Every NFL Team’s Most Exciting 2024 Undrafted Free-Agent Addition

Every NFL Team’s Most Exciting 2024 Undrafted Free-Agent Addition

Every NFL Team’s Most Exciting 2024 Undrafted Free-Agent Addition

0 of 32

    Indianapolis Colts undrafted free-agent quarterback Kedon Slovis

    Indianapolis Colts undrafted free-agent quarterback Kedon SlovisZach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    First- and second-round NFL draft picks drive interest. But undrafted free agents tend to form the bedrock of a team’s roster since a significant portion of every 53-man lineup is comprised of those who weren’t selected at any point in the event’s seven rounds.

    What’s fascinating about the process is how important the wild, wild west of free-agent signings becomes once a draft officially ends.

    Every NFL organization races to sign its favorite prospects who didn’t hear their names called. Unlike the actual draft picks, contract slotting doesn’t exist. Some of the deals that signees agree to include more guaranteed money than those of individuals who were selected in the seventh round. Plus, the former has the benefit of picking which team they want to play for, thus more potential opportunities, if multiple offers are on the table.

    Obviously, going undrafted doesn’t mean a player lacks talent. A myriad of factors play into where a prospect does or doesn’t land. Those who go undrafted, though, do experience a more difficult time making a roster and sticking.

    Every player listed here has some buzz over what they can bring to their respective teams—to not only make the roster but potentially contribute early in their careers.

Arizona Cardinals: WR Xavier Weaver

1 of 32

    College Football: Colorado Xavier Weaver (10) in action, runs with the football vs Arizona at Folsom Field. 
Boulder, CO 11/11/2023 
CREDIT: Erick W. Rasco (Photo by Erick W. Rasco/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images) 
(Set Number: X164462)

    Set Number: X164462

    The Arizona Cardinals built their 2024 draft class around the best wide receiver prospect of at least the last 13 years. Marvin Harrison Jr. will immediately enter the lineup as a focal point of the offense. But the Cardinals could use plenty of more weapons.

    The squad already had Michael Wilson on the roster after a solid rookie campaign. Veteran Zay Jones signed as a free agent. From there, the Cardinals wide receiver depth is marginal at best.

    Xavier Weaver’s signing brings a target who quietly led the Colorado Buffaloes with 908 receiving yards last year. Granted, Travis Hunter dealt with injuries, but star quarterback Shedeur Sanders often looked to Weaver as a security blanket. The undrafted wide receiver does have a thin frame, but he has the speed to be a vertical threat and ability to create after the catch when working underneath.

Atlanta Falcons: OT Nolan Potter

2 of 32

    LEXINGTON, KY - SEPTEMBER 24: Northern Illinois Huskies offensive tackle Nolan Potter (69) protects quarterback Ethan Hampton (2) as Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Keaten Wade (20) approaches in a game between the Northern Illinois Huskies and Kentucky Wildcats on September 24, 2022, at Kroger Field in Lexington, KY. (Photo by Jeff Moreland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Jeff Moreland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    An NFL squad isn’t going to find many, if any, offensive linemen more experienced than Nolan Potter.

    Over the last four seasons, Potter started 43 games for the Northern Illinois Huskies. Potter is a natural right tackle who can immediately compete to back up Kaleb McGary for the Atlanta Falcons.

    The Falcons did bring in Storm Norton last season, but he’s been a replacement-level performer throughout his career. Potter is a bit of a throwback as a more traditional right tackle who isn’t the most nimble yet fires off the ball quickly and with authority.

    While mainly set at tackle, Potter will almost assuredly cross-train at guard and potentially help along the interior. As long as he shows the capability of doing so, the undrafted rookie can add quality depth to an offensive line after the Falcons didn’t address the position group during the draft or in free agency.

Baltimore Ravens: S Beau Brade

3 of 32

    COLLEGE PARK, MARYLAND - NOVEMBER 18: J.J. McCarthy #9 of the Michigan Wolverines is tackled by Beau Brade #2 of the Maryland Terrapins in the second quarter at SECU Stadium on November 18, 2023 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

    G Fiume/Getty Images

    The Baltimore Ravens lacked depth at safety going into this year’s NFL draft. Kyle Hamilton is a first-team All-Pro and Marcus Williams brings plenty of ball skills as a complementary free safety, but the squad didn’t have much beyond that point.

    Baltimore did draft Sanoussi Kane in this year’s seventh round. Maybe fourth-round rookie T.J. Tampa cross-trains between corner and safety. Whatever the case, a clear pathway toward making the roster exists for undrafted defensive back Beau Brade.

    Brade is an instinctive safety who triggers quickly and brings a certain level of physicality. He also displays good ball skills. The issue is marginal athleticism. Brade is a good football player yet lacks explosive athletic traits. Even so, his heady play and ability to contribute in multiple roles still make him an exciting addition to the defensive backfield.

