDFAs signing bonus "averages" and such but the two WRs we thought should be taken that were ignored I would hope have a chance to make their 53 man roster. But from what I have read you are right there does seem to be a limit to the signing bonuses so the 40,000 for Cody Thompson and 35,000 for Sills seems to be the going rate.

    Cody Thompson is with the Chiefs and I am deeply suspicious about what they are doing given their caste draft. Some rumors suggest they could utilize him but I would be surprised. He is a standout special teams player though so he could sneak in the back door. Then again I could imagine a scenario where they play "swap the honkies" and displace teetering WR Gehrig Dieter with Cody Thompson. They could just keep Dieter. Of course there is probably the likely scenario where neither one makes the 53 man roster. What are the odds they keep both? Place your bets. Not on horses though that is bad for your health.

    The media just doesn't let up on Sills and Thompson because nearly every article alludes to their "lack" of speed. But their time is roughly average for NFL WRs so why the fuss? Given their size they are probably slightly faster in their 40 times. Business as usual. But the reports skip over the part where Thompson killed in the probably more important 20 yard shuttle. Both players are big time leapers. A more accurate description would be both are athletic with solid speed but try finding that realistic portrait anywhere except here.

    The Sills situation still seems like a good fit for him. If he just landed on any old team I could see him getting washed away ala Chad Hansen. But in Buffalo I don't see why Sills and QB Allen can't hit it off. Sills needs to take a page out of the Welker/Edelman playbook and essentially become Allen's puppy dog retriever. He says jump you say how high kind of thing. The Bills need receivers desperately and with Sills being a former QB it just seems natural that him and Josh Allen will bond on and off the field. Maybe I am being way too optimistic but I think it will work out for Sills. See below why the media thinks he has a real shot too.

    https://247sports.com/college/west-virginia/Article/NFL-Contract-Details-for-David-SIlls-131808997/

    Adam Schefter's twitter page has a video of the Bills draft day "war room." There are maybe up to 50 people in that room. And none of the people in there look like minimum wage types. These NFL teams must be overflowing in big bucks.

    As for much maligned QB Daniel Jones I have to say he has handled the adversity with aplomb. You can tell this young man has great character with a good head on his shoulders. That translates into leadership and I suspect that, along with his talent, is why the Giants GM nabbed him. He has one advantage over Porzingis. Jones is more mature. And I agree the Giants beat writers are backing up a bit. Kimberly Jones the NY football reporter for the NFL network is even warming up to him after initially deriding the pick.

    Knowing the whiny Giants fans pretty well, if Eli and the Giants get off to a slow start they will be clamoring for Jones in short order. The Giants are becoming vaguely interesting after years of being nothing but a caste waste pan.

    As for the new Taysom Hill types I am fairly confident McSorley makes the Ravens roster. Truthteller is right about Dungey, That TE talk is the kiss of death.

    Nick Fitzgerald has a shot. There are lot of things that could go right in Tampa Bay but we will have to wait and see if Arians and his motley crowd reverse their caste drenched history and allow for more diversity on their team? Which means seeing white skill players in the foreground.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
  8. Truthteller

    Truthteller Mentor

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    Great points, Shadowlight. I agree, Trace McSorely clearly has the best chance of carving out a niche as a "athlete" in the NFL, among the rookies. Will be interested to see how he fits in Baltimore? Julian Edleman was a college quarterback that started out returning punts for the Patriots. Eventually he was also used as a backup slot receiver/cornerback, until he settled into his current role as starting slot receiver. Back in the early 2000's Mike Martz of the Rams took some McSorely types in the draft and tried to convert them to other positions -- Eric Crouch (Nebraska) and Steve Bellisari (Ohio State). Crouch, a 3rd round draft pick, refused to leave quarterback and was gone for good; Bellisari never quite caught on at safety at a time the Rams had many white defensive backs. Heck, in the latter part of the 1990's even Caste-stooge deluxe Bill Parcells (Jets) used a 3rd round pick to select Nebraska quarterback Scott Frost, with the purpose of moving him to safety!

    I agree, any talk of Eric Dungey or Nick Fitzgerald being moved to tight end is very bad news. I mean, can you think of any white college quarterback that was moved successfully to tight end? Only goy I can think of was Jim Jensen of the Miami Dolphins during the 1980's to the early 1990's, although some sources listed him at wide receiver**. As I recall, Jensen wasn't really that big, so he was only a tight end in name only. Reality is, he was more of a Jack-of-all trades , taller slot receiver, by today's standards. Asking a college quarterback to move to tight end is tantamount to career suicide. Dungey and Fitzgerald might be better off going to the CFL as quarterbacks rather than trying tight end?

