Reid Fragel took time to soak in the moment. This would be a Paul Brown Stadium practice without pads on a dreary morning nearly three months from training camp. Still, strapping on his Bengals helmet for the first time on the opening day of rookie mini-camp Friday struck him with a twinge of jitters.

“Walking through the tunnel and running out there for the first time was pretty surreal,” said Fragel, an offensive lineman selected in the seventh-round. “The whole experience is just amazing in itself.”

Once any jitters subsided, a different feeling took over for Fragel and dozens of others leaving the blur of agents, combines, physicals and draft days behind.

“I think everybody has a sigh of relief that whole process is over where we are just able to to play football again,” Fragel said. “Once the ball is snapped I think everybody is equal. It's not, 'Oh, there's that guy, he's first round, second round.”

Players drafted in the fifth round and beyond grasp tightly to the level playing field provided beginning this weekend. In an NFL where the production of undrafted and late-round picks make the difference between good and great teams, players only want to take advantage of their shot.

Over the last five NFL drafts, nine players selected in the fifth, sixth or seventh round made a Pro Bowl. In the same time span 96 players from those rounds served as the predominant starter at their position for at least one season.

Those rounds haven't yielded as much success for the Bengals. Kevin Huber represents the only player to become a predominant starter.