Looking back at the NFL Draft
Day Three of the 2019 NFL Draft is in the books. After seven rounds, we can finally celebrate the UnAfraidShow favorites. Prior to the draft, our writers identified sleepers, hidden gems and adversity-driven athletes to watch for. Here are those players and where they were drafted or if they remain undrafted.
Stories of Triumph (Full stories here and here)
Kaleb McGary, OT
NFL Draft Status: Round 1, Pick 31, No. 31 Overall to Atlanta Falcons
At pick 31, the Falcons traded back into the first round to select McGary. They seem to like him enough to protect quarterback Matt Ryan. McGary landed himself on one of the better teams in the NFL. After living in an RV through high school, McGary can use his first-round paycheck to rent a nice apartment.
Christian Wilkins, DT
NFL Draft Status: Round 1, Pick 13, No. 13 Overall to Miami Dolphins
Wilkins, persevering through his grandfather’s death (accidentally by the hands of a SWAT team), earned a top-15 pick and is headed to Miami to play against the GOAT Tom Brady. Miami is in need of leadership. Scouts, coaches and fans are drawn to Wilkins’ character. Look for him to become the face of the franchise alongside Josh Rosen.
Chandler Brewer, OG
NFL Draft Status: UDFA to L.A. Rams
When it comes to adversity, Brewer knows it well. The Middle Tennessee State University lineman played through cancer in 2018. After undergoing radiation treatment, Chandler has been building back strength to win his NFL playing time. Signed by the Super Bowl-losing Rams, Brewer will add depth to an
Emanuel Hall, WR
NFL Draft Status: UDFA to Chicago Bears
Dubbed by many as a one-trick pony, Emanuel Hall still found his way onto the Chicago Bears roster because he is the best at that trick. Despite injuries and his father’s unexpected death in 2018, Hall displayed tremendous efficiency. His 4.39 (95th-percentile) 40-yard dash, 109.7 (89th-percentile) Speed Score and 144.5 (99th-percentile) Burst Score are good enough to earn a second look.
Will Grier, QB
NFL Draft Status: Round 3, Pick 37, No. 100 Overall to Carolina Panthers
Grier landed himself an offense led by Cam Newton. However, considering Newton’s injury history, Grier could have regular season snaps as early as 2019. With this draft pick, the Panthers believe that Grier is well beyond his PED-suspended past.
Gary Johnson, LB
NFL Draft Status: UDFA to Kansas City Chiefs
Life has never been easy for Johnson. He’s had to scape, claw and earn everything he has. From foster-care to community college football to playing for Texas, Johnson showed grit. Johnson now found his way to a Super Bowl contending team in need of defenders.
Kahzin Daniels, EDGE
NFL Draft Status: UDFA to Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Daniels may be the most interesting rookie in this class. He played without any vision in his right eye. Yes, Kahzin Daniels found success in college despite being completely blind in one eye. With that being said, he was able to total 31.5 sacks. Cross your fingers he can overcome this “disability” in the NFL.
Bonus: Josh Jacobs, RB
NFL Draft Status: Round 1, Pick 24, No. 24 Overall to Oakland Raiders
Coming from poverty, homelessness and even being chased by gunfire, Jacobs has come a long way. Because of his incredibly efficiency and highlight-reel production, Jacobs battled his way to the first round. After Marshawn Lynch retired, the Oakland Raiders were in need of another talented running back. They found a running back that will “run angry“.
Football is a Beautiful Game
In so many ways, football reminds us that anyone, no matter who they are, can make a big splash. Regardless of race, income, or neighborhood. This is what makes the NFL Draft and offseason so captivating.