Our crack staff of PFT Planeteers has alerted us to the most recent situation in which a rookie draft pick was not signed by the team that selected him. And one of our sources pointed out another similar situation, from the mid-1990s.
In 2002, the Eagles simply ran out of rookie pool space, so they had to release their rights to seventh-round defensive end Raheem Brock.
Other picks that year were cornerback Lito Sheppard (first round), safety Michael Lewis (second round), cornerback Sheldon Brown (second round), running back Brian Westbrook (third round), center Scott Peters (fourth round), receiver Freddie Milons (fifth round), and linebacker Tyreo Harrison (sixth round).
In hindsight, it might have been wiser to dump Milons or Harrison; Brock was gobbled up by the Colts, started six games in 2002, and became a full-time starter in 2003. He has been a fixture at defensive end for Indy ever since.
The other guy to be dumped post-draft, pre-contract by his team was defensive end Christian Peter, in 1996. Taken by the Pats in the fifth round of the draft, the team severed ties a week later after doing more of the homework that should have been done prior to the draft regarding Peter’s history of misconduct.
The reason for the Raiders’ decision to sever ties with defensive end Stryker Sulak still isn’t know. As one astute reader has pointed out, it simply could be a case of too many bodies at the position, given that Derrick Burgess has not been traded and Greg Ellis recently has been signed.