Four Cougars set for NFL rookie minicamp

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie minicamps are taking place this weekend which means a few Cougars will get their chance to impress.

While Deone Bucannon was the only Cougar picked in the NFL Draft last week, he isn't the only player getting a shot at the next level. NFL teams open rookie minicamps today and four Cougars are in camps.

As a first-round pick, Bucannon is one of the headline attractions in Cardinals mini camp. Mike Leach gushed about the former Cougar safety on the radio on Thursday, telling a story about Bucannon's work ethic. According to Leach, there was a time when the coaching staff had to literally tell Bucannon to get out of the weight room. The team had worked out in the morning and gone through a physical practice. Most players would opt to let their body rest, but the staff found Bucannon back in the weight room and had to tell him to leave and get some rest.

Bucannon isn't the only player trying to catch on in the NFC West. Kicker Andrew Furney is in camp with Seattle. The Seahawks re-signed Steven Hauschka to a three-year deal this offseason, likely limiting Furney's chance of making the active roster. Teams, however, carry two kickers through much of the preseason and if Furney impresses during camp, he could get an opportunity to stick with the team into training camp. That would give him an open audition for the other 31 teams and he could land on an active roster if he kicks well enough during the preseason.

John Fullington signed with Green Bay as an undrafted free agent not long after the draft. As it turns out, he won't be the only former Cougar offensive lineman trying to make the Packers. Rico Forbes is also in camp with Green Bay, with Rob Demovsky of ESPN tweeting the roster picture to prove it.

Forbes struggled with injuries during his WSU career and was benched late last season. He does, however, have the size and athleticism NFL teams crave. Fullington and Forbes being in camp together is interesting as Fullington slid out to right tackle to replace Forbes when the coaching staff made the change.

One player not in mini camp is Ioana Gauta. The defensive tackle was mentioned as one of WSU's top NFL prospects dating back to last offseason, yet hasn't got a shot yet. He's a bit of a NFL tweener due to his size. Built like a defensive end, but with the game of an interior tackle. He also didn't run well at the Pro Day, reportedly clocking a time of 5.25 seconds, according to NFL Draft Scout.

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