A seventh-round Draft pick in the NFL is usually either a prospect that has slid down the boards because of injury or character issues, or a player that a team wants to pick up before losing the chance to grab him in the free-for-all College Free Agent market. Other than that, there isn’t a whole lot of differences between the two. They are fringe players that didn’t get drafted because the talent level was very high in the draft. There are roughly 1800 roster spots available each year throughout the league and with around 20 new jobs per team open for competition. Many of the 255 draftees will supplant a veteran for those 640 jobs and roughly 480 CFA’s are vying for the chance to take the rest of those jobs or make a Practice Squad to develop further and keep their dream alive.
The Denver Broncos have had at least one College Free Agent make the 53 man roster out of Training Camp for nine straight seasons. This season there are 15 new CFA’s trying to be that 1 in 53 chance. Today we look at Wide Receiver Kemonte’ Bateman.
NFL Draft Scout had Bateman rated as the 159th out of 342 WR prospects nationwide in 2013 with a ceiling as an Undrafted Free Agent.
Kemonte’ Bateman is 6’-1”, 185 and 23 years old out of New Mexico St. via Pasadena (Ca.) City College. His Pro Day numbers look like this:
40 Yard Time – 4.52
20 Yard Time – 2.67
10 Yard Split – 1.65
Bench Press – 12
Vertical Jump – 36”
Broad Jump – 16”
20 Yard Shuttle – 4.19
3-Cone Drill – 7.03
Bateman was a 4-star prospect out of Crenshaw high school and signed with Arizona State in 2008. He didn’t qualify academically, missing the ACT test by one point, and enrolled in nearby Pasadena City College. His JUCO stats at Pasadena were 55 catches for 775 yards, a 14.1 average and 8 Touchdowns. Bateman also led the team in Punt returns with 18, averaging 11.8 yards per return and 1 Touchdown. He returned 12 kickoffs for a 16.3 yard average.
Kemonte’ played two seasons at PCC, studied more, passed his ACT and committed to New Mexico State in February 2011. During his two seasons with the Aggies in the Western Athletic Conference, Kemonte’ caught 77 passes for 1,129 yards, a 14.7 average and 9 TDs in 25 games.
As a Junior (2011), Bateman played in all 13 games at Wide Receiver and also served as a part-time Punt returner. He made 27 catches for 422 yards and four Touchdowns and ranked 3rd in the WAC with a 15.6 yard average. Kemonte’ caught a career-long 69-yard pass from Matt Christian against Nevada (Oct. 29) and posted his first career two-Touchdown game against Idaho (Oct. 15), while hauling in a 50-yard pass from Travaughn Colwell as part of career high four receptions that totaled 73 yards against the Vandals.
In 2012, Kemonte’ grabbed 50 receptions for 707 yards, a 14.1 average and 5 Touchdowns in 12 games in 2012.
At Pasadena City College in 2010.
“Pure receiver. Smooth. Makes plays.” -Pasadena Wide receivers coach R. Todd Littlejohn on Bateman.
How he fits in Denver:
Bateman has a long stride and a fluid running style. I don’t have the schematics for his arm length or Hand span, but he doesn’t short-arm the ball and his hands are big enough to make a one-handed grab. He is a willing blocker who stays engaged throughout and finishes his block. Kemonte’ has some return experience and although the Broncos are set there, he would have to make an impact on Special Teams in another area. Kemonte’ will be an underdog to make the roster, with the amount of competition the team is bringing into Training Camp this year, but the 4th and 5th Wideout jobs are available. Perhaps he can replace the role that Matthew Willis claimed in 2012.
You can follow Kemonte’ Bateman on Twitter @KB2TheMoney_13
– Kaptain Kirk