Buffalo Bills: IOL Keaton Bills

4 of 32

    SALT LAKE CITY, UT - OCTOBER 28:  Keaton Bills #51 of the Utah Utes sets to block during the first half of their game agianst the Oregon Ducks at Rice Eccles Stadium on October 28, 2023 in Salt Lake City, Utah.  (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

    Chris Gardner/Getty Images

    If a person was ever born to play professional football in Buffalo, it’s offensive lineman Keaton Bills. The name alone is enough for fans to go gaga over his addition since his jersey will never go out of style.

    The 6’5″, 321-pound Bills is a powerful and naturally built guard who originally entered Utah’s program as a defensive lineman. He started 36 games at left guard for the Utes.

    “He’s not going to get overpowered,” Utah offensive line coach Jim Harding told the Deseret NewsJoe Coles. “He’s got really good natural strength. Him being a student of the game, having a high football IQ, I think he’s going to be able to come in and wherever he ends up and learn their offensive scheme quicker than a lot of newcomers.”

    Bills could easily beat out Alec Anderson or Kevin Jarvis for a roster spot.

Carolina Panthers: WR Jalen Coker

5 of 32

    CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - MAY 10: Jalen Coker #18 of the Carolina Panthers rides to the field before rookie minicamp on May 10, 2024 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

    Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

    The continued improvement of the weapons surrounding Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young is vital to the health of the organization.

    Carolina did trade for Diontae Johnson and drafted Xavier Legette in this year’s first round. Throw veteran Adam Thielen and the untapped potential of Jonathan Mingo into the mix, and the Panthers might finally have something.

    The undrafted signing of Jalen Coker will be overlooked, because he’s not a marquee addition. At the same time, Coker has the build and body control to bring something a little different to the table.

    The thickly built 6’3″ target has tremendous ball skills and can be an immediate threat in 50-50 situations or in the red zone. That’s not something currently found among the previously mentioned wide receivers on the Panthers roster. The Holy Cross product won’t be an every-down contributor if he makes the roster, but he has a very specific trait to flesh out the wide receiver room.

Chicago Bears: DL Keith Randolph Jr.

6 of 32

    LAKE FOREST, ILLINOIS - MAY 11: Austin Booker #94, 
Jamree Kromah #59, and Keith Randolph Jr. #67 of the Chicago Bears stretch during Chicago Bears Rookie Minicamp at Halas Hall on May 11, 2024 in Lake Forest, Illinois.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

    Michael Reaves/Getty Images

    The Chicago Bears spent second- and third-round raft picks on interior defensive linemen during the 2023 NFL draft. Both Gervon Dexter Sr. and Zacch Pickens are much better at shooting gaps and getting pressure than they are holding the point of attack. Keith Randolph Jr. brings a different skill set.

    “Randolph is a solid run defender who can plug up his gap,” Bleacher Report scout Matt Holder wrote in the undrafted rookie’s predraft report. “He has impressive upper-body strength to lock out offensive linemen, and he appears to have long arms to maximize the amount of extension he gets on blocks.”

    Randolph can grow into the role currently claimed by Andrew Billings in the middle of the defense. Billings does turn 30 next year and becomes a free agent after the 2025 campaign.

Cincinnati Bengals: LB Aaron Casey

7 of 32

    CHAMPAIGN, IL - NOVEMBER 11: Indiana LB Aaron Casey (44) during a college football game between the Indiana Hoosiers and Illinois Fighting Illini on November 11, 2023 at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, IN. (Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    The Cincinnati Bengals tend to do a good job staying ahead of the curve when it comes to future need areas.

    At linebacker, three of the team’s four most experienced options will either be a free agent after the upcoming season or the 2025 campaign. Only Logan Wilson is signed long-term.

    The setup provides opportunity, particularly when experience beyond those options is basically nil.

    Aaron Casey stuffed the stat sheet for the Indiana Hoosiers. The first-team All-Big Ten performer amassed 195 total tackles, 30.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks over the last two seasons. He’s going to fill from his Mike ‘backer spot and do so with authority.

    However, Casey is a marginal athlete, hence why he slid out of the draft despite being recognized as an elite performer in the Big Ten. Still, his playmaking skills and rugged brand of football can help the Bengals linebacking corps.

Cleveland Browns: IOL Javion Cohen

8 of 32

    MIAMI GARDENS, FL - OCTOBER 21: Miami Hurricanes offensive lineman Javion Cohen (70) protects the passer during the game between the Clemson Tigers and the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday, October 21, 2023 at Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Fla. (Photo by Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    The Cleveland Browns claim the NFL’s best guard duo. Joel Bitonio and Wyatt Teller are getting older, though.

    Bitonio turns 33 in October, while Teller turns 30 in November. Both will enter the final years of their current deals in 2025, when their salary-cap hits escalate to over $21 million apiece. This situation isn’t sustainable.

    Unsurprisingly, the Browns signed a couple of undrafted free agents who can be developed along the interior. Javion Cohen is the most promising after starting for both the Alabama Crimson Tide and Miami Hurricanes, though he won’t bring the same type of movement skills to the position.

    “Overall, Cohen is a strapping, physical, heavy-handed and heavy-footed presence at guard who can bang and plug gaps against pure power rushers and run defenders,” B/R scout Brandon Thorn wrote. “However, he will struggle to mirror and sustain blocks consistently against NFL competition due to his upright, rigid playing style, signaling a low-upside depth piece at guard.”

