Winston Guy and Danny Trevathan - the newest Kentucky draftees into the NFL.
Southeastern Conference talent flooded the NFL draft over the weekend, and Kentucky contributed some of their own. Winston Guy and Danny Trevathan were drafted early in the sixth-round
, meaning every school in the SEC had at least one player drafted.
But the NFL doesn’t stop after the draft closes, free agent signing frenzy begins shortly after, and six other Wildcats signed deals with teams to try to work their way on to a professional roster. Here’s a quick breakdown of the guys who inked their names to a contract and the situations they walk into.
-- Winston Guy SS (Seattle Seahawks)
— Drafted in the sixth-round with the 11th pick (181st overall)
It’s important to note that Guy was drafted as a strong safety and not the hybrid linebacker he played in his senior season at Kentucky; that is not a proven style to work in the NFL — at least not yet. Guy will come in behind the young Kam Chancellor out of Virginia Tech, an up-and-coming defensive back who recorded 97 tackles in 2011. The Seahawks drafted him in the fifth-round in 2010, and in just his second year into the league started 15 games.
As a sixth-round pick, obviously nothing was guaranteed for Guy, but he’s behind some very strong competition at the strong safety position, including the current backup Jeron Johnson who signed with the team as a free agent last season
The Seahawks have a lot of youth invested in strong safety, so maybe Pete Carroll has something else in mind for Guy out on the Pacific coast
. You have to think that may be the case, considering Guy likely earned his way into the league with the way he played in final season as a linebacker. Because — no offense to Mr. Guy — he wasn’t the greatest defensive back we’ve seen in the blue and white.
-- Danny Trevathan OLB (Denver Broncos) —
Drafted in the sixth-round with the 18th pick (188th overall)
Trevathan is heading out to Mile High City to be reunited with a former teammate and fellow outside linebacker Wesley Woodyard. He should be able to compete for a spot on the depth chart right away and with his buddy alongside, they should both help each other improve. Trevathan might not be the biggest linebacker, and in the long run that may hurt his ability to be an everyday starter, but no one is going to work harder than he is to get better. Plus, being the leading tackler in the SEC for two straight year has to count for something.
The current starters for Denver on the outside are veteran DJ Williams and the young stud Von Miller who was drafted second overall by the Broncos last season. Woodyard is the first off the sideline, and realistically Trevathan could be next in line if he works his way onto the team.
However, all that could change if Williams — who was suspended for the first six games of the season for failing a drug test — isn’t able to have his suspension reversed in time for the season
. No need to get caught up in the legal mumbo-jumbo, but as of now Williams is out and that means Woodyard is in. And more than likely Danny Trevathan is third on the depth chart.
-- Ryan Tydlacka P (Philadelphia Eagles)
Unfortunately for Kentucky, Tydlacka got a lot of use out of his leg. Fortunately for Tydlacka, it helped him get into the league. He had offers from a few teams including the Eagles, and chose to sign with Philadelphia over the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills who, according to Ben Jones of Cats Illustrated, he had been in talks with throughout the draft.
What is great about Tydlacka being able to pick his team is that he can find the best situation for him, and he feels comfortable with open competition at the punter position for the Eagles. Chas Henry punted last season for the Eagles and averaged close to 43 yards-per-punt. In his senior season at Kentucky, Tydlacka averaged 44 yards-per-punt
-- Chandler Burden LT (Tennessee Titans)
An anchor at left tackle, Burden was a staple on the offensive line for Kentucky for what seemed like forever. He could both run and pass block effectively and was really an unsung hero for the (few) big plays Kentucky had. He signed with the Titans who have plenty of depth on the offensive line, but had a tough time moving the ball on the ground a season ago. As a free agent he will naturally have a tough time making the team, but he has as good a shot as any as of now.
-- Randall Burden CB (Arizona Cardinals)
The Cardinals had a bad defensive season last year, and surely looked to beef their secondary up taking cornerbacks Jamell Fleming out of Oklahoma in the third-round, and Justin Bethel from Presbyterian in the sixth-round. Burden will join starters A.J. Jefferson and Greg Toler — both young guys — in Arizona and try to find his way on a roster that has lots of depth, but not a ton of talent at cornerback. Lest I forget Patrick Peterson out of LSU who the Cardinals took fifth overall last season. Clearly Arizona is looking to shore up the secondary even more.
-- Ronnie Sneed ILB (Detroit Lions)
Seventh-year starter Stephen Tulloch has the inside linebacker position locked up, but clearly Sneed wasn’t going to come in and compete day one anyway. Ashlee Palmer from Ole Miss is his backup, and only recorded eight tackles last season. Tulloch is a reliable and durable starter, so Sneed will need to stand out during practice and workouts if he wants to make the team. Competing against him will be seventh-round draft pick Travis Lewis from Oklahoma.
-- Anthony Mosley CB (San Francisco 49ers)
The 49ers start a pair of experienced cornerbacks in Carlos Rogers from Auburn and Tarrell Brown from Texas. Between them they recorded 83 tackles last season. Their backups are a couple of young guys, Chris Culliver and Tramaine Brock. Mosley received a lot of flak in his senior year at Kentucky because of blown coverage and missed assignments, and while some of that was overreaction, much of it was deserved. He’ll need to button down his coverage if he hopes to make the team. But we cannot forget: Mosley’s moment of glory came with his interception in the end zone to seal the victory over South Carolina
in Commonwealth Stadium in 2010.
-- Matt Roark WR (New England Patriots)
Speaking of moments of glory, how about Matt Roark, the wide receiver/quarterback who helped to knock off Tennessee for the first time in 26 years?
He's heading up to New England to join another fellow rookie, wide reciever out of Northwestern Jeremy Ebert, drafted in the seventh-round. Wes Welker, Deion Branch, and Tom Brady's tight-end targets make New England a tough place for any receiver to go and be noticed. No telling what the Pats have in store for Roark, but hopefully he'll get his foot in the door with this opportunity.