- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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Former Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich said Monday on Sirius NFL Radio that he was flattered to be drafted by the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League, but that he will be focusing on the National Football League at this time.
Herzlich, who was not selected in April's NFL draft, hopes to sign a rookie free-agent contract with an NFL team once free agency begins.
"It's a quick turnaround between the [NFL] draft and the UFL. We told them it's a real honor [but] I am going to try to keep my options open in terms of NFL free agency," Herzlich told the "Movin' the Chains" program.
"I'm convinced that it will work out. I know the people in Omaha are excited. If it doesn't work out with the NFL, that could be a good fit for me."
Herzlich, who was selected 51st overall in the UFL draft, told Sirius NFL Radio that he has identified eight to nine NFL teams in which he thinks he might be a good fit. "A lot of the teams" run a 4-3 defense, where Herzlich would project to the strongside linebacker spot, although there are a few teams that run the 3-4 alignment on his list. Herzlich believes he fits in both schemes.
"It will really come down to whenever the lockout does get lifted, within that 48-hour window, we'll try to get those teams on the phone and see what other teams are interested, and make the best pick," he said.
Herzlich also shared with Sirius NFL Radio why he thinks NFL teams did not draft him.
"I think teams look at my situation and want to see tangible results in the combine and in different things saying, 'He's back and he's 100 percent.' I don't think that my combine times showed them that necessarily. I think that was an issue," he said, adding that some teams might have been affected by a "scare factor."
"I'm back, I'm healthy, I'm strong, I'm ready to go, so whenever I get a chance to get on a team, I'll be able to prove [that] to them."
Mike Reiss covers the Patriots for ESPNBoston.com.
13hEric D. Williams