Undrafted Ragin’ Cajuns Signed To NFL Teams
A few NFL teams decided to take fliers on some Ragin' Cajun football players, proving the NFL Draft isn't the only way to make it into the league.
It wasn't a coincidence that 31 NFL teams sent scouts down to Lafayette for the Cajuns Pro Day. Christian Ringo wowed the scouts so much that he was drafted 210th Overall by the Green Bay Packers. What about the other talented players like OL Daniel Quave, RB Alonzo Harris, OLB/DE Boris Anyama and Ringo's partner in the trenches, DL Justin "Juice" Hamilton?
Getting your name called on Draft Day is a once in a lifetime experience, but so is your first phone call from a General Manager. Undrafted players don't have the same financial compensation or preferential treatment, but they have a shot to make an NFL roster. That alone is a dream for many men.
Members of Cajun Nation, you might want to buy the NFL package...because your boys are starting to get chances all across the country.
DL Justin "Juice" Hamilton, Buffalo Bills
The Bills put together quite a nasty defensive line by acquiring Mario Williams and having draft picks like Marcell Dareus develop, so saying Juice has a good chance to make the field early would be a bit optimistic.
The aggressive interior lineman posted 9.5 tackles for loss last year and 4.5 sacks, while working next to Christian Ringo. His 6'2"-311lb frame is big for college, but not exactly the prototypical NFL nosetackle body. If the Bills weight training staff can work on his conditioning, Hamilton could find himself getting some work this preseason as one of the ends in Rex Ryan's 3-4 scheme.
A shot in the NFL is all guys want, and opposing offensive linemen and the Bills' GM would be wise not to underestimate Juice. He earned that nickname for a reason.
RB Alonzo Harris, Green Bay Packers
These Cajuns better get ready for some cold weather. Juice is on his way to Buffalo and Alonzo Harris joins Ringo up on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. Hopefully, Harris is a big fan of cheese. They sure do love it up in Wisconsin, along with that Aaron Rodgers guy.
It's not every day you come across a running back that weighs in around 240 lbs. 'Zo is a dumptruck rolling downhill, and the Packers proved with Eddie Lacy that physical running isn't out of style up in Green Bay. The Crimson Tide bowling ball of a back clearly holds the top dog position, but if Harris studies hard and proves to be a good blocker, he could stick around for quite a while.
Injuries to running backs are all too common in the modern era of the NFL, and creating stockpiles at the position appears to be the norm. Harris is on a team that is sure to win a lot of games, so as long as he can deal with shoveling snow things should work out for both parties.
OL Daniel Quave, Dallas Cowboys
The Quave Brothers are some of the nicest guys you'll ever meet, so why did Daniel have to go and join the Cowboys?
Clearly, the statement is made in jest. Congratulations to the 6'3"-310lb big man on catching the eye of the folks in the big ole' state of Texas. Jerry Jones built a massive stadium for him to play in, and everybody knows Tony Romo's back isn't exactly brand new. The offensive line in Dallas is packed with prime-grade beef, so the chances of Quave seeing immediate play time are pretty slim.
One thing is for sure though: the coaching staff in Dallas clearly knows what to do with their offensive line prospects, and Quave's work ethic and personality are not one to buck the system. We just hope the reporters in Dallas ask him some fun questions. He can surely handle whatever they throw at him.
DE/OLB Boris Anyama, Atlanta Falcons
We're happy for Boris and the Anyama family, but do we have to be happy for the Atlanta Falcons?
Anyama, unlike the other Cajuns who signed undrafted free agent deals with their team, only received an invitation to camp. His spot isn't as safe as Ringo, Hamilton, Quave and Harris, but he will have a chance to prove his worth. Atlanta's need for an edge rusher was well publicized. Their selection of Vic Beasley in the top 10 is their first solution to that, but Anyama's upside earned him a chance to compete.
At 6'2"-230, Anyama will have to prove he can cover in space to get some reps at the OLB position. He snagged a few balls in his pro day, but his need to improve was obvious.
DB Corey Trim, Carolina Panthers
It's no secret that the Carolina Panthers need some help in the defensive backfield. Their front seven and linebacking group had a bit of an off year last season, but their glaring defensive issues sit on the shoulders of the guys guarding the pass catchers.
DB Corey Trim can play a little safety and a little nickel corner, and maybe come in to contribute in dime packages and special teams. If he can learn how to patiently deal with NFL QB's and not get deceived by their eyes or fakes, he could see some field time early on in preseason play. The 5'10"-174lb playmaker joins two other former Cajuns, Melvin White and Charles "Peanut" Tillman, in Charlotte. Think he could learn a thing or two from Peanut?
Regardless of how it happens, NFL players earn their spot in the league for their performance. Kurt Warner, Wayne Chrebet, London Fletcher, John Randle and Warren Moon weren't drafted either. Did it stop them?