After seven rounds and 254 draft picks, Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich didn't hear his name called during the NFL Drafts' rounds 4-7. So what's next for BC's cancer survivor and gridiron hero?
Typically, after the NFL Draft is over, teams scramble to sign players as undrafted free agents. It's a competitive, open market process, meaning a player can choose which team he signs with (and players benefit from having a shot at catching on with all 32 NFL teams instead of just one).
Not so this year with the lockout.
This year, players will have to sit it out and continue to work out without a team. The longer the NFL lockout lasts -- and if it bleeds into training camp -- the fewer opportunities there will be for undrafted college players to prove themselves in an NFL training camp. As a result, undrafted free agents are among the biggest losers in this summer's NFL lockout.
What this means for Herzlich is he'll have to wait to sign as a free agent until the lockout is over. The best he can do is continue to work out, get stronger and hope the NFL's labor situation gets resolved in short order.
Though for Herzlich, a guy that's overcome Ewing's Sarcoma, a stress fracture in his foot, a broken hand and played his entire senior season with a 12-inch titanium rod in his leg, this seems like it will be a minor hurdle in his road to recovery.
Besides, the comeback story will be that much sweeter when Mark Herzlich turns into a star in the league after 32 NFL teams blew 254 chances to draft him.