    By the way, speaking of the Giants and tight ends, I've read the top undrafted prospect in rookie workouts was ex-Kentucky tight end C.J. Conrad. According to beat writers he stood out the most among all the non-draftees and has a chance to not only make the team, but get a lot of playing time.

    _________________

    Speaking of David Sills, here's great link (due to the comments section): http://wvmetronews.com/2019/04/27/west-virginia-nfl-draft-david-sills-buffalo-bills/

    Decent comments from someone name Dave Jonas, comparing Sills size/measurables to New Orleans' top receiver, who made the Pro Bowl. Eventually a pair of cucks or racist blacks surf in to basically tell him "NFL teams are colorblind", but he stands his ground and others have his back. Nice to see. That would not have happened ten years ago. Not sure I agree with his theory of Dwayne Haskins also being the victim of stereotypes, but he probably felt he needed to balance things out in order to not appear racist among the DWF's?


    **
    https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/J/JensJi00.htm
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
  9. Red raider

    Red raider Guru

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    Bears signed former Princeton WR (now a TE) Jesper Horsted after his minicamp tryout.
     
  10. rockybleier

    rockybleier Mentor

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    Still waiting on news about AJO.....No camp guarantee......
    Bragalone should get a chance. Look at the Slippery Rock kid getting a chance.
    Let’s a/b Brag and the sru kid on production and measurables.......and high school pedigree.....I could be wrong, but let’s check it out....I’ve heard nothing about Sam McPhereson.....Kupp had to put up ridiculous numbers, solid isn’t enough.....
     
  11. Extra Point

    Extra Point Hall of Famer

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  12. Extra Point

    Extra Point Hall of Famer

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    There were a number of excellent white prospects available after the draft. The fact that they weren't drafted makes one scratch one's head and wonder if their race wasn't a factor in them not being drafted.

    Here are five good prospects that were available as UDFAs.

    OT Mitch Hyatt. An iron man at Clemson who was a key component of Clemson's championship team. Held his own against the best college competition. Signed with Dallas.

    Wisconsin G Beau Benzschwabel. Comes from a program that regularly produces pro players. Benzschawel could be the next one. Signed with Detroit.

    Utah State TE Dax Raymond. A good receiver with potential as a blocker. Probably knocked down because of coming from a small school but should have been drafted. Signed with Bears who seem to like small school players.

    WR David Sills was projected to go in the top half of the draft but went unselected. A touchdown machine and excellent deep threat. Signed at an excellent place for him in Buffalo. Should pair well with Josh Allen.

    Toledo WR Cody Thompson is athletic with good size. Posted an 8.51 RAS. Productive. Comes from a small school but still should have been drafted. Signed with the Chiefs.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  13. Shadowlight

    Shadowlight Master

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    Good points EP.

    I would take the news coming out of the Chiefs camp with a heaping grain of salt because we know the drill. The white player gets talked up in the springtime only to be forgotten come fall.

    But Cody Thompson has been the odd man out this draft. With the headliner the exciting David Sills not being drafted and Scott Miller surprisingly but deservedly getting drafted, lost in the shuffle was Cody Thompson who most of us had pegged as a 5th round talent.

    Word is he has been the most impressive rookie at the Chiefs mini camp. Again he has solid speed, great hands, off the charts agility and wiggle. He consistently beat defenders deep in college. And he can really leap with a near 40 inch vertical.He is also a top line special teams player. How may ways can you spell no brainer?

    Once again the draft was loaded up with marginal filler type black WRs while more deserving types like Cody Thompson and David Sills have to fight like street urchins to gain a roster spot.

    Dax Raymond? Can't figure out why no one pulled the trigger on him. He ran a 4.5 plus on his pro day and has a big upside.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  14. rockybleier

    rockybleier Mentor

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  15. rockybleier

    rockybleier Mentor

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    No word on AJO’s tryout yet.....
     
  16. rockybleier

    rockybleier Mentor

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    Spencer Schnell (Isabella sized WR from Illinois St) has made the Tampa cuts.....
    Not sure if he has been mentioned on here......A long shot like all tryout guys.......
    I did a bit of research on the young man......His dad played in the NFL for a minute.....
     
