Kerry Wynn became the latest Richmond alumnus to earn a job in the NFL last Saturday, surviving roster cuts to become a member of the New York Giants.
The path to the Giants’ roster required passion and, more importantly, production for Wynn. He had impressive stats this preseason, recording two quarterback sacks and a team-high seven quarterback hurries.
Despite these numbers, media were surprised when the Giants’ 53-man roster was announced and Wynn’s name was on the list. ESPN even published an article titled “Kerry Wynn, the surprise Giant.” Perhaps the popular veterans alongside Wynn at his position, such as Jason Pierre-Paul and Mathias Kiwanuka, caused him to be overlooked.
A point of pride for Wynn may be a comparison of his success with other rookie players across the NFL—most notably Michael Sam.
Sam, the first openly gay NFL player, was cut from the St. Louis Rams Saturday. The Rams chose to release Sam despite his three quarterback sacks this preseason, his 2013 Southeastern Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year Award, and all of the media attention the team would get as a result. So how does this relate to Kerry Wynn?
Sam earned the award given to the most impressive defensive player in the SEC, which is the most powerful conference in all of college football. Wynn played football in the FCS, the league regarded by most as secondary in college football. Yet Wynn is on an NFL roster and Sam is not, which speaks to Wynn’s effectiveness this preseason and the impression he made on the Giants’ coaches.
Wynn will have to continue to earn his job every day. Things change quickly in the NFL, and he could lose his job at any moment. Just ask former Spiders Lawrence Sidbury and Paris Lenon—both NFL veterans who were released from their teams.
Wynn joins former Richmond teammate Cooper Taylor on the Giants as the only Spiders currently on an NFL roster. Taylor was signed as a rookie last season and played well, scoring a touchdown on special teams. He will be a resource for Wynn as he works to learn the Giants’ defense and solidify his role on the team.
Wynn will begin his NFL career this Monday night on ESPN against the Detroit Lions.
Contact Collegian Reporter Charlie Broaddus at email@example.com
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