With the lock-out reinstated over the course of the draft, there is no free agent signings taking place. This means whether an NFL player is a free agent or if it is a kid out of college that went undrafted, there is nothing. No signings can take place. So for Dom DeCicco, Henry Hynoski, Dan Hutchins, Nate Nix and even Ricky Gary: welcome to limbo. Stay in shape. Keep working out and not have a clue about where when or how you will play football. Good luck.
Well, Pitt had five players drafted this year. As the Pitt press release notes, its the most players drafted from Pitt since 2004. By a remarkable coincidence, the 2003 season was one of Pitt football’s most disappointing seasons based on the expectations and talent until this past 2010 season. Heck, there was even a WR from Pitt taken in the first round in both drafts (please note, that is the extent of the similarities with which anyone should ever compare Baldwin to Fitzgerald).
Usually when you get down to the 7th round, the argument starts to go that it would almost be better to be undrafted and get your choice on where to sign and compete in camp. Rather than be picked so late, get so little money and have little chance to succeed. Of course, in the lockout situation, that probably doesn’t apply. Henry Hynoski was surprised to find himself in this situation.
“I’m not feeling too good right now,” Hynoski said Saturday night. “I’m kind of in shock. This was really unexpected from all angles.”
Based on conversations he had with representatives from several teams and with his agent, Drew Smith of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Hynoski had said he was expecting to be drafted in one of the later rounds. That that didn’t happen was one surprise, but Hynoski said another was that most of the other names of potential fullback picks that he had heard, also went undrafted.
There were six fullbacks picked, but Hynoski was familiar with only one of them.
“The great majority were surprises to me,” he said. “One I knew for sure but the other ones I hadn’t heard mentioned much.”
That muscle pull at the draft combine killed him. Still, of all the undrafted Pitt players, Hyno is the most likely to find himself on a roster when the NFL actually is able to sign players.
Greg Romeus had a 2010 to forget. The injuries. The personal losses. Then to top it, sliding to the 7th round. I wouldn’t be surprised if his dog was hit by a car this year. That kind of year. The tallest dwarf consolation, he is considered the biggest high-reward pick in that round. A Q&A with the New Orleans paper has him still putting on the happy face.
Do you think the two injuries cost you a lot of money?
“Yeah, it definitely did. It cost me a lot of money, but that’s the game. There are injuries in football and sometimes it takes away from you, but at the same time, that’s behind me. I know I have to go out and get healthy now to get back on the field.”
Your emotions through this entire season, obviously you could have come out a year earlier, and chose to go back to school. What are your emotions throughout this whole past year up to this point?
“Yeah, It’s tough. I can’t act like I didn’t struggle a lot. Emotionally, it’s been a tough season for me. I had so many expectations going into my senior year coming back, I didn’t fulfill the ones that I wanted to. At the same time, it made me a better person. I’ve gone through these different things. It’s tried me and I’m still standing. I know when I look back, I’m going to look back and just appreciate things so much more.”
Romeus is a guy who is owed more than a few breaks after 2010.
Dion Lewis will finally get a chance to be the back-up to LeSean McCoy. As you would expect, there was excitement ( and probably quite a bit of relief) when his name was announced in the 5th round.
Right after Lewis was picked, the Browns traded up a few spots to grab Jason Pinkston. His versatility was part of the reason they wanted him, according to Browns GM Tom Heckert.
“We think he can play, probably if he had to, play left tackle, he could. But, he can play right tackle, he can play guard. I think anytime you can draft an offensive lineman that has that versatility, you’re in good shape. He was another guy that we liked. We obviously traded both our sixths to get up to get and get him. Hopefully he comes in and plays well for us.”
Everyone tries to draw connections so it was pointed out that Pinkston’s cousin Todd Pinkston was an Eagles WR while Heckert was in the Eagles organization. Somehow I doubt that was a factor. Pinkston also proved to be a good quote/savvy with the locals.
He grew up in Pittsburgh rooting for the Steelers.
“I love them, but it’s business now and I’m a Cleveland Brown,” Pinkston said.
So what’s he going to do with his Terrible Towel and black-and-gold gear?
“Donate it to Goodwill.”
Jabaal Sheard, the second highest Pitt draft pick was not as quick on the uptake — or just wanted to tweak the locals of his new team.
To make things even more interesting, Sheard revealed on Twitter yesterday that he is a lifelong Miami Heat fan.
Sheard asked if he could still be a Heat fan and received a ton of responses, many of which can’t be repeated here. The best advice though, came from the Browns’ latest quick study, Joe Haden. Haden quickly tweeted to Sheard, “Please my brother don’t talk about the Heat! Soft spot 4 Cleveland!” Sheard seemed to learn quickly and left the topic at “No longer a Heat fan. Can I be a DWade fan?”
It sounded strange to hear someone say they had been a Heat fan their entire life. Then it occurred to me just how old I am and just how young he is. While a lot of us remember the Heat expanding into the league, Sheard was born in 1989, right around the time of the Miami Heat’s inaugural season.
Cleveland blog WFNY, likes the picks and believes that Sheard could be a starter right away.
As you would expect, there was excitement in the Sheard household when it was announced. Not to mention a surprise.
Sheard said a cheer swept through the room when his named was announced by Browns legendary wide receiver Paul Warfield. Sheard said he estimated getting hugs from 30 people. “Including dudes,” he said.
“It was exciting. Everybody here thought I was going a little later, but I thought I could have been a first-round pick. I feel I am equivalant to those guys ahead of me.
“I am real confident in myself in what I can do. But it’s a blessing to picked in the second round.”
Sheard also indicated that the reason for the fight involved helping an unnamed younger teammate in a scrape. Someday we may know who it was, but apparently not yet.