PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 11: LaQuan Williams #15 of the Baltimore Ravens runs after a reception against Brian Rolle #59 of the Philadelphia Eagles during a preseason game on August 11, 2011 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
With the loss of most of the off-season due to the NFL Lockout, there were no mini-camps or OTAs for those undrafted rookie free agents to prove themselves before Training Camps began in late-July. Most people thought this would spell doom for these kids who were not selected in the 2011 NFL Draft but were probably their college team's shining stars. However, this has not proved to be the case, as there were more undrafted free agents on NFL final 53-player rosters than anytime since 2003 and the third most ever.
The opportunity to prove they belong in the NFL was usually based on opening eyes in the mini-camps and OTAs held prior to Training Camps, starting the week after the draft and continuing through the next two months. Without most veterans in camp at those points, these guys get the reps in front of their coaches. Without these chances, most people felt the reps would go to the drafted rookies and veterans to get them ready for the upcoming season and the undrafted players would not get their shots.
That obviously wasn't the results, as there were 58 undrafted rookie free agents on NFL rosters on Kickoff Weekend, third most in league history, behind 2003's 63 and 2002's 60 undrafted rookies. This group includes Baltimore Ravens rookie WR LaQuan Williams (Maryland) and DE Michael McAdoo (UNC), although McAdoo was signed after the Supplemental Draft and is probably headed to the team's Practice Squad.