The Undrafteds: A closer look at the Tennessee Titan UDFA’s

This weekend marked the beginning of life in the NFL for the 2009 class of Tennessee Titan rookies.

While the exploits of draftees such as Jared Cook snagging passes from the air and the one-on-one battles between former Rutgers teammates Kenny Britt and Jason McCourty dominated local headlines, there are other guys participating in rookie mini-camp who have arrived with significantly less fanfare.

Who are these overlooked players, you ask? They are the guys whose names you didn’t hear announced on draft day: the undrafted free agents.

Let’s take a closer look at the UDFA’s who face long odds in their attempts to make the Titans’ 2009 roster.   

Rodney Ferguson RB New Mexico

Rodney is a big back (6’0, 234 lbs) who rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of his last three seasons as a New Mexico Lobo. He’s a physical, punishing type of runner, which meshes well with the Titans’ smash-mouth rushing attack.

Of course, there’s a ton of competition at the running back position, which probably doesn’t bode well for Ferguson’s chances of making the roster. In addition to fighting off the likes of Quinton Ganther, Rafael Little and Mr. Invisible a.k.a. Chris Henry, Fergy’s also got to deal with the presence of fellow rookie Javon Ringer.

Good luck, Rodney. You’re going to need it.  

Dudley Guice WR Northwestern State

Blessed with a nice combination of size (6’3″) and speed (4.36 40-yard dash), Guice is definitely an interesting prospect. Judging by the information on his personal webpage, Guice appears to be a kid with a good head on his shoulders.

Beyond Justin Gage, Nate Washington and perhaps first-rounder Kenny Britt, it figures to be a dogfight in the race to be on top of the pecking order for the remaining roster spots at WR.

Guice faces long odds, but perhaps with a good showing in training camp and the preseason, he can find himself on the team’s practice squad in 2009.

Jeremy Haynes CB McNeese State

Haynes started out his college career as a wide receiver but in 2007, made the switch over to the defensive side of the football.

He’s another guy facing long odds in his bid to become a Titan. With the team devoting two draft choices towards the CB position, color me not optimistic about his chances of sticking around.

Mitch King DT Iowa

This energizer bunny has already garnered the attention of the media as he was the focus of a recent Paul Kuharsky piece on his AFC South blog.

King has a great motor and despite his lack of size, he was a highly productive player on the college level. He should be an interesting guy to watch over the next few months.

Phillip Morris WR South Carolina State

Morris has good height (6’4″) but is a bit on the thin side (185 lbs). 

If he keeps this up, he’s likely to follow in the footsteps of last year’s undrafted rookie WR’s Jason Rivers and Ed Williams by becoming one of the team’s first training camp casualties.

Alex Mortensen QB Arkansas/Samford

His claim to fame is the fact that he’s the son of ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.

Despite Jeff Fisher’s positive words, Alex’s chances of sticking around are probably somewhere between slim and none.  

Of course, there’s always ESPN as a fallback option if the younger Mort’s NFL aspirations don’t pan out.

Ryan Schmidt G South Florida

Schmidt played tackle and guard in college and with legendary Mike Munchak screaming in his ears, he could emerge as a potential member of this year’s practice squad.

A.J. Trapasso P Ohio State

Craig Hentrich isn’t getting any younger, but one can probably safely assume that the punter position is his to lose until he decides to hang up his cleats.

With Hentrich firmly entrenched as the team’s P, A.J.’s goal will be to impress enough to land on the radar of another NFL franchise in need of some help at the position.

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That’s enough analysis for now. Time to voice your opinions, Titan fans! 

Will any of this year’s UDFA’s make the Titans’ roster in ’09?   

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