NORFOLK, Va. – The football world knows that one of the hotbeds for talent resides in the Tidewater region. From Williamsburg all the way down to South Hampton Roads, the NFL has seen plenty of players come from the 757.
This year, it won’t be much different. Players who made their names locally, will be in the spotlight nationally after making their respective teams rosters.
Five players were drafted out of Hampton Roads in this cycle, and all five have found a way to stick with their teams in some capacity.
The first Hampton Roads native selected in the 2018 NFL Draft was Derrick Nnadi. The defensive lineman out of Florida State starred at Ocean Lakes in Virginia Beach before becoming an anchor on the Seminoles front line.
The Kansas City Chiefs selected Nnadi in the third round, with expectations of bringing him in the play immediately. Nnadi made the initial 53-man roster when the Chiefs announced Saturday.
From a potential career-ending injury, to being in the trenches for the defending Super Bowl Champions, Josh Sweat’s journey has been a long one.
After a freak injury to his leg in 2014, Sweat would work his way back to form at Florida State. After three seasons with the Seminoles, Sweat was selected 130th overall in the fourth round by the Eagles.
Drafted in the fourth round by the Minnesota Vikings, Jalyn Holmes was brought in to help bolster an already stout defensive line.
The Lake Taylor product played four seasons at Ohio State, and was named one of the nine defensive lineman the Vikings will take into week one.
From Division II, to the NFL for Hampton’s Trent Cannon. Drafted out of Virginia State in the sixth round of the NFL Draft, Cannon was named to the New York Jets 53-man roster on Saturday.
“They’re going to go play at small schools, Division II or Division III schools, and they can look at me and say ‘He did it’. All you have to do is put in the work and it will happen eventually,” Cannon said at Redskins training camp in August.
A storied career at James Madison wasn’t enough to get Raven Greene drafted, but the First Colonial product made the Green Bay Packers roster after an impressive training camp and preseason performance.
Oscar Smith’s Andrew Brown was drafted in the fifth round by the Bengals out of UVA, but was cut by the team Saturday. However, he was a free agent for a brief moment, as the team brought him back on to the practice squad.
It’s safe to say the prints of Hampton Roads will be all over the league map this season.