The NFL Draft has come and gone, which means the flurry of undrafted free agent signings is upon us. Only one Maryland player was actually drafted this year (for the second straight year), but quite a few Terrapins, former Terrapins and almost Terrapins ended up with NFL teams.
Maryland already has solid representation in the professional ranks -- Torrey Smith, Vernon Davis, Josh Wilson, D'Qwell Jackson, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Joe Vellano and A.J. Francis are among the players still out there -- but there's a new crop of players with ties to the program at the next level. Let's take a look!
Dexter McDougle, third round, New York Jets
McDougle was projected to go in the later rounds, and was a surprise early choice by the Jets -- with mixed reactions from their fans. He has tons of physical ability and really started to show his true potential in his senior season, and should play a role right away with the team on special teams, with the potential to move into the corner rotation at either an interior or boundary position.
Marcus Whitfield, UDFA, Jacksonville Jaguars
Whitfield was one of Maryland's best stories this past season, finally settling into a position after repeated uncertainty and injuries and thriving as a pass rusher at Maryland's WILL position. He ended up with nine sacks his senior year (just half a sack behind team leader Andre Monroe) and 15.5 tackles for a loss (also just barely trailing Monroe), and continued to step up for the team after Yannick Cudjoe-Virgil went down with an injury. Big Cat Country's Alfie Crow tells me Whitfield is most likely best fit to play the LEO position as a weakside edge rusher, but also does not predict him to make the 53-man roster.
Future draft prospects
Isaac Goins, UDFA, Miami Dolphins (?)
Goins was a JuCo transfer, filling a very necessary opening in Maryland's secondary depth. He played an especially big role when Jeremiah Johnson and Dexter McDougle went down with injuries, starting opposite true freshman Will Likely through ACC play and grabbing two interceptions. Randy Edsall announced the news on Twitter, but he's not on the team's official UDFA list, so we're not exactly sure what's going on here.
Travis Hawkins, UDFA, New England Patriots
A four-star prospect out of Quince Orchard in 2009, Hawkins played just one year for Maryland -- after redshirting his first season, he recorded two tackles in eight games in 2010. He was one of the wave of transfers to follow the coaching change, and ended up at Delaware. With the Blue Hens, he started 19 of 21 games, was one of the five best kick returners in school history and was named first-team all-conference after a 66-tackle, four-interception senior season.
Zack Kerr, UDFA, Indianapolis Colts
Like Hawkins, Kerr was a Quince Orchard product who transferred to Delaware (and became a first-team all-conference player) following the coaching change (and, for Kerr, academic eligibility issues). A massive nose tackle, he became a fan favorite of sorts due to his occasional usage as a blocking fullback in goal line sets. He recorded 23 tackles in his two-year Maryland career, and our friends at Stampede Blue love the pickup.
D.J. Adams, UDFA, San Diego Chargers
After a highly successful freshman season under Ralph Friedgen that saw him score 11 touchdowns, Adams's role as a sophomore under Randy Edsall was diminished, as he received 27 less carries and scored seven less touchdowns. He ended up transferring to Portland State, scoring 31 touchdowns in two seasons and leading the Vikings to a near-upset victory over Cal.
Danny O'Brien, UDFA, Atlanta Falcons (?)
O'Brien won the ACC Rookie of the Year award in 2010 under Ralph Friedgen, throwing 22 touchdowns against eight interceptions, but struggled to hold on to the job the next season and tossed seven touchdowns against 10 picks. He transferred to Wisconsin, losing the starting job to Joel Stave after averaging just 6.1 yards per attempt, and transferred to Division II Catawba College, throwing 15 touchdowns against six interceptions while setting school records in completions and completion percentage. While O'Brien's signing was reported by his school, like Isaac Goins, he is not on the teams' official list.
Cyrus Kouandjio, second round, Buffalo Bills
One of two huge brothers who played offensive tackle out of DeMatha, the Kouandjio brothers both ended up at Alabama. Cyrus, the younger brother, left early for the draft, and is projected to start as a rookie at right tackle.
Jeremiah Attaochu, second round, San Diego Chargers
A three-star prospect out of Archbishop Carroll, Attaochu received a scholarship offer from the Terps but ended up at Georgia Tech. He could replace Melvin Ingram right away at the Jack position.
Terrance West, third round, Cleveland Browns
This may be the one that hurts the most for Maryland fans. West was originally slated to walk-on at Maryland under Ralph Friedgen, but got lost in the shuffle (as many walk-ons do) when Friedgen was fired and Randy Edsall took over. He became one of the best running backs in the country at Towson, leading the Tigers to a surprise FCS title game appearanceblah blah walk-on lost in coaching shuffle, and could move into a starting role at Cleveland in a few years.
Mike Campanaro, seventh round, Baltimore Ravens
This is another tough one for Maryland fans -- Campanaro was not recruited by Ralph Friedgen and Maryland as a three-star prospect out of local River Hill High School, and ended up becoming a record-setting receiver at Wake Forest who hurt the Terps on more than one occasion. He may help out on special teams, with a role in the offense possible down the line.
Louis Young, UDFA, Denver Broncos
A four-star prospect out of Good Counsel, Young was recruited to Georgia Tech by Al Groh.
Brandon Coleman, UDFA, New Orleans Saints
A four-star prospect out of Bishop McNamara, Coleman chose Rutgers for reasons one can only imagine (Schiano Rutgers was a different animal entirely), but has solid upside as an NFL prospect.