To find a future star in the NFL among undrafted rookie free agents, you could do a lot worse than looking for three things:
3) A brother with speed, who was also Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2008.
Deron Mayo may be undersized for the NFL. He's listed at 5-11 and 220 pounds. That's why teams shied away from him in the draft. However, like his famous brother, he brings quickness and speed. Deron is actually faster than his older brother, and runs (by some accounts) a sub-4.4 forty-yard dash. He's a tweener DE/OLB, who many thought would have been a good fit as a 3-4 OLB after adding a few pounds. In fact, he had this to say recently:
People like (Denver’s) Elvis Dumervil and (Pittsburgh’s) James Harrison definitely give me hope. I’m 5-11. I look at people like that and it gives me a lot of motivation. It’s all about learning the game. I feel like I can rush the passer from the edge. It’s just a matter of a coach or a team taking a chance on me, which I know will pay off.
His story also includes a transfer to Old Dominion in college, after his original school, Hofstra, ran out of funds. Mayo was projected as high as the 5th or 6th round by some due to his bloodlines.
The Broncos, fortunately, got him cheaper than that. Moreover, they got some speed to burn on their special teams.
Deron Mayo Highlights (look 18 seconds into the clip)
Deron Mayo Highlights 2 (bad quality, look for # 5)
Pros: Speed, quickness, versatility, has played in coverage, and has badass older brother.
Cons: Undersized, played at a small school.
Straight Dope, Homie: Will need time to add bulk before he competes for one of the linebacker spots. However, has all the speed (and then some), to make the Broncos' roster as a special teams player. In the mold of Wesley Woodyard.
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