NFL takes a pass

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:42 AM ET

The Edmonton Eskimos' gamble on Adam Braidwood is looking much better today.

In fact, there is now a real good chance the highly touted defensive end will be with the club this season.

After grabbing Braidwood with the first-overall pick in the CFL Canadian college draft two weeks ago, the Esks knew there was a chance the Washington State product could be chosen in the NFL draft or scooped up in the free-agent frenzy that follows.

NO FREE-AGENT DEAL

But the B.C. native wasn't among the 255 players selected in the marathon NFL draft in New York during the weekend and hadn't been signed to a free-agent deal as of late last night.

"My agent has been talking to a few teams, but I haven't had any offers ... and from what I have been told, the priority free agents (after yesterday's draft) have already been signed (by NFL teams)," said Braidwood.

"I definitely think there is a real good chance you guys will see me out there on the 19th (of May for Eskimo training camp)."

Braidwood started 22 consecutive games for Washington State over the last two years.

He recorded 8.5 tackles for losses and 6.5 sacks last year, which was good enough for eighth in the highly regarded Pac-10 conference.

But it was his brute strength that really caught attention. He bench-pressed 225 pounds 31 consecutive times during the school's showcase day for NFL scouts this winter.

A FEW NIBBLES OF INTEREST

With the Seattle Seahawks, Houston Texans and Oakland Raiders talking with Braidwood before the weekend draft, some were projecting he could be a late-round pick or receive an invitation to a training camp in the hours afterward.

And the six-four, 265-pounder did have his eyes glued to the TV watching the draft for more than four hours yesterday.

"I didn't really expect anything (during the draft) and I was just hoping for the free-agent deal and that didn't even come true (yesterday)," he said.

There is still a slight chance an NFL team could present an offer with a legitimate chance to compete at training camp this summer, but if the door is officially slammed shut in the next couple of days, Braidwood won't be moping around his parents' home in Delta, B.C.

"I don't really see the CFL as a secondary opportunity or a fall-back plan and obviously, being the No. 1 overall pick in the CFL was a great honour," said Braidwood. "I saw them both (the NFL and CFL) as equal opportunities."


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