Every year in the NFL, teams sign rookie un drafted free agents after the draft to bolster their training camp roster. The majority of them are cut by the fourth week of the preseason and their dreams are shattered. The chances of just one rookie free agent making a team are less than 10%. Their best shot is to make the team would be for their special teams play. For the Cleveland Browns, one of the odds breakers is Craig Robertson. He was signed to the practice squad as an un drafted rookie free agent in December of 2011. Now in 2012, he is making his mark.
Because of Scott Fujita‘s suspension and Chris Gocong‘s season ending injury, Robertson has boosted in to the starting line up at strong side linebacker for the Browns. In four games, Robertson has stuffed the stat sheets with 19 solo tackles, 8 assists, and 2 interceptions. In week three against the Buffalo Bills, Robertson led the Browns’ defense with 7 tackles. #53 for the Browns has proved his worth and made plays when it counts too. In this past Thursday night’s game on national television, he picked off Joe Flacco in the end zone to kill a potential scoring drive. Not bad for a guy who was on no one’s radar before the 2011 draft.
Robertson played his collegiate ball for North Texas University of the Sunbelt Conference. While there, he was a tackling machine. During his Mean Green career, he stopped opponents 381 times. In his final year at North Texas, Robertson recorded double digit tackles in the majority of his games.
While losing Gocong hurt the Browns, guys like Robertson have stepped up when called upon. The Browns are the second youngest team in the league and it is going to take a few more games to gel. At 24 years old, Robertson has fit right in to Dick Jaron‘s “bend but don’t break” 4-3 defense. In Robertson, the Browns just may have found the diamond in the rough they have been looking for.
Ryan Ruiz – Cleveland Browns Writer
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