Top five underdogs who survived NFL’s final cuts: Washington boasts two feel-good stories entering 2021

Reduce-down day across the NFL pressured a number of notable names onto the road as all 32 groups whittled their rosters to 53 players. However this week wasn’t solely about guys dropping jobs; it was about others incomes them. And a few gamers have been particularly inspiring whereas doing so, both by defying the percentages or boasting a novel backstory. In celebration of those gamers getting into the 2021 season as official 53-man roster members, this is a have a look at 5 of this summer season’s finest underdogs:

You do not normally draft a kicker or punter in case you’re not pretty optimistic they’ll win a beginning job immediately, however there are few punters like Harvin, who performed his senior season at Georgia Tech just under 285 pounds and can now turn into the first Black punter to play in the NFL since Marquette King in 2018. The rookie received right down to 255 this summer season, then beat out Jordan Berry — a six-year Steelers vet who set a group file for net punting common in 2019 — to enter this yr as a part of a remade particular groups trio.

A second-round decide of the Seahawks in 2017, the defensive deal with has endured loads of controversy. After an ATV accident previous to his rookie coaching camp that left him badly injured, McDowell was arrested a number of occasions over the course of two years and later sentenced to 11 months in jail for DUI and preventing with police. The Seahawks then sued McDowell for failing to repay his bonus moneyGiven a last chance at redemption by Browns common supervisor Andrew Berry this Could, he parlayed basically a veteran-minimum one-year deal right into a spot on one of many AFC’s prime D-lines, set to open 2021 alongside the likes of Myles Garrett, Jadeveon Clowney and Malik Jackson. Greater than that, he is apparently match proper into the group and locker room with a supportive infrastructure in Cleveland.

Years after Jim Harbaugh famously had a slumber party to recruit him to Michigan, the rookie kicker received zero calls throughout the 2021 NFL Draft and nil extra within the days afterward. So, Nordin literally went on LinkedIn to seek for jobs and even thought-about going into the army. Then the Patriots added him as their solely undrafted rookie of the offseason, a rarity, and he is stored alive a 17-plus-year streak of a UDFA making the membership’s last roster. He beat out 13-year vet Nick Folk — who had a career-high field-goal share in 2020 — to turn into the primary rookie to open the yr because the Pats’ kicker since Stephen Gostkowski in 2006.

The Buffalo product was a neighborhood prospect for Washington, starring as a excessive schooler in Laurel, Maryland, solely about half-hour from FedExField. However he was by no means speculated to make it to the NFL. A former two-star recruit now listed at 5-foot-8 and 195 kilos (however extra like 5-foot-7, a la minuscule backs Tarik Cohen and Darren Sproles), Patterson did nothing however emerge as perhaps the star of the preseason with practically 200 yards from scrimmage in three video games. Beating out former Buccaneers starter Peyton Barber, who began two video games for Washington in 2020, he enters his rookie marketing campaign set to function a prime reliever for Antonio Gibson.

Possibly Washington’s new nickname must be the Underdogs. Reyes, 25, had a week of high school football practice under his belt till 2020. Born in Chile, he starred for his nation’s nationwide basketball group earlier than enjoying hoops at 4 totally different schools from 2014-2018. After 10 weeks of his first actual soccer coaching at IMG Academy, Reyes examined at Florida’s Professional Day this spring as a part of the NFL’s Worldwide Pathway Program, then proceeded to ink a three-year take care of Washington and emerge because the group’s best blocking tight end. Identical to that, he turned the NFL’s first Chilean-born player, set to again up Logan Thomas and John Bates for a possible playoff contender.

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