Will the Grizzlies have NFL representation in 2021?

The Montana Grizzlies have not been a hotbed for emerging NFL talent and there are currently no active players in the league. Dante Olson was the great hope out of the alumni to move onwards in their football careers last term. Although the linebacker went undrafted in the 2020 Draft, he was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles.

However, he failed to make enough of an impression during training camp and without pre-season games to showcase his skills, he was cut by the franchise in August. Olson did reappear on their practice squad during the 2020 season, but was cut again in November and did not sign a future deal with the Eagles for the 2021 campaign. It may leave the Grizzlies without a former alumnae on the roster of an NFL team for the first time in a number of years.

Due to the lack of a 2020 campaign, their hopes of bolstering the numbers through the 2021 Draft appear to be slim. Wide receiver Samuel Akem could be an option after three solid years of production in the college ranks, although he is likely to have to go through the undrafted free agent route to reach the NFL. Linebacker Jace Lewis could be a surprise selection should he elect to enter the NFL Draft, but without a huge amount of experience in the college game it would be a gamble.

There are few guarantees in the NFL Draft, but there have been surprising moves in the past. Trevor Lawrence appears to the unanimous pick to be the first player taken in the 2021 Draft. For anyone looking to bet in this area, there are guides available for how to bet online on the NFL Draft specifically, as well as more general guides that navigate through the vast number of markets. No player from the Montana Grizzlies has ever been selected in the first round, and the last one to be picked at all in the draft came in 2014 when Jordan Tripp was taken by the Miami Dolphins in the fifth round.

The most recent player to go on to have a lengthy career in the NFL was cornerback Trumaine Johnson. He had a stellar six seasons with the St Louis/Los Angeles Rams after being selected with the 65th overall pick in the 2012 Draft. Johnson enjoyed an outstanding 2015 campaign, notching seven interceptions. He failed to come to a long-term agreement with the Rams and was designated with the franchise tag for back-to-back years. The cornerback remained solid on the field and that was enough to convince the New York Jets to sign him to a five-year $72m contract, with $35m guaranteed.

However, Johnson’s play then declined rapidly in two years with the Jets, albeit his issues were not aided by problems within the franchise itself. He was released two years into his contract and failed to latch on to another outfit for the 2020 season after being cut six days into his tenure with the Carolina Panthers.

As a result of Johnson and Olson’s issues and the lack of talent emerging through the ranks – it appears the Grizzlies will be without a representative in the 2021 season. It highlights the difficulty of getting to the NFL and also remaining in the league as a veteran.