Saturday, April 30, 2011

Eagles can serve as role models for Herzlich

We know that Mark Herzlich and all his fans are disappointed , but not getting drafted is not that big a deal. Now that their risk is minimized and their upside is aligned, numerous NFL teams can roll the dice with Herzlich. And he only needs to look to two recent BC linebackers as examples of free agent success. Ricky Brown -- who graduated the spring before Mark arrived -- was an extremely productive linebacker at BC. He didn't have Mark's instincts or cover skills and was of similar speed. Yet he got on with Oakland and has been a contributor and part-time starter for five seasons. Mark's former teammate Jo-Lonn Dunbar has also used free agency as an avenue to an NFL career. Now 2008 Herzlich was better than Dunbar ever was. Their SR seasons were comparable as both dealt with some nagging injuries and stacked depth chart. Dunbar had more speed than Herzlich but was not expected to be drafted. He's been a significant factor for the Saints though. Signed as an undrafted free agent, Dunbar is now a starter.

The lockout creates a bit of an unknown that wouldn't have occurred as a draftee, but there is nothing Mark can do about that now. He now just has to stay focused and find the right situation for him.

The only thing he could have done differently through this process was to avoid the media spotlight. But if Mark truly has on-camera ambitions after football, then speaking on air this past week was a great audition and a chance to promote Mark Herzlich the brand/personality.

I am disappointed but not surprised by this weekend. But I don't doubt Mark. He'll be in the NFL next year and in a few years few of us will even care about his Draft weekend.


James said...

Rob Francois went undrafted as well, now a Super Bowl Champion with he Packers

Jeff said...

Yeah, and Silva was a UDFA success too.

I AM surprised and disappointed. However, I believe Mark will still achieve his dreams, and I believe in him 100%. My brother, we survived for a purpose. I know yours is something noble.

John said...

Someone will take a chance on Mark - and I wish him all the best.

Thanks for all the memories, Mark - you are a special guy.

mmason said...

ATL--I agree with your take on Mark's situation--the draft is often a hyped clearinghouse--tales of failed and quick to fade draftees abound in considerable numbers, and when the smoke & mirrors clear, the tough and brainy, the essential "football players" like Herzy, find their way into the NFL mix. Mark may not start with big money, but he'll get to a good place in his pro career. God Bless the Dude--he will abide.

jay said...

ATL,I hate to nitpick, but you are very wrong in your assertion that Ricky Brown and Mark Herzlich are "of similar speed." I was at BC at the same time as Ricky Brown. He was one of the fastest players on the entire team. In fact, I was once told by a player that he ran a faster 40 than Will Blackmon (obviously WB would rock him in agility drills, etc.).

mod34b said...

Herzy had a really bad 40 time - 4.92 (most high school lbs can beat this time)

In fact, of the 55 OLB's considered, Herzy was 55th slowest - sadly THE slowest. See here

"Slow" is an NFL killer and is why he was not drafted.

Scott said...

Most of the BC Linebackers who have caught on at the NFL did so b/c of their speed:

Ricky Brown, ran a 4.48 at personal workouts:

Robert Francois ran a 4.58 a 245 pounds.

Jo-Lonn Dunnbar ran just under a 4.79.

Unfortunately the NFL was scared that Herzy ran multiple times over 4.9, even though he's been healthy for almost 8 months. They fear he'll never regain his 2008 speed. I think that's a mistake. If he keeps egains more flexibility and explosion uring the lockout, this could work well.

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