Making the NFL is pretty much one of the hardest things to do in America, and that's only if you're trying to make the NFL. I mean, I personally haven't tried to make the NFL since last week when I was walking to the store at 11:53 PM and then realized they closed at midnight so I had to do one of those half-jogs to ensure that I'd get there in time to buy a pint of Cherry Garcia and thought to myself, "Damn, I'm barely breaking a sweat. I should try out for the Seahawks. No, no, don't be silly ... the Jaguars."
If you or someone you know played college football, that alone is incredible. If you or someone you know played division one college football, that's even more amazing than incredible. I played (not really "played") at a school that fell seconds short of winning the 3A Washington State championship and one dude on that team played college football -- and that was at Harvard.
To even sign with an NFL team, even as an undrafted free agent, and even for only a few months or weeks, is an unreal accomplishment. It's a million-to-one shot. Your friends and family would FREAK when you posted that status update.
But to the rest of the world, to the strangers that pass you by not knowing that you actually play for their favorite team (and wouldn't believe you if you said you did), you're just an extremely big dude buying a case of Muscle Milk.
This is a tribute to those brave men who have been slaving away for fame and glory, only to be left with nothing more than thousands of dollars to practice football. This is an All-You-Didn't-Even-Know-They-Were-Seahawks Team, Offense:
QB - R.J. Archer
It's hard to sneak anyone by you when there are only three players at that position on the roster, but it would be hard to believe that more than 1-in-10,000 NFL fans know who Archer is.
(I'm not going to make a "Danger Zone" joke. Sorry.)
That's probably because he played college football at William & Mary, and even then he only played one season as the starter there, and even that came all the way back in 2009. He has only spent one day on a 53-man roster (with the Vikings in 2010) and he most recently played his football with the Jacksonville Sharks.
I wouldn't blame you if you thought that meant he most recently played football for head coach Al Pacino and owner Oliver Stone, but no, it's an Arena League team. He did throw 92 touchdowns last season though ... that seems like a real number, for sure. Nothing weird about that.
But if Archer told me to go "F" myself, he'd be well within his rights. Because he's actually a quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks right now, and I'm the one writing about him. It's dangerous territory I'm playing in right now. Or I guess you could call it a dangerous zone. A danger zone.
RB - Rod Smith
It's not Robert Smith, the former Pro Bowl running back with the Minnesota Vikings. It's also not Rod Smith, like the Rod Smith of the Denver Broncos. It's Rod Smith, the running back who was kicked off Ohio State last year for violating team rules, ending a career that started very promising as a four-star recruit but quickly proved to be nothing more than false hope.
If only the Buckeyes had like, I don't know, 50,000 other four and five-star fucking recruits.
Smith rushed for 549 yards in his entire career so the idea of him making it to anything further than the practice squad this season would be pretty damn insane.
WR - Douglas McNeil III
I like anyone that has "the third" at the end of their name, because then it feels more real to me that they could be a character from a film like, The Replacements, or what have you.
McNeil is 6'3, 200 pounds, played most of his college ball at Bowie State after two transfers, and caught 18 touchdowns in the Arena League last year. As we know now because of Archer's numbers, 18 touchdowns in the AFL is equal to 1.5 touchdowns in the NFL.
TE - RaShaun Allen
Here is how Allen's college career is summarized on Wikipedia:
Thank you to whoever added that to Wikipedia and has contributed so much to the world.
A lot of Seahawks fans know about Allen by now because he was with the team for a short time last year and due to playing tight end, was at one point dangerously close to playing in a game. Now he only has to compete with Jimmy Graham, Luke Willson, Cooper Helfet, and Anthony McCoy.
Allen's Twitter is @BIGDAWG_88 (less than 1000 followers.)
OL - Jesse Davis, Keavon Milton, Drew Nowak, Kona Schwenke
Whenever I see an inconceivably big dude, be it at a grocery store or in a bar, I can't help but wonder if he's an NFL player. Usually an offensive lineman, where the bodies are built to build pyramids and the faces are anonymous. I wouldn't even feel comfortable picking any Seahawks' offensive lineman out of a lineup other than Russell Okung.
And even then I might have a problem IDing him if the other four dudes in the lineup were big ol' teddy bears.
It's hard enough to notice the starters, let alone the undrafted free agents, the castoffs, the position-switching hopefuls. The weird part is that for all we know, one or more of these guys are starters. And in the immediate future.
In the cases of Mark Glowinski, Terry Poole, and Kristjan Sokoli, at least most fans know who they are because they were drafted. But that doesn't mean that a guy like Davis or Nowak can't start just because they didn't start their careers in Seattle. Remember that Breno Giacomini was a pickup from the Green Bay Packers and then spent four years with the Seahawks.
Nowak (dude pictured at the top) was undrafted in 2012 and signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who switched him from DT to OG after injuries on the offensive line. He spent 2012 on IR, 2013 on the Jags practice squad, and then last year on Seattle's PS. Now he's taking first-team snaps at center.
His Twitter is @DNowak7092 (less than 1000 followers, but tweets are protected.)
At Idaho, Davis was a (yep) defensive tackle before moving to offensive tackle, and signing as an undrafted free agent with Seattle.
His Twitter is @99JesseDavis (less than 200 followers.)
At Notre Dame, Schwenke was (yeah) a defensive lineman and (you got it) undrafted.
His Twitter is @KSchwenke96 (less than 1000 followers.)
So yes, it's true that a lot of these names are starting out rather ... nameless. But the same could be said for guys like Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Chris Matthews, Ricardo Lockette, J.R. Sweezy, Cooper Helfet, Lemuel Jeanpierre, and a bunch of other people who have made hundreds of thousands of dollars recently.
And that's just on offense.