UPDATED: Rookie Free Agent List Grows

Over thirty rookie free agents and tryout players have been identified so far, thanks to the searching of Browns fans in the Watercooler, and reports from Scout experts. Here's who we know about so far...

UPDATE 4/30 11AM: Check out this thread in the Watercooler, where we've discovered even more tryout players coming in this weekend.

Not so long ago, the NFL draft was a non-event for most fans. It consisted mostly of dull-looking people sitting by phones. Now, of course, it's covered by two different networks, reported on in every newspaper, yammered about incessantly by sports radio types and bloggers, and is the subject of 4,391 web sites (at last count) manned by people with an intense interest in the draft and, generally, horrific taste in web design.

Just a couple of years ago, only a precious few hard-core fans paid attention to the signings of rookie free agents, and our reports on the OBR were often greeted in the forums by fans dismissing the listing of undrafted free agents (UDFAs), with phrases like "scrubs", "stiffs", "camp fodder", and "Someone needs to stop Barry from writing any more articles about Richard Alston."

Of course, all of that is changing fast. Now, the signing of undrafted free agents following the draft is quickly turning into a spectacle of bloggers pestering agents, fans slamming Google for updates, and rapid press releases by most teams.

Heaven help us if ESPN buys the broadcast rights.

There's good reason for this, of course. As fans, we want more and more NFL news all the time, and the seven-round NFL draft often leaves a lot of decent talent around after "Mr. Irrelevant" is picked. Browns fans are familiar with names like "Josh Cribbs" and "Leigh Bodden", both undrafted free agents who turned into important players and, in the case of Cribbs, a Pro Bowler.

 The quest for information on rookie free agents was more intense this year than ever before and, unfortunately, often less accurate. The use of poorly sourced, and often outright plagiarized, information on blogs and draft sites has hit epic proportions. So, fans need to be careful about what they believe or don't believe as names start getting thrown onto draft and fantasy football sites.

With that in mind, here is the rather lengthy list of rookie free agents and try-out players we've heard about here on the OBR. We'll do something shocking by actually providing easy access to the source article where we got the name, or giving you the name of the Scout reporter who found out about the signing. This is known as "hyperlinking", which is an alternative to the approach we see most often in the sports media these days, which is called "copying".

Here's the list, with there usual Shout-Out in Praise of Awesomeness Above and Beyond the Call of Duty to the OBR Watercooler:

DE Xavier Mitchell Tennessee Chris Steuber (Scout.com)
QB Craig Hormann Columbia ESPN and the Columbia Official Site
CB Darnell Terrell  Missouri Adam Caplan (Scout.com)
DE Chase Ortiz TCU Adam Caplan (Scout.com)
RB Tony Temple Missouri Kansas City Star
K Jason Reda Illinois Chicago Tribune
LB Nick Moore Baylor KWTX.com
WR Lance Leggett Miami (FL) TheLedger.com
CB Robbie Powell Purdue Journal and Chronicle Online
CB Jonathan Zenon LSU LSU Reveille.com
RB Travis Thomas Notre Dame Notre Dame Athletics
OL James Lee South Carolina St thetandd.com
OT Brian Stamper Vanderbilt Nashville City Paper
LB Jermain Dias Virginia Herald-Dispatch.com
TE Kolo Kapanui West Texas A&M Star Bulletin
OL Eric Young Tennessee Goupstate.com
WR Brandon Copeland Bridgewater Bridgewater Football
DT Brian Shaeferling Lindenwood St. Louis Post-Dispatch
WR James Banks Carson-Newman Go Vols Extra
TE Ben Barkema Iowa State Quad Cities Times
CB Jerrid Gaines Miami (OH) Dayton Daily News
S Justin Harrison Illinois Pantagraph.com
DT Steven Friend CMU Morning Sun
P Ben Woods Buffalo Sharon Herald
QB Kevin Hoyng * Dayton Dayton Daily News
WR/CB Andrew Hawkins * Toledo Ed Thompson (Scout.com)
RB Austin Scott * Penn State MCall.com
CB Gerard Lawson Oregon State Oregon Live
WR Matt Champa Dayton Dayton Daily News
DT Kyle Lockett Urbana Press of Atlantic City
WR Chris Schubert * Oberlin Elyria Chronicle-Telegram
RB DeShawn Baker South Carolina St Times and Democrat
RB Hugh Charles* Colorado Colorado Daily
S Todd Koenig Ohio The Post (Ohio U)
DE Jeff Van Osrow* Oregon State The Oregonian
LB Lenny Trusnik * Ohio Northern ONUSports.com


* Believed to be tryout contract only

We've also heard repeatedly that S Greg Hay will be getting an invite to mini-camp, but haven't seen this in a reliable source as of yet. Same with Eddie Pinigis of Liberty.


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