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The journey from the tiny African nation of Togo to the Cologne Crocodiles of the German Football League to the Arizona Cardinals is a very long one.

Now Jerrell Freeman Jersey , still learning English, Moubarak Djeri is trying to navigate the tough and often complicated world of the NFL and prove he belongs.


”This experience is really big,” he said after the Cardinals went through a voluntary workout Thursday. ”That was like a dream for me to be here. Now to see how it’s working, how you’ve got to work hard to make the team and be in the season, it’s a really big experience.”


The 6-foot-3, 275-pound defensive end came to Arizona on a tryout basis but showed enough ability to sign a contract and earn a spot as one of the 90 players going through offseason drills.


Djeri speaks four languages – German, French, his mother’s native tongue of Kotokoli and ”just a little English.” He has been in the United States for three months.


”My English was not that good before I came here,” Djeri said. ”I just started learning better the time I was here, like speaking with my other teammates, watching movies. On the field, the coach is speaking English and you just keep understanding what they say.”


One of his best new friends is teammate Praise Martin-Oguike, also a defensive end, who was born in Nigeria and moved to the United States at age 10.


”The language barrier, he might not get the communications sometime,” Martin-Oguike said. ”It’s very difficult.”


There are other challenges. Martin-Oguike helped Djeri set up a bank account with a debit card to facilitate the automatic deposit of his paycheck. He showed him how to use an Uber app on his phone.


And he provides lots of on-the-job encouragement.


”If I have bad practices, I just think about it and get myself really mad,” Djeri said. ”Praise says don’t think too much about it. Keep going Ricardo Louis Jersey , next play. Tomorrow you’re going to get better. It’s something to motivate me.”


Djeri was born in Lome, the capital city of Togo, a small west African nation sandwiched between Ghana and Benin. One of six children, Djeri is part of a very large extended family. He has 27 aunts and uncles.


At age 11, he moved with his family to Germany and in his late teens, he became interested in American-style football, first joining the Cologne junior team and then advancing to the senior team.


Combined, he played just four years of football. But Cologne assistant coach David Odenthal saw something special in Djeri and put together a highlight tape that eventually caught the attention of the Cardinals. He was one of many tryout players, but one of the few that made the initial cut to become an undrafted rookie.


At 22, he has a long way to go to master the game he loves.


”He’s still learning the game,” coach Steve Wilks said. ”He’s just got to continue to get better, keep putting the time in.”


The time required is so much different than what he had to do in Germany, Djeri said. He said players in Germany thought they knew what it takes to play in the NFL, but it’s much different once it’s experienced up close.


”To have it and to feel it is way different than you think,” he said. ”You’ve got to be every time on point. We’re done now with the practice. We do our lift in 30 minutes. After that, we’ve got meetings again. After that, you go to the hotel and you study and after that you’ve got to sleep to be ready for tomorrow.”


Djeri sees how the odds must be against him.


”I just ask why are they going to get someone from Europe if they’ve got a lot of guys from college,” he said. ”They’ve got a lot of guys with four years’ experience of college football. This is the difficulty to be here.”


But he is giving it his all.


”This is what I want to do every day Mark Sanchez Jersey ,” he said. ”After the practice you feel like your body is sore but this is what you want to do. That’s why it don’t matter how you feel, you’ve got to keep at it every day to get better.”



Eighteen starters in the last Super Bowl were selected in the fourth round or lower, including six players who didn't get a call until the NFL draft was over.


While first-round picks receive most of the attention and players chosen the first two days of the draft get more money and better job security, success on Day 3 of the draft often separates the elite teams from the good ones.


That was evident when the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots met in February. Corey Clement had 100 yards receiving and one touchdown and LeGarrette Blount ran for 90 yards and one touchdown in Philadelphia's 41-33 victory. Danny Amendola led the Patriots with 152 yards receiving and Chris Hogan had 128.


All four players were undrafted free agents.


The Eagles enter this week with only six picks in the draft and none on Day 2 so there's a bigger emphasis for them to hit on some of their picks in the later rounds and find quality rookies in free agency.


It won't be easy, however.


"You would think because we're coming off a Super Bowl and we don't have a second- or third-round pick that it would be a lot easier after the draft," said Joe Douglas, the team's executive vice president of player personnel. "But my experience coming off a Super Bowl, it's sometimes harder to get guys to commit to your roster because agents and players have a perceived notion that it's going to be that much tougher to make your team. It's going to be a challenge for us, and we know it, and we're going to attack it, and I think our guys are going to do a great job recruiting some of these guys who slip through the cracks like we did last year. But it is going to be a challenge because there's going to be some guys who think there's a tougher shot of making the team."


One way to combat that is to offer more guaranteed money to undrafted rookies. It helped the Eagles snag Clement last year after he ran for 1,375 yards his senior season at Wisconsin.


Tom Brady's story is known, going from sixth-round pick to five-time Super Bowl champion. Three of the offensive linemen blocking for him last year were under-the-radar guys, too. Center David Andrews was undrafted, and right guard Shaq Mason and right tackle Cameron Fleming were fourth-round picks. Overall, the Patriots had 18 undrafted players on the Super Bowl roster.


The Jaguars, who lost the AFC championship game, got Pro Bowl linebacker Telvin Smith (fifth round William Jackson Jersey , 2014) on Day 3 of the draft. They also relied on two rookie receivers late in the season: fourth-round pick Dede Westbrook and undrafted Keelan Cole.


"You're looking for those types of nuggets," said Tom Coughlin, Jacksonville's top executive. "You're talking about value. That's what this is all about, so when you get a player in that circumstance and you've done the research on the guy, you know the guy solid and it happens to be that he's there for you, then obviously you feel very good about that."


Titans general manager Jon Robinson said his scouting department has focused the past couple of weeks on finding value in the late rounds and after the draft.


"Anytime you can get return on those guys in those later rounds with play on the field whether it be offensively, defensively, in the kicking game, I think that's good," Robinson said. "I think we've done a pretty good job the last couple years of finding some guys to carve out a niche, carve out a role on this football team and contribute. So we're hoping we can kind of sift through those guys over the weekend and come away with a couple that can help us."


Accumulating more picks, especially in the later rounds, certainly helps a team's chances of adding a solid contributor. Minnesota, which lost the NFC title game, has eight draft picks, including five on Day 3.


"Sure, you're going to have your misses. But, the more swings that you get at the plate Andre Johnson Jersey , the better odds you have of hitting the ball," said Vikings general manager Rick Spielman. "If you only get to bat twice, you've got maybe a 50-50 chance. If you get to bat 10 times, hopefully your 50-50 chance, your odds have increased pretty good. I think it's taking as many swings as you can down in those later rounds."


San Francisco GM John Lynch had success with third-day picks and rookie free agents last year, adding Trent Taylor, George Kittle, D.J. Jones, Adrian Colbert, Matt Breida and Kendrick Bourne.


"When you can hit at that part of the draft, and/or free agency, it's a really good thing," Lynch said. "Shoot, we picked guys off of tryout camp last year. ... Everyone focuses on the work up top with No. 9 but we really try to take a holistic look at this thing and pride ourselves on being real strong on the back end of the draft."


AP Pro Football Writers Josh Dubow, Teresa M. Walker and Dave Campbell, and AP Sports Writer Mark Long contributed to this report. AP NFL website: pro32.ap.org and AP_NFL Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: s://AP_RobMaaddi  Authentic Womens Josh Allen Jersey
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