One of the major topics around NFL circles since the draft has been former Boston College LB Mark Herzlich, who went undrafted over the weekend. For those of you who don’t know the story on this kid, he was the ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2008, and then missed the 2009 season while battling cancer. After undergoing chemotherapy treatment and fighting the battle, he returned to the field in 2010 and had a very nice season, totaling 65 tackles, two forced fumbles, four interceptions and four pass breakups. According to a report, NFL teams are researching Herzlich’s medical situation and deciding whether to offer him a contract when the lockout is lifted. The question to you is: Should the Rams be interested in signing Herzlich?
For anyone who followed me on Twitter during the draft @Ramblinfan, you know that I was pushing hard during the seventh round for the team to pick Herzlich. Obviously, this is a great story, but I would not advocate signing a guy if he can’t contribute to the roster. However, I think Herzlich has the potential to be an NFL-caliber player. This guy was an absolute beast in ’08, and he more than held his own last season while still on the comeback trail from the cancer. It is being said that an athlete needs somewhere around 18 months before he can be back to his maximum potential after chemotherapy depending on the individual situation, so the best from this guy could still be yet to come.
I want the team to perform their due diligence in researching Herzlich’s situation, because I don’t know if his body will be able to stand up to the daily grind that is the NFL, but for an organization that has a gaping hole at the position he plays and has made it no secret that it values character guys, I can’t imagine a better fit in the NFL. You aren’t going to find a man with better character than Herzlich, and I would love it if his storybook tale continued here in St. Louis. You know how I feel, but feel free to leave your comments on Herzlich here, and for all you Twitterers out there, you should certainly follow Herzlich @MarkHerzlich.