Just yesterday the Raiders announced their official undrafted rookie free agent class of 2012. 13 men will get a chance to sport silver and black. Of those 13 only a select few will be lucky enough to even see preseason action let alone make the practice squad, never mind the longshot of making the 53-man. But if they want any inspiration all they’ve got to do is watch how Desmond Bryant goes about his business.
Talk about defying the odds. Bryant arrived in the East Bay back in ’09 as an undrafted free agent out of Harvard. Not too many NFL prospects are cranked out of Ivy League schools let alone 6’5” defensive linemen with a nasty streak that would make the former Ron Artest blush.
2011 saw Bryant firmly establish himself in the NFL. He saw plenty of action is first two season with the Raiders but it would be Matt Shaughnessy’s unfortunate injury that allowed Bryant to finally get some starts under his belt.
10 times Bryant started for the Raiders last season racking up 5 sacks while displaying the versatility that’s made him such a valuable asset to a defense looking for its identity. So impressed with Bryant was new G.M. Reggie McKenzie that he made sure to keep the restricted free agent in silver and black for 2012.
Bryant is definitely an NFL success story of the most unlikely kind. He’s a real inspiration to all undrafted free agents out there. Of course if Bryant really wants to show he’s arrived he’ll go out and have a season that will earn a Tommy Kelly pay day. When it comes to undrafted free agent success stories Kelly’s bank account is among the gold standards for all UFAs to ascribe to.