  17. rockybleier

    rockybleier Mentor

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    As noted on other threads, AJO has been signed by the Saints.....
     
  18. Truthteller

    Truthteller Mentor

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    Was looking for an update on one of poster rockybleier's favorites Dominick Bragalone, who had a try-out with the Houston Texans last weekend, a week after failing to be signed by the New York Giants (try-out). No news on whether he was signed, but it does seem unlikely, considering his signing has not been reported three days after?

    However, I did find something on one of poster Shadowlight's favorites and it's good, even though it way too early to get excited: https://footballmaven.io/texans/new...g-opening-day-of-work-M-qQQImViUSxaonskIRhXw/
    Just a note: The author of the article I posted above goes by the name Patrick Starr. I assumed it was just a random fan writer at a DWF site, taking on a screen name from the Sponge Bob Square Pants cartoon character, who always reminded me of Caste buffoon Mike Tice. Turns out Patrick Starr is likely his real name, as it says he does a talk show on Houston AM radio. So his opinions probably carry a bit more weight, given his status. Also I believe Starr omitted the word Little or Limited when talking about Houston's depth at safety, after the top three, because they only have ex-practice squad types for depth 4 to 6? Currently Chris is listed as the Texans 7th safety at Ourlads.com.

    ________________

    Also, the Rams have signed ex-Iowa safety Jake Gervase after a try out: https://nfltraderumors.co/rams-sign-three-more-undrafted-free-agents/

    Barring injuries, I'd assume Gervase's best shot is making the Rams' practice squad, then working his way up, considering how hard he had to fight just to get signed to the 90 man roster?
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  19. Shadowlight

    Shadowlight Master

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    I have been in the dumps lately for a variety of reasons. The NBA draft. The high school football camps where the black players keep dominating the 40 yard dash which greases their way into the big power schools. The black out on ESPN where everything revolves around the next black stars. The sordid non white look that has enveloped MLB. The top tier high school basketball recruits from various classes are nearly totally awash with black players. The NBA playoffs where white players are not the main focus. And on and on.

    I am suffocating!! It takes the joy out of everything for me.

    So at least a small thanks to Truthteller for giving me a spot of hope with S Chris Johnson. The two most important UDFAs to make their squads for me are Johnson and WR David Sills. And right behind them would be WR Cody Thompson and QB/RB Nick Fitzgerald. If these players make their teams I can at least relax a little bit. God knows I need something to hang my hat on.

    Speaking of the Texans their FB Cullen Gillaspia, who was drafted isn't your everyday blocking FB. He is a real athlete with 4.5 plus speed. Chandler Cox was another FB chosen by the Dolphins who is also a well built athletic type of FB/TE type.

    S Gervase is another talented athlete that got washed up on the dead white man DB shore. Such a shame what is going on.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  20. Red raider

    Red raider Guru

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    Cardinals signed DB Tyler Sigler after rookie tryouts. He’s a big 6’3” 215lbs safety from Wheaton College.
     
  21. backrow

    backrow Hall of Famer

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    Damn...

    A.J. Ouellette: Waived by Saints
    • By RotoWire Staff
    • 14 hrs ago • 1 min read
    Ouellette was waived by the Saints on Tuesday, Josh Katzenstein of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

    Ouellette's time in New Orleans was short-lived after signing with the team just over two weeks ago. The rookie was waived to make room for the signing of veteran tailback Buck Allen.
     
  22. FootballDad

    FootballDad Hall of Famer

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    Had to make room for the player with a correct-sounding name, Javorius "Buck(wheat)" Allen. It is disappointing. Allen is a serviceable back, better than maybe half of the other scrubs floating around the league, but to only keep AJO for the OTA's and not give him a shot in camp? Oh right, he doesn't "look" like the right kind of player. I hope that McCaffrey puts up 500 yards on the Saints this year.
     
  23. Quiet Speed

    Quiet Speed Mentor

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    That stinks!
     
  24. FootballDad

    FootballDad Hall of Famer

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    Interesting article on this Browns receiver that is competing in camp. I haven't had the time to research him, but I'll bet that if he had more melanin content, he would never have had to go through all of this trouble......

