Kansas Football: Former Jayhawks Begin Their NFL Journey

John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE

Several former Kansas football players landed free agent contracts around the league following the draft. Now they have to earn a roster spot which is always the hard part.

Over the last two seasons the Kansas Jayhawk football program has had two undrafted free agents land roster spots with NFL teams. Coincidentally both of those players were picked up by the Denver Broncos. Chris Harris landed in Denver two years ago and worked himself into the starting rotation this past season with very real consideration for the NFL pro bowl. Steven Johnson hasn't catapulted to the top in the same way but he is still holding on and will have a chance to compete for playing time this Fall.

It's not an easy journey but Kansas has more than a few that will embark on a similar path this summer and into Fall as they hope to replicate what Harris and Johnson have done and earn an NFL paycheck. Tanner Hawkinson was the lone draftee from the Kansas program, but several other Jayhawks will have an opportunity with various teams around the league.

Bradley McDougald, Dayne Crist and Toben Opurum will all start their journey's with the Kansas City Chiefs. McDougald was the first to sign a free agent deal with Kansas City and the past coaching relationships that Charlie Weis has had in the NFL will certainly come into play and hopefully open more doors for Kansas players in the future.

Greg Brown, the Jayhawks top corner last year, was the other former Jayhawk to sign a free agent contract agreeing to join the San Diego Chargers where he'll join another former Jayhawk in Darrell Stuckey.

Outside of the four mentioned above Kansas also had two players invited to a try out including Trevor Marrongelli (Detroit Lions), and Tunde Bakare (Chicago Bears). This year wasn't expected to be a big year for Kansas in the NFL draft but given the talent that is on the way to Lawrence that will hopefully change in the future. Hopefully these six make the most of their opportunity and we get another Chris Harris type story coming out of the 2013 NFL Draft.

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