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Undrafted rookies' status affects how teams see seventh round

I just had an interesting conversation with a league source who mentioned a possibility to track as we reach the second, and more likely, third day of the draft: More teams could try to acquire seventh-round picks.

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Why? With the way the rules stand now -- and they could change any minute -- undrafted players can't be signed until there are some form of operating guidelines, either court-ordered or under a new collective bargaining agreement.

Many teams rely on adding undrafted rookies each season, and the inability to secure them after this draft has left clubs uneasy. By selecting those types of players at the back end of the draft with additional seventh-round picks, teams could at least secure their rights.

This might seem like a minor detail, but keep in mind that last season's leading rusher, Arian Foster of the Houston Texans, went undrafted. Green Bay Packers starting nickel back Sam Shields went undrafted. The same went for Packers linebacker Frank Zombo. Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back and leading rusher LeGarrette Blount, wasn't drafted. Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday, a five-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time All-Pro, wasn't drafted, either.

There's a chance that courts could order football to resume in some form in the next few days (if not hours), and teams might be able to sign undrafted rookies. But if nothing is established by some point of the draft, we might see some teams ask for seventh-round picks to be included in any trades to make sure they can secure some targeted players.

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