By: Barry Barnes, Founder
The necessity of building upon a franchise is essential for the productivity of the NFL. This continuous process is fueled by the annual NFL Draft and free agency, mainly the signing of undrafted free agents.
Since there is always uncertainty with new young players entering the league, the NFL needed to establish a plan C and D.
Through the NFL Regional Combine (RC), the Shield provided a platform for teams to scope out talent, that flew below the radar, to become the beacon for their watchtower. Spanning from the RC, the NFL Super Regional Combine is the filter which magnifies higher skilled players.
The NFL Regional Combine ushered in over 1,000 NFL hopefuls for the 2015 session. Earning an invite to the NFL Super Regional Combine in Arizona were 122 standouts.
Undoubtedly, some players were overlooked for the Super. Still, the system produced enough qualified individuals who are NFL-ready to help constitute a successful franchise.
As the 2015 NFL Draft draws near, clubs, for the most part, know who they want to select in the early rounds to become leaders for their organization. However, the players who earned the privilege to dress in a suit and walk across the stage to shake the hand of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, are not franchise necessarily builders.
Later round draftees and the undrafted free agents are the franchise builders. With the success of the SRC, more players are fashioned in the process to be the clay and bricks of the foundation to build a winning organization.
Entering the 2015 NFL Draft, the Shield purposely changed the template of the NFL Regional Combine, to not only sign players as undrafted free agents, but to be drafted.
On April 30 to May 1, enjoy and celebrate the players who get called out in Chicago because they earned it. After February 1st of 2016, cheer for those who were either selected on the third day of the 2015 NFL Draft or signed as an undrafted free agent that help established the franchise to win Super Bowl 50.
For the 2015 NFL season, here’s a peek at the “Franchise Builders” instituted by the NFL Regional Combine.
The most complex positions in the NFL are orchestrated through the offensive lineman and quarterback.
From the running back to the kicker, the other positioned players have to focus on the man before them, not so much on whose around them.
Offensive linemen and quarterbacks must examine all matters on the field. The shifting, schemes, stunts, and blitzes to name a few, all components to trick and surprise the masters of the line of scrimmage.
The NFL Regional Combine has been productive at discovering talent for the league, except for offensive linemen and quarterbacks.
The execution for the other skill positions are easier to determine because they have total control of their actions and performances. There are position drills installed for offensive linemen. To examine how O-linemen will respond against athletic, quick and powerful edge rushers during the workouts is nearly possible as they drill with other offensive linemen to display their ability to block.
Instituted for the quarterbacks, the NFL Regional Combine have sessions specializing in footwork and basic mechanics. Nevertheless, they are throwing passes to unfamiliar pass catches. Sure, signal callers must make adjustments. Albeit, if the pass catchers drop passes, mainly good ones, quarterbacks get hit with undeserved ratings.
Through the RC, a couple of offensive linemen were drafted. Tackle Ulrick John was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts (232nd-overall) and center Demetrius Rhaney was selected by the St. Louis Rams (250th-overall) last season. However, both players were unable to succeed on the field due to injuries.
The Carolina Panthers signed tackle David Foucault as an undrafted free agent last season and placed him on the 53-man active roster. The Canadian earned a start against the New Orleans Saints, but was rotated in and out of the lineup throughout the 2014 campaign. Foucault is considered in being a project.
For the quarterbacks, only one is in the NFL through the NFL Regional Combine, B. J. Daniels of the Seattle Seahawks, who was actually drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2013 NFL Draft, 237th-overall.
The 2015 campaign of the RC had some special talent gracing the workouts in offensive linemen and quarterbacks. The NFL Regional Combine has established itself as a proven product to uncover gems for the league. Moreover, when the offensive linemen and quarterbacks flood the NFL, and succeed, the RC will explode.
Denzelle Good, Mars Hill
Good started his collegiate career at N.C. State. Unfortunately, his grades held him back and he eventually transferred to Mars Hill. At Mars Hill, Good played on a high level, out shining his competitors. Good is clearly a NFL talent.
Jack Abercrombie, California, PA
Joshua Hendershot, Toledo
Shane McDermott, Miami
Austin Reiter, South Florida
Zillion Bonnet, Prairie View
Jared Martin, Louisiana-Lafayette
Vincent Kowalski, Villanova
Anthony Landry, Angelo State
Tovar Allen, Alabama State
Michael Boyefio, Texas A&M-Commerce
Sukh Chungh, Calgary, CA
Alex Dole, Lindenwood
Robby Ignagni, Carson Newman University
Danny Groulx, Laval, CA
Michael German, Tennessee State
German possesses the body of quarterback Andrew Luck (Indianapolis Colts) and the arm strength of Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl winning quarterback Joe Flacco. German have a solid touch and is outstanding at hitting his pass catchers in stride. Despite not being invited to the NFL Super Regional Combine, German turned several heads. The Tennessee Titans was one of the teams that worked him out.
Max Shortell, Jacksonville State
Aaron Aiken, Coastal Carolina
Sean McCartney, West Chester
John Douglas, Davidson
Austin Dodge, Southern Oregon
Cole Jaeschke, Upper Iowa
Taylor Kelly, Arizona State
Andrew Jackson, Seton Hall
Tyler Murphy, Boston College
Keahn Wallace, Johnson C. Smith
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