Syracuse football's Ryan Bartholomew and Rutgers' Joe Lefeged, both high scouted prospects, each went undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft, which finished Saturday night. Syracuse linebacker Derrell Smith and kicker Rob Long also did not have their name called during the three-day, seven-round event.
It was a surprise that Bartholomew, a 6-foot-2, 298-pound offensive linemen who really impressed scouts at the NFL Combine, was not picked up by anyone who felt a need to develop a backup or potential starter on the offensive line. Bartholomew stayed in the top five of ESPN's Mel Kiper big board throughout the sixth and seventh round, but never was selected. SU's Smith, who was a solid leader for the Orange, and Rutgers' Lefeged were each projected has draftworthy, but neither had any luck on the final day.
As for the feel good story of Long, who underwent six weeks of chemotherapy and radiation treatment for a brain tumor in Decemeber, he'll have to continue to work hard to catch the eyes of NFL teams.
So, what's next for these undraft players? Well, the NFL lockout will prohibit them from signing with any team - which is why getting drafted this year was more important than any other year. Until the NFL owners and players come to an agreement on a new labor deal, each of these "free agents" will need to continue to work out, stay fresh and be ready to try out for squads when the lockout is finally over.