Even if undrafted, receiver likely to get a shot

Updated: July 5, 2005, 9:59 AM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

With the heat index hovering around 100 degrees, former Clemson wide receiver Roscoe Crosby suffered leg cramps that forced him to cut short his Friday audition for NFL scouts.

How much the truncated workout cramps Crosby's value in the July 14 supplemental draft remains to be seen. The unfinished session leaves unsettled the issue of just how high a pick a team might be willing to invest in a prospect who has appeared in only one football game since 2001.

"The heat was a big thing," said Crosby, whose workout drew scouts from 17 teams, at least three of which had indicated legitimate interest in the former two-sport star. "I'm hoping that they saw enough before I was forced to quit to show them my potential. I know there's still work to be done, but I feel like I helped myself."

Crosby, 22, measured 6 feet 2 and 218 pounds. He performed 18 repetitions of the NFL-standard 225 pounds in the bench press. And he was clocked in the mid-4.4s on one of his 40-yard sprints and in the high-4.4s on another. The portion of the workout that was cut short when Crosby's right leg cramped was the on-field segment, which was aimed at demonstrating his route-running and receiving skills.

Only a few minutes into that part of the audition, after snagging some passes from NFL veteran free agent quarterback Shaun King, Crosby was forced to stop.

Before the workout, the consensus around the league was that Crosby might be a sixth- or seventh-round choice in the supplemental draft. A team that uses a supplemental choice on a player in the lottery must forfeit its corresponding-round pick in the 2006 draft. The only supplemental prospect who seems assured of being chosen is Southern California defensive tackle Manuel Wright, who will work out for scouts next Friday, and who probably will be selected with a middle-round choice.

Of the five other players confirmed in the supplemental draft, a lottery held for special-case players, usually those who have lost their college eligibility because of academics or other reasons, Crosby probably has the best chance of being chosen. Even if he is not selected, Crosby has drawn enough interest that he should have the opportunity to go to an NFL training camp as a free agent.

In 2001, as a Clemson freshman, the highly touted Crosby caught 27 passes for 465 yards and four touchdowns. A second-round draft choice of the Kansas City Royals, he signed a baseball contract, but his career in that sport was curtailed by an elbow injury. Crosby returned to football in 2003, but quit the Clemson squad after one game, citing his depression after the drowning death of his brother and the loss of three close friends in an automobile accident.

In February, Crosby lost an arbitration case in which he sought to have the Royals pay him $750,000 they had withheld from his $1.75 million signing bonus.

Crosby, whose childhood heroes included former San Francisco 49ers wide receivers Jerry Rice and John Taylor, said be briefly considered enrolling at a Division II school because he has three seasons of football eligibility remaining.

"But it's time to move on with my professional life," Crosby said, "and I believe that I have the skills to play in the NFL."

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here Insider.

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