They were two parts of some of the most talent-laden Arlington Martin teams Pleasant Ridge Road has ever produced, and now, they’re in rookie minicamps separated by one of the fiercest rivalries in the NFL.
Defensive end Chris Odom played behind Myles Garrett and Devonte Fields on Martin’s defensive line before breaking out in his senior season at Arkansas State with 12.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for loss. He signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Atlanta Falcons.
Kicker Ben Grogan went on from Martin to become Oklahoma State’s all-time leading scorer got on with the New Orleans Saints.
Friday marked the start of rookie minicamps for both teams.
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According to a tweet from Odom’s agent Louis Bing, Atlanta provides the 256-pound defensive end an opportunity to stay at the position he’s played since his days at Martin. He may have to add some upper body strength, but he’s a decent bet to stick as an undrafted rookie.
Grogan was a second-team All-Big 12 kicker in 2016 after coming out of Martin as the No. 9 high school kicker in the nation and a Class 5A all-state pick as a senior. He was a Fort Worth Star-Telegram Super Team pick in 2012 after nailing three field goals longer than 50 yards in a single game against North Crowley.
And it’s not just his right leg that’s strong, either. Grogan became a college football meme when he did better in the bench-press than former Stanford Heisman candidate and Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey in the run-up to the 2017 NFL Draft.
Both Falcons and Saints rookie minicamps are in the second of three workouts on Saturday, concluding Sunday. The Falcons hold a 51-45 all-time edge in the NFC South’s oldest rivalry.
Matthew Martinez: 817-390-7667; @MCTinez817