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Thread: Undrafted Herzlich: 'I'll be the Cam Newton of free agency' ..

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    Undrafted Herzlich: 'I'll be the Cam Newton of free agency' ..

    6/1/2011 9:44:48 AM

    From the Redzone ..

    Former Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich was undrafted during the draft in April and can't sign or talk to a team until the lockout is over. Herzlich was the player who missed the 2009 season while battling Ewing's Sarcoma (a bone cancer) in his left femur. He was drafted by the Omaha Nighthawks of the UFL but is going to wait for a chance in the NFL.

    Herzlich is working out with the Vikings at the IMG football academy facilities in Bradenton, Fla., this week.

    "I'm kind of in the same spot I was predraft right now," Herzlich told Nate Davis of USA Today. "I'm waiting for my own draft, which is free agency. They took 250 guys already, so I think my stock is rising."

    Herzlich chuckled, "I'll be the Cam Newton of free agency, who knows?"


    Is this guy any good? Could he man the strongside for the Rams, or is he too slow?


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    Re: Undrafted Herzlich: 'I'll be the Cam Newton of free agency' ..

    He has his question marks from what I understand (he wasn't drafted), but I would take a flyer on him in a heart beat. Can't cost much and he has heart. If he can't cut it, let him go, but if he turns out to be just a "good" player, he'd be worth it.
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    Re: Undrafted Herzlich: 'I'll be the Cam Newton of free agency' ..

    I don't see him successfully playing OLB in a 4-3 defense. I think his best fit in the NFL will be as a 3-4 ILB. He's really not looked the same since his cancer, which is a shame.

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    Re: Undrafted Herzlich: 'I'll be the Cam Newton of free agency' ..

    I remember hearing a lot of good things about him a couple of years ago when I went to a BC board to get info on BJ Raji. A lot of fans seemed to think Raji's rep was enhanced by the guy who had his back at LB. However, the bone cancer may be cured but you wonder about the strength of the femur & his ability to keep the muscles strong because of the trauma that the treatment causes. One of my college roommates who went through the same battle still had one thigh noticeably smaller than the other several years & lots of physical therapy later.Dennis was a big wave surfer before the cancer but never risked it again afterwards.

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    Re: Undrafted Herzlich: 'I'll be the Cam Newton of free agency' ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Azul e Oro View Post
    I remember hearing a lot of good things about him a couple of years ago when I went to a BC board to get info on BJ Raji. A lot of fans seemed to think Raji's rep was enhanced by the guy who had his back at LB. However, the bone cancer may be cured but you wonder about the strength of the femur & his ability to keep the muscles strong because of the trauma that the treatment causes. One of my college roommates who went through the same battle still had one thigh noticeably smaller than the other several years & lots of physical therapy later.Dennis was a big wave surfer before the cancer but never risked it again afterwards.
    I understand where your coming from regarding the damage bone cancer treatment can do, but I think he is worth a look. People have different recovery rates so he is one to keep an eye on.
    The Rams are weak at both OLB positions so why not.?

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    Re: Undrafted Herzlich: 'I'll be the Cam Newton of free agency' ..

    I would love to have this guy competing for one of the OLB spots. Its a process recovering from a serious illness like that but the man has heart and has already made great strides. I see him as a full time starter in 1-2 years for most team in the league.

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    Re: Undrafted Herzlich: 'I'll be the Cam Newton of free agency' ..

    Hey, for the UFA rate, I'd take him as a locker room presence and Special Teams demon...
    This space for rent...

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    Re: Undrafted Herzlich: 'I'll be the Cam Newton of free agency' ..

    Before his cancer diagnosis, Herzlich was mentioned as the next Brian Urlacher. He still has the want and desire, and even if he hasn't looked the same, he's still recovering. Herzlich is in the same boat as Bradford was, or Bowers, or any number of players who are or were recovering from injuries. He's an unknown. What is known is that he's going to do everything he can to get on that field and kick some butt. And I for one, want that guy on our team no matter what.
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    Re: Undrafted Herzlich: 'I'll be the Cam Newton of free agency' ..

    Quote Originally Posted by TekeRam View Post
    Herzlich is in the same boat as Bradford was, or Bowers
    Not sure I agree with that.

    Bradford was injured during his final season, missed most of the year, and was still recovering leading up to the draft. Bowers underwent surgery on a torn meniscus after the 2010 season, and medical concerns were raised then.

    That's different from Herzlich, who played a full season of football after being diagnosed early in 2009 and then declaring himself cancer free later that year. However, his play dropped off as a senior, and his Senior Bowl/Combine performances were underwhelming.

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    Re: Undrafted Herzlich: 'I'll be the Cam Newton of free agency' ..

    Nick what do you think caused that drop off? Do you think he's still in the process of recovering from cancer (and I know it can take a lot out of you) and will return to form, or do you think he's permanently lost the potential to play at that high a level? I don't know much about him other than what I hear..never saw him play so I'm curious as to how you view his potential now.

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    Re: Undrafted Herzlich: 'I'll be the Cam Newton of free agency' ..

    Quote Originally Posted by AtlantaRamFan View Post
    Nick what do you think caused that drop off? Do you think he's still in the process of recovering from cancer (and I know it can take a lot out of you) and will return to form, or do you think he's permanently lost the potential to play at that high a level? I don't know much about him other than what I hear..never saw him play so I'm curious as to how you view his potential now.
    I think it's going to depend on the role. As a 3-4 ILB, where he doesn't necessarily have to have as much athletic ability in terms of change of direction, speed, agility, I think he can still be effective at the NFL level. But the dropoff during his final season and then the underwhelming performances during the Senior Bowl practices and the Combine workout make me doubt his ability to physically play the 4-3 OLB role, at least at a high level.

    I don't know if it's something he'll ever be able to get back; as a fan, I really don't know enough about his medical situation or, really, the medicine behind any of it to venture even a reasonably educated guess. All I know is I haven't really seen him flash that same Top 10 ability that he had prior to his cancer, and we're two years removed from diagnosis and over 20 months removed from him being cancer free. I just wonder if the time that would have to go into him as a project would be worth the outcome, because I'm really not convinced he's going to regain his 2008 form, and I have no idea how anyone really could be at this point.

    It's a huge gamble, and I think people downplay that when they say just to sign him to a developmental contract to bring him to camp. I don't think this is a guy who is going to turn it around in a pro summer camp; it's sort of like DX's situation where you're looking long-term to see if he can ever reach that level. So do you keep him around on the roster for, say, 2-3 seasons to see if you can get him back to even a fraction of what he was before the cancer? Or is the team better served trying to develop someone else who may have more upside for the position without the huge hurdle to overcome? I'm thinking it might be the latter, but what an incredible story it'd be if he could do it.
    thoey likes this.

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    Re: Undrafted Herzlich: 'I'll be the Cam Newton of free agency' ..

    Check out the videos on NFL site called "Everything To Prove". Somebody is going to take a chance on him. It might not be the Rams, but I bet he'll turn out to be a very good player...
    This space for rent...

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    Re: Undrafted Herzlich: 'I'll be the Cam Newton of free agency' ..

    Quote Originally Posted by thoey View Post
    Check out the videos on NFL site called "Everything To Prove". Somebody is going to take a chance on him. It might not be the Rams, but I bet he'll turn out to be a very good player...
    I checked out the videos and I agree with youTerry that he is going to be a good player. The human spirit is an amazing thing and guys that cheat death are tough to bet against. I would love to see the Rams take a flyer on Herzlich.

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