    How Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi’s Browns tryout brought ‘Major League’ to life
    By Scott Patsko, cleveland.com | Posted May 28, 2019 at 05:30 AM | Updated May 28, 2019 at 12:14 PM
    [​IMG]
    Cleveland Browns' wide receiver/kick returner Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi runs after a reception during the fifth day of OTAs in Berea. (John Kuntz, cleveland.com)

    CLEVELAND, Ohio – There’s a scene early in the movie “Major League” where Willie Mays Hayes shows up at Indians spring training, shaking hands and proclaiming that he hits like Mays and runs like Hayes.

    One problem, though. He wasn’t invited to spring training. After security escorts his sleeping body – bed and all – out of the facility overnight, Willie wakes up as players are being timed in sprints.

    Determined as ever, he jumps out of bed and into a race that has already begun. Despite being in bare feet and pajamas, Willie blows past the other participants. Not long after that, somebody gets him a uniform.

    There are a couple lessons here: confidence can lead to opportunity, and speed can get you noticed.

    Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi is living proof of this. And it’s why the little-known wide receiver/kick returner is catching passes from Baker Mayfield today.

    [​IMG]
    Cleveland Browns wide receiver Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi makes a catch defended by cornerback Jermaine Ponder in one-on-one passing drills during rookie minicamp in Berea. (John Kuntz, cleveland.com)





    Back in late March, Sheehy-Guiseppi was in need of a future.

    He had been a junior college All-American kick returner for Phoenix College (not to be confused with the University of Phoenix online school). But when his 2016 season didn’t earn him a scholarship at Phoenix, he went in search of bigger opportunities.

    Armed with a credit card and determination (and his game film), Sheehy-Guiseppi went on a tour of Division I universities in early 2017, hoping for a chance to show what he could do.

    The trip to SEC and Big 12 schools wasn’t very fruitful. Only one school watched his tape. But he did get plenty of bad news. He learned that he had just one year of eligibility remaining (he had attended another juco prior to Phoenix). Also, he was nine credits short of being able to transfer.

    And now he didn’t have enough money to return to school.

    So Sheehy-Guiseppi hatched a plan to go pro.

    “I’m going to go to Florida and start with the Tampa Bay Bucs and I’m going to go to every facility I can, go all the way across the country and see if I can just walk in there and give it a shot,” he said.

    Sheehy-Guiseppi remained based in Arizona and trained for more than a year, looking for tryout opportunities while networking.

    He drove to Las Vegas for a CFL tryout, paid his $100 to participate, ran a 40, did his workout, and then, nothing. After the tryout he learned that the odds of a player being signed from the event were slim to none.

    “We don’t really take anybody off the tryouts,” he was told.

    “So you’re telling me that out of the 100 cases here that tried out, you’re not going to take any of them?” he asked.

    “Yeah, we already have a full team.”

    “So there was no point.”

    An Arena Football League tryout for multiple teams in Atlanta didn’t work out, either.

    Then, earlier this year, a connection made through a flag football league in Arizona paid off. A friend of a friend knew of an NFL workout in Miami. Sheehy-Guiseppi got the address and headed to Florida.

    One problem, though. He wasn’t invited.


    [​IMG]
    Cleveland Browns' wide receiver/kick returner Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi works on kick return coverage during an OTA session in Berea. (John Kuntz, cleveland.com)





    The flag football connection was reluctant to give out the address of the workout at first. But Sheehy-Guiseppi was desperate. He didn’t care if it was an invite-only event. This was an opportunity, and he’d make it work.

    When he finally got the address, he also got some advice: look for Alonzo Highsmith at the workout.

    Who?

    Sheehy-Guiseppi typed the name into Google and found out he was the Browns’ vice president of player personnel. Good to know. He also made note of what Highsmith looked like.

    Sheehy-Guiseppi made it to Miami and headed to the workout, where he was met with confusion. But he was prepared for that.

    “Who are you?”

    “I’m Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi. I’m here for the tryout.”

    “Do you know Alonzo?”

    “Yeah, I know Alonzo.”

    The confidence paid off. Sheehy-Guiseppi had his foot in the door. To make sure his story didn’t fall apart, as soon as he saw Highsmith, he ran to him and introduced himself.

    “I just knew I had to make it look like we were friends,” Sheehy-Guiseppi said. “Alonzo was real nice to me.”

    The workout began and Sheehy-Guiseppi stood out. He caught punts, he caught passes, and, best of all, his 40 time was 4.38. Only five wide receivers at the 2019 NFL combine ran faster than that.

