Former Rutgers offensive tackle Desmond Stapleton is one of those players just hoping to hear his name called by an NFL team on the final day of the 2012 NFL Draft. Or, if he should go undrafted, is just aiming to get an invitation to somebody’s NFL training camp.
All the 6-foot-5, 302-pounder with experience playing both right and left tackle wants is a chance.
"Be good to see my name called," said Stapleton. “If it isn’t called I’m still working hard and hoping to get into a camp.”
Stapleton was considered by some to be Rutgers’ best offensive linemen during his 2010 junior season. He bounced in and out of the lineup in 2011, however, as a troublesome knee injury limited his effectiveness.
Stapleton had surgery on his right knee following the season, the second time he has had that knee surgically repaired, and now faces the task of showing at least one NFL team that he is both healthy and talented enough to warrant an opportunity.
I feel like I’m back, I feel like I can move again. I feel like I can put my feet back into the ground. I feel like I’m ready to go again," Stapleton said. "I’m just trying to go back out there and prove myself. I’ve still got ball left in me."
The question is whether or not an NFL team will give him an opportunity to prove that. Stapleton worked out for the New York Giants and New York Jets during their recent pro days, and says he has had inquiries from Jacksonville, New England, Pittsburgh and Miami.
All he can do now is hope one of those teams sees enough to give him the chance to craves.