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Chiefs, Panthers could turn to unheralded QBs

  • By Adam Schefter NFL Network
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The ultimate quarterback sneaks are the ones in which players go from late-round pick or undrafted free agent to the top of a team's depth chart and beyond.

Recent QBs to climb up the charts
QB Round College
Derek Anderson 6th Oregon State
Tom Brady 6th Michigan
Marc Bulger 6th West Virginia
Matt Hasselbeck 6th Boston College
Trent Green 8th Indiana
Jake Delhomme Undrafted Louisiana-Lafayette
Jeff Garcia Undrafted San Jose St.
Kelly Holcomb Undrafted Middle Tennessee State
Damon Huard Undrafted Washington
Tony Romo Undrafted Eastern Illinois
Kurt Warner Undrafted Northern Iowa

Former sixth-round picks Tom Brady, Matt Hasselbeck, Derek Anderson and Marc Bulger did it.

So did undrafted free agents such as Tony Romo, Kurt Warner, Jeff Garcia and Jake Delhomme.

Now, two other virtually-unknown quarterbacks -- one in Kansas City and the other in Carolina -- are vying to do the same.

Former Coastal Carolina quarterback Tyler Thigpen, Minnesota's seventh-round pick in 2007, has impressed Kansas City enough to make the Chiefs think he could challenge for, and even win, the team's starting job.

Former Oregon State quarterback Matt Moore, an undrafted free agent that spent last summer with Dallas learning under Romo before being released, could do the same with the Panthers.

Thigpen and Moore could be to this season what Anderson was to last season.

The 6-foot-1, 224-pound Thigpen impressed the Chiefs throughout last year, but especially in Week 13 when he drove the Chiefs down field on one drive against San Diego before throwing an interception in the endzone.

With a good arm and a strong presence, Thigpen has impressed them enough to make them think he could unseat Brodie Croyle as the starter in Kansas City. Thigpen's chance will come this summer, as will Moore's.

Last season, while Delhomme was recovering from Tommy John surgery, Moore started three games and won two. Moore's strength is his poise in the pocket. At 6-foot-3 and almost 200 pounds, Moore stands tall and the ball comes out high. He has questionable arm strength, but enough moxie to make some think he could emerge as the Panthers starter.

Of course it is much easier to play quarterback in April and May than it is in November and December. But some of the same things that are being said about Thigpen and Moore were once being said about Brady, Hasselbeck, Anderson and Romo.

Baltimore's biggest recruit

Back in 1997, John Harbaugh and Cam Cameron were recruiting together for Indiana. Now they are recruiting together again -- for Baltimore.


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Only this time, their efforts revolve around only one player, perennial Pro Bowl offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden.

Harbaugh and Cameron have called Ogden and tried to convince him to play another season for the Ravens.

Others in the Ravens organization are not optimstic that Harbaugh and Cameron can succeed. But at least Ogden has yet to retire -– and it is now 10 days after the draft and coming up on the Ravens mandatory minicamp this weekend.

Ogden initially told Baltimore in March to operate as if he would be retiring. The Ravens then thought they would get a definitive answer before the draft; they didn't. And the fact that Ogden still hasn't officially told them he has retired has energized some enough to try to sway him to return.

Baltimore has prepared itself to move on without the 33-year-old Ogden, who has been voted to 11 straight Pro Bowls. It would be a bonus to Baltimore –- and a testament to Harbaugh and Cameron's recruiting abilities -- if Ogden were to return.

Familiar Rhodes

Dominic Rhodes , RB
Career Statistics
Att: 625
Yards: 2,576
TDs: 9

Running back Dominic Rhodes enjoyed his most productive Sundays with the Indianapolis Colts.

In 2001, as an undrafted free agent with the Colts, Rhodes rushed for 1,104 yards.

In Super Bowl XLI, Rhodes helped the Colts to their first Super Bowl victory, carrying the football 21 times for 113 yards and a touchdown.

And now that Rhodes is looking for work, it is likely that he'll land back in Indianapolis.

Rhodes and the Colts are expected to reach agreement on a deal that will enable him to back up featured running back Joseph Addai.

Indianapolis had drafted Michigan running back Mike Hart in the sixth round with the 202nd overall pick, but Rhodes already has proven himself to the Colts, something he was unable to do in Oakland.

After signing a two-year, $7.5 million contract with the Raiders in March of 2007, Rhodes was suspended four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Once Rhodes returned, he failed to establish himself in a backfield that already included Justin Fargas and LaMont Jordan. Rhodes finished the season with 75 carries for 302 yards.

When the Raiders restructured his contract in March, they promised they would release him if they drafted Arkansas running back Darren McFadden. The Raiders kept their word, and now Rhodes is headed back to Indianapolis.

Packing it in?

Koren Robinson , WR
Career Statistics
Rec: 263
Yards: 3,844
TDs: 14

When teams draft at a certain position, questions arise about other players at that spot.

After Green Bay used its first and last choices on wide receivers –- Kansas State's Jordy Nelson with the 36th overall pick in the second round, San Diego State's Brett Swain with the 217th overall pick in the seventh round –- Koren Robinson's future with the Packers immediately became more tenuous.

Like most teams in the league, Green Bay is struggling to find extra roster space; this year, there are no roster exemptions from NFL Europe in which teams can bring more than 80 players to training camp.

With Green Bay needing space, and with the Packers stockpiling wide receivers, Robinson's roster spot could be in jeopardy.

Since he signed with Green Bay in September 2006, Robinson has struggled to play up to the potential that led Seattle to select him with the ninth overall pick in the 2001 draft. Robinson was suspended for the start of last season, and was reinstated in October. From that point on, Robinson caught 21 passes for 241 yards and one touchdown.

If Green Bay opts to sever its relationship with Robinson, it's likely the wide receiver would have options, as he has proven he still can play and contribute. It just doesn't appear as if it is going to be in Green Bay.

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