Kerwynn Williams learned the hard way that making a NFL roster is easier said than done. The 2009 Valley High School graduate thought he’d survived final cuts with the Indianapolis Colts Saturday as a backup running back and kick returner, but hours later, the Colts picked up a tight end dropped by another team—and released Williams.
The 5-foot-7 Williams was re-signed late Sunday to the Colts’ practice squad, some consolation for the seventh-round draft pick, considering how tough it can be to crack the NFL. Here are the other local products who came through the Vegas prep and college ranks—currently on rosters as the season begins.
Steven Jackson (Falcons): The one-time Eldorado High star has rushed for more than 10,000 career yards and scored 56 career touchdowns. After nine seasons with the St. Louis Rams, he’s now Atlanta’s primary running back—a change he hopes can help him reach the playoffs for the first time.
DeMarco Murray (Cowboys): Despite missing nine games with injuries during his first two pro seasons, the Bishop Gorman grad has rushed for 1,560 career yards and six touchdowns. He has another 434 career receiving yards, catching 35 passes for 251 yards last year. He’ll be Dallas’ primary ball-carrier this year, assuming he can stay healthy.
Billy Winn (Browns): The 6-foot-4, 295-pound defensive tackle played in all 16 games last year during his rookie season with Cleveland. The Las Vegas High grad, a fifth-round 2012 selection by Cleveland out of Boise State, finished with 26 tackles, a sack and an interception last year, starting 10 games. Some believe he’s well on his way to a lengthy pro career.
Juron Criner (Raiders): In his rookie season of 2012, the Canyon Springs High product had 16 catches for 151 yards and one touchdown. He’s survived cuts and is the Raiders’ fifth wide receiver.
John Lotulelei (Seahawks): Lotulelei, who led UNLV in 2012 with 120 tackles, went undrafted in April but made Seattle’s roster. Non-drafted free agents typically have long odds at making the team, making his accomplishment all the more impressive.
Frank Summers (Bills): Frank “The Tank” will be Buffalo’s starting fullback, returning to action after missing all of 2012 with an injury. He was a fifth-round selection by Pittsburgh in 2009 out of UNLV and has also spent time with the Chargers.
Joe Hawley (Falcons): Hawley enters his fourth season with Atlanta and is penciled in as the No. 2 center. He’s also played guard in his career, seeing action in 31 games and starting 12 times. He was a fourth-round pick in the 2010 draft out of UNLV.
Quinton Pointer (Rams): Pointer will be back with St. Louis for a second season after making the team as an undrafted free agent in 2012, finishing the season with five tackles in limited action.