Roy Schuening was, as expected, the first
Beaver chosen. The offensive guard was selected by the St. Louis Rams, who traded
up with Tennessee, through Washington to select Schuening.
Former Beaver running back Steven Jackson recommended to head coach Scott Linehan
that the Rams draft the Oregon native.
“Steven knows what we’re looking for. It’s an organizational
goal to get those kinds of guys in this program,” Linehan told stlouisrams.com.
“There’s something about the makeup of an offensive lineman that
can play through whatever and make 50 starts in college and not miss a game,”
Linehan said. “That’s hard to do, and he still has an excellent
grade as far as physical.
" It’s not like he’s beat up. He’s in really good shape,
and he’s coming out of a great program.”
The second Beaver chosen, however, did not go according to form.
Dorian Smith was a potential fourth round pick
according to one publication. Others though Yvenson
Bernard or maybe Alexis Serna might go
in the later rounds.
Instead, it was Joey LaRocque, picked in the
seventh round by Chicago.
"He's a tough, instinctive outside linebacker who was very productive late in
his career. He struggled with a hamstring injury during the predraft process,
but he probably wouldn't have run much better than he did at the combine anyway.
He lacks functional speed and is a marginal athlete," says ESPN in evaluating
the Bears' draft.
Schuening, said the network, "doesn't have elite size, he can't change direction
well in pass protection and occasionally loses his balance. It's also worth
pointing out he's a relentless drive-blocker who plays with a mean streak and
works to the whistle on every play."
Former center Kyle DeVan and defensive end Dorian Smith have signed free agent contracts with the Washington Redskins. DeVan started 38 games at center and was a 2006 Pac-10 Second Team honoree and honorable mention in 2005 and 2007. Smith was a Pac-10 First team honoree last season and ended his two year career (transferred from the College of the Desert) with 15 sacks, sixth all-time at OSU.
Running Back Yvenson Bernard signed a free agent contract late Sunday to join Schuening with the Rams. Bernard finished his career with 3,862 yards, sixth all-time in the Pac-10 record book. He was the 2007 Emerald Bowl Offensive MVP after a 177-yard rushing performance. Bernard is the seventh player in conference history with three 1,000-yard plus rushing seasons.
The trio of Beavs could be
joined by a contingent of others -- K Serna, WR Anthony
Brown, CB Gerard Lawson, LB Alan
Darlin, LB Derrick
Doggett, DT Gerard Lee, DT Curtis
Coker, DE Jeff Van Orsow and RB Clinton Polk
-- who could also sign.
How many free agents actually make a team? More than you might think.
Last year, the 12 playoff teams had a combined 167 undrafted free agents on
their collective postseason rosters.
There was a downturn in undrafted free agent signings last year but it may have
been an aberration tied to the perceived low quality of last year's draft. And
NFL teams can still often save money with a free agent contract versus a player
they drafted. Players can also potentially choose the most attractive situation
for them to compete in.
As for undrafted free agents who became impact players, the list is lengthy.
To name but a few:
QBs Tony Romo, Kurt Warner and Jeff Garcia; RBs Ryan Grant, Priest Holmes, James
Allen, Mack Strong and Stacey Mack; WRs Ruvell Martin, Wes Walker, Terrence
Wilkins, and David Patten; offensive linemen Jeff Saturday, Ryan Lilja, Stephen
Neal, James Williams, Derrick Deese and Mark Dixon; DL Paul Spicer, Cullen Jenkins,
Ed Johnson and Greg White, LBs Antonio Pierce, Ryan Nece and James Harrison;
DBs Terry Cousin and Nick Jarper; Ks Adam Vinatieri and Olindo Mare; and punter
Go further back and you'll find Deron Cherry, Sam Mills, Wayne Chrebet and Joe
Jacoby as more undrafted free agents who flourished in The League.
But any of the Beavs who were not drafted will be happy just to catch on with
an NFL team and then spend the next few months in deep preparations to make
Meanwhile, the Arena Football and the Canadian Football Leagues also remain
as other options.