Is Sulak the next Tom Brady for the Patriots?
When word got out that Stryker Sulak was jetting into Foxsboro for a workout with their beloved New England Patriots, bloggers quickly pointed out that the Patriots had done pretty well with another sixth round, 199th pick of the draft.
It seems that football fans from far and yon are familiar with Sulak's NFL plight—drafted by the Oakland Raiders and then unceremoniously dumped two weeks before training camp began.
Although it happened nearly a month ago, NFL writers and bloggers are still trying to make sense of it.
Oakland Coach Tom Cable finally commented last week, saying simply that Sulak wasn't the "right fit" for the team.
Excuse me, but isn't that what scouting is for? Seems to me you ought to fire your director of scouting for allowing you to make such an egregious blunder.
Talk about going from the outhouse to the penthouse.
The Patriots hosted the rookie Missouri defensive end/outside linebacker from Rockdale on July 28.
This is his second trip to Foxsboro, Sulak had worked out for the Patriots before the draft.
"You obviously don't want to burn a bridge, but what I can say is that it certainly didn't have to do with his play or off-field issues," said Sulak's agent Bob Lattinville. "It was a decision they made, and you just have to swallow hard and move on."
According to the Boston Globe, the 6-foot-4, 251-pound Sulak would probably be an outside linebacker in the Patriots' 3-4 defense, or could potentially rush the passer from a three-point stance on third down.
The Patriots—who are now the oldest team in the league at 27.5 years—have been looking at different options for that type of role, stretching back to their interest in veteran Jason Taylor. Sulak had 10 sacks as a senior and 22.5 in his career.
The kicker here is the Raiders selected Sulak with a draft choice they acquired from the Patriots in a draft-day trade.
The Patriots shipped a second rounder (47th, S Mike Mitchell), fourth-rounder (124th, WR Louis Murphy) and sixth-rounder (Sulak) for the Raiders' second-round pick (40th, DT Ron Brace).
If he was tossed into the mix with the Patriots, he would almost certainly project as an outside linebacker and challenge Pierre Woods, Shawn Crable, Tully Banta-Cain and Vince Redd.
Lattinville told the Rock Hill Herald (N.C.) that "at least 10 other teams" are interested in his client.
"He'd be a fine addition for any team," Lattinville said. "And there's no lack of motivation, that's for sure."
No word yet on whether either team is interested or what their level of interest is.
What a poke in the eye it would be for Oakland Raider owner and dark force Al Davis if the team he hates the most— the anti-Raiders—took Sulak and made a successful player out of him.
Here are the five best latedraft NFL players:
1. Tom Brady—New England Patriots, 6th round, 199th pick, 2000.
2. Jay Novacek—St. Louis Cardinals, 168 in 1985
3. Roger Staubach—Dallas Cowboys, 10th round 1964.
4. Bo Jackson—Oakland Raiders, 7th round 1987
5. Kurt Warner—St. Louis Rams, not drafted.