Ouimet on Pape, Navarre, and Free Agents

Wolverines <b>Tony Pape</b> and <b>John Navarre</b> were drafted Sunday -- but not until the 7th and final round. Former Michigan Assistant Recruiting Coordinator Mark Ouimet talked Monday evening about the two dropping that low, and he also fills us in on six undrafted Wolverines who have signed free agent contracts.


"Tony Pape. The reason he dropped so low is maybe a little surprising, but it's simple. The USC game ... that game scared people. Tony didnt fare very well in that game against the USC rush. Actually the whole offensive line didn't play that well. They didn't get exposed like that in the Big Ten. But -- Tony will make the Dolphins' team.

"John Navarre was the first pick in the 7th round. He got drafted after Craig Krenzel (5th round), and after Jim Sorgi and Jeff Smoker (6th round) -- although all of those guys were drafted late.

"The knock on Navarre is obviousl He can't run. And once again, that got exposed for all to see in the USC game. But, once again -- John will make the Cardinals as their third quarterback, and he will be a good back-up.

"Remember this: only 255 players are taken in the draft. To be taken on the first day is great, but otherwise -- to get drafted is great.

"And remember this as well. There are kids that make their teams because of salary cap numbers. The NFL minimum is $225,000, which the 7th round guys will get. So in some cases getting drafted low actually helps a guy make his team. And even more than that, for a situation like for a back-up quarterback, starting low in the salary scale actually helps a guy stay in the league longer. Players price themselves out of the league all the time -- I know several former NFL players where that happened. A team can get a young cheaper so they cut the more experienced veteran, just for money reasons alone. Some guys price themselves out of the league with their second contract, some their third. So starting low could keep Navarre in the league for ten years, even if he never becomes a starter. That's a funny way to look at thing perhaps, but it's true.

"As far as undrafted Michigan players signing free agent contracts, here's what I've found out by checking around:

"Dave Pearson signed with the Lions.
Alain Kashama signed with the Bears.
Larry Stevens signed with the Bengals.
Andy Mignery signed with the Patriots.
Grant Bowman signed with the Titans.
Norman Heuer signed with the Redskins."

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