With all the dust settled from the 2013 NFL Draft, eight former Knights will get their shot at making an NFL roster. Both Latavius Murray, round six, and Kemal Ishmael, round seven, were drafted during the three-day draft while the other six signed undrafted free agent contracts.
Here’s how some of the NFL-hopefuls will fit in with their new teams:
Latavius Murray – Oakland Raiders (Round 6, Pick 181):
Latavius Murray found a perfect match with the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders historically love big running backs. Primary starter Darren McFadden is a walking injury. In five NFL seasons, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound back has missed 23 games.
Last season when McFadden missed four games he was mostly replaced by FB/TE Marcel Reese — due to the lack of size on the depth chart. Murray is now the biggest largest running back on the Oakland Roster.
There’s no questions McFadden will be the starter for Oakland in 2013, but the role of backup is in the air. His biggest competition will be the newly-acquired Rashad Jennings. The former Jacksonville Jaguar saw plenty of playing time last season while filling in for the injured Maurice Jones-Drew, but average just 2.8 yards per carry on 100 attempts.
Kemal Ishmael – Atlanta Falcons (Round 7, Pick 243):
Atlanta must love the players UCF football head coach George O’Leary produces, because Kemal Ishmael will be one of five former-knights on the Falcons’ roster.
Ten-year veteran Asante Samuel and 2012-graduate Adam Nissey were members of the 13-win Falcons last season. Atlanta went on to sign Cam Henderson and Theo Goins as undrafted free agents last week.
Ishmael will have his work cut out for him, as four of the Falcons eight draft picks in 2013 were defensive backs. There are currently seven safeties on the Atlanta roster, four of which have no NFL experience.
It will be important for him to impress the coaches during rookie mini camp and the preseason if he wants to see playing time in 2013.
Quincy McDuffie – Denver Broncos (Undrafted Free Agent):
There’s one thing you can’t teach any athlete — speed. Quincy McDuffie is certainly fast. He used his speed to earn first team all-american honors in 2012 is a kick return specialist.
Listed as a wide receiver, McDuffie is one of 11 possible Peyton Manning targets on the Broncos roster.
His kick returning opportunities are his best shot at making the roster. Trindon Holliday was acquired by the Broncos last season, and made a splash with an NFL-high 481 punt return yards last season.
It’s highly unlikely McDuffie will make the team in 2013. The recent addition of Wes Welker only bumps everyone on the depth chart down one notch. But h is a very likely candidate to make the practice squad.
But hey, you never know.