Friday, July 6, 2012

11 Longshots Who Could Shock the NFL in 2012

In 2010, an undrafted rookie out of Massachusetts took an NFL field for the first time in his career during a preseason matchup against the New York Jets. 

The young receiver was desperate for a chance to showcase his abilities in an attempt to secure a roster spot with the New York Giants, and luckily, he was blessed with a surplus of play-making opportunities. 

He put on a performance that was admirable for any receiver, let alone an undrafted rookie. He caught six passes for 145 yards and three touchdowns. And to add to the insult, his dominance was captured by HBO's Hard Knocks, which led to a minor humiliation of Rex Ryan and the Jets on national television.

Unfortunately, he didn't record a single reception during the 2010 regular season and appeared in only three games. So regardless of the obvious potential, he was a major question mark heading into the 2011 season.

The Giants didn't know what they were getting. But fortunately for them, the receiver was Victor Cruz. Cruz finished the season with the third-most receiving yards in the NFL (1,536) and helped the Giants win their second Super Bowl ring in five years. 

Cruz was off everyone's radar and wasn't even guaranteed a roster spot last season. Yet somehow, he was able to transform into a top-tier wideout practically overnight. 

These types of stories happen every year in the NFL. A player is a complete unknown on the national level and finds his way into the spotlight. 

So with that in mind, which current unknown players have a shot at repeating history? 

This slideshow will outline 11 unknown or off-the-radar players who are capable of walking in Cruz's shoes under the right circumstances.


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