Dallas Cowboys: TE Brevyn Spann-Ford

9 of 32

    FRISCO, TX - MAY 22: Dallas Cowboys tight end Brevyn Spann-Ford (47) catches the ball during the Dallas Cowboys OTAs on May 22, 2024 at The Star in Frisco, TX. (Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    The Dallas Cowboys have a nice group of tight ends. Even so, undrafted Brevyn Spann-Ford brings something different to the offense.

    Jake Ferguson developed into the squad’s No. 2 target behind wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. Luke Schoonmaker is an excellent athlete. Peyton Hendershot brings a basketball mentality to the position.

    Spann-Ford is a throwback, comparatively. The 6’7″, 260-pound tight end is a true inline option.

    “Spann-Ford is a de facto sixth offensive lineman with functional receiving ability in the underneath area,” B/R scout Derrik Klassen wrote.

    The Cowboys have the talent at the position to become a heavy 12-personnel scheme, with Spann-Ford doing the dirty work and allowing the other tight ends to serve as weapons. He also served as a functional target with 95 receptions during his collegiate career.

Denver Broncos: RB Blake Watson

10 of 32

    ENGLEWOOD, COLORADO - MAY 11: Running back Blake Watson #43 of the Denver Broncos drills during Denver Broncos Rookie Minicamp at Centura Health Training Center on May 11, 2024 in Englewood, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    Javonte Williams didn’t look the same upon returning to the field in 2023 after suffering a torn ACL and LCL during the previous season.

    Williams’ average yards per carry dropped to 3.6. Comparatively, Jaleel McLaughlin averaged 5.4 yards per tote, though the backs’ usage greatly varied. Still, the Broncos saw a potential need at running back and drafted Notre Dame’s Audric Estimé in this year’s fifth round. The organization also signed Blake Watson to one of the most lucrative undrafted free-agent deals among this year’s class.

    Watson and Estimé are a fascinating combination. The incoming draft pick is a physical and decisive downhill runner, while Watson is a wide receiver convert and capable target out of the backfield, with 90 receptions over the last two seasons.

    It’s quite possible that Williams and McLaughlin could eventually give way to the rookie duo.

Detroit Lions: IOL Kingsley Eguakun

11 of 32

    GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 16: Florida Gators offensive lineman Kingsley Eguakun (65) lines up for a play during the game between theTennessee Volunteers and theFlorida Gators on September 16, 2023 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field in Gainesville, Fl.  (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    The Detroit Lions were concerned about center depth. How do we know this? They signed three centers as undrafted free agents.

    Frank Ragnow is arguably the game’s best center. Behind him, the options are shaky, especially after Evan Brown left in free agency to sign with the Arizona Cardinals.

    Among the incoming undrafted options, Kingsley Eguakun was the highest-rated prospect by the Bleacher Report Scouting Department.

    “Overall, Eguakun brings a brawler’s mentality at the pivot with the initial burst and pop to end the fight quickly and generate some splash finishes,” Thorn wrote. “But his lack of size and feast-or-famine approach will make it difficult for him to carve out more than a backup role, especially without positional versatility.”

    The 304-pound blocker may not be the biggest or longest option, but he can be hidden to a degree at center and brings the right mentality to play for the Lions.

Green Bay Packers: OT Donovan Jennings

12 of 32

    GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 17: South Florida Bulls offensive lineman Donovan Jennings (73) during the game between the South Florida Bulls and the Florida Gators on September, 17 2022 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field in Gainesville, Fl. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    The Green Bay Packers love to take left tackle prospects and convert them to guard. Donovan Jennings is yet another project.

    Jordan Morgan’s position isn’t set in stone after he was Green Bay’s first-round draft pick. He took his initial camp reps at left tackle. But he’ll have to beat out Rasheed Walker for the spot.

    Fellow draft pick Travis Glover has starting experience at both tackle spots and left guard.

    Jennings must find a role for himself. At 6’4″ and 328 pounds, with excellent athletic testing numbers, the older prospect should be able to make the shift inside after starting 45 games for USF. Jennings will turn 25 later this year, but his experience and power should provide solid depth to a Packers unit that needed reinforcements.

Houston Texans: WR Jadon Janke

13 of 32

    FRISCO, TX - JANUARY 08:  South Dakota State Jackrabbits wide receiver Jadon Janke (1) runs the ball against the North Dakota State Bison during the FCS Championship game on January 08, 2023 at the Toyota Stadium in Frisco, TX. (Photo by Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    The Houston Texans signed identical twins Jadon and Jaxon Janke as undrafted free agents to join their wide receiver ranks.

    The Janke brothers were critical components to South Dakota State’s back-to-back FCS national championships. Either could be included here, though Jadon was higher-rated entering this year’s NFL draft.

    Between the two of them, Jaxon was the most consistent, with three straight years of 800 or more receiving yards and five or more touchdowns. As time progressed, Jadon continued to improve and took over as the Jackrabbits’ top target, with a team-leading 57 receptions for 946 yards and 10 touchdowns last season.

    For the Texans, the wide receiver is now pretty packed after the additