Last updated: May 12. 2014 12:31PM - 774 Views
By Kevin Eckleberry

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Their names weren’t called during the draft, but there are other avenues to the NFL.

Former Troup Tigers J.C. Copeland and Chris Burnette have both signed with NFL teams, and they’ll have a chance to make a roster as a non-drafted free agent.

It’s a route numerous players have taken over the years, including former LaGrange Granger Wesley Woodyard, who has enjoyed a successful six-year career in the NFL after he wasn’t drafted in 2008.

Woodyard signed with the Broncos, and he went on to become one of that team’s most valuable players.

Copeland, a fullback from LSU, signed a contract with the Dallas Cowboys, and Burnette, an offensive lineman from Georgia, signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Neither player is guaranteed anything other than the money they agreed upon when they signed, but this at least gives them an opportunity to earn a roster spot.

Both players had hopes of being taken in the later rounds of the draft, but it didn’t happen.

As soon as the draft ends, the non-drafted players can sign with teams, and it didn’t take Copeland and Burnette long to find a team.

Copeland was one of four non-drafted LSU players who signed, and there were three Georgia players, including Burnette, who signed after going undrafted.

Both players enjoyed exceptional collegiate careers.

Burnette was a three-year starter on the offensive line for Georgia, and Copeland got significant playing time the past three years as well.

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