    Speed. It got Highsmith’s attention.

    About 30 minutes after the workout ended, Sheehy-Guiseppi’s phone rang. It was Highsmith, with an offer to visit Berea for an official tryout.

    That was great news, but the tryout was a week away and he didn't have money to fly back home. He also didn't have money to rent a room for the entire week. So Sheehy-Guiseppi improvised, sleeping outside, sleeping at a 24-hour fitness center, and then outside a training facility he was using to prepare for his workout.

    Train. Sleep. Eat very little. That was the schedule leading up to the biggest day of his life.

    “Then we got a chance to see him for ourselves and you could see all of the explosive movement stuff that Alonzo was talking about,” said GM John Dorsey. “Then when you watch him field kicks and punts, you are going, ‘OK, he can do this kind of stuff.’

    “Now, he has not played in a couple of years, but it will not be because of lack of determination because this is a very determined young man.”

    Sheehy-Guiseppi became a member of the Browns on April 5.


    [​IMG]
    Cleveland Browns linebacker Sione Takitaki grabs the jersey of wide receiver Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi on a pass play during OTAs in Berea. (John Kuntz, cleveland.com)






    He understands that he’s a longshot. Maybe the longest of longshots.

    “Yeah, it would be a great story if it happens, but he has to come and show that he deserves to be here,” Dorsey said.

    Sheehy-Guiseppi is 24. He hasn’t played competitive football since 2016. And even then, it wasn’t that competitive. Being in Berea for OTAs has highlighted the chasm between junior college and the NFL.

    “It’s definitely way different than I thought,” he said. “You’re training and it’s like, ‘Yeah, I think I’m capable of doing this.’ And when you get here it’s eye-opening. It’s all these little details that you don’t think of until you get here. You have to figure out all the details and really work to learn all the things you need to learn on the fly. You get the playbook, and then an hour later you have to go perform it on the field.”

    To Sheehy-Guiseppi, returning a kick was always pretty straight-forward. “I thought it was you just catch the ball, and you just run,” he said. That worked at Phoenix, where led the nation in kick-return yards (1,278) and return touchdowns (four) in 2016.

    But the NFL is something different.

    “Now here there’s techniques that helps you catch the ball and make a move faster,” he said. “It’s like, you’re already fast, but if you catch the ball cleaner, you get going faster. Those little details, I never knew about.”

    At OTAs, Sheehy-Guiseppi has run drills with the wide receivers, operating with a third-team group that includes Jaelen Strong, Ishmael Hyman and Dorian Baker. As a returner, he’s competing with Antonio Callaway, Dontrell Hilliard and D’Ernest Johnson.

    With the Browns’ wide receiver unit being so deep, Sheehy-Guiseppi is likely looking at a special teams role as his path to the final 53.

    “If Damon is going to be the guy, then he has to play on more than just return phases,” said special teams coordinator Mike Priefer. “You have to be a guy that is going to help us in the cover phases, as well.”

    Last Wednesday, Priefer praised Sheehy-Guiseppi’s positioning during a faux-tackling drill for special-teamers. Later, in seven-on-seven drills, he caught a pass from Garrett Gilbert with third-round pick Sione Takitaki on his back.

    Still, showing what he can do on returns in preseason games will likely be Sheehy-Guiseppi’s best shot at a roster spot. And even then, a lack of experience might have him destined for a practice squad.

    “No matter what opportunity I’m given, I want to become the greatest,” he said. “If it’s practice squad, I want to become the greatest practice squad player.”

    As Wednesday’s practice ended and players headed for the locker room, Sheehy-Guiseppi stayed after and joined a handful of teammates catching kicks shot from a JUGS machine. After that, he moved to a far practice field with cornerback Robert Jackson, who spent last season on the Texans’ and Browns’ practice squads.

    Again and again, Sheehy-Guiseppi lined up for an imaginary play and practiced getting off the line of scrimmage against Jackson. Eventually, they were the only two players left on the field.

    Confidence and speed got him here. But Sheehy-Guiseppi knows that if there’s a movie ending out there for him, he’ll have to work for it.
     
  25. white lightning

    white lightning Hall of Famer Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2004
    Messages:
    11,062
    What a great article. It made my day that he still has a chance to live out his dream. This kid deserves to make the practice squad at the very least. Hungry as can be and will do anything to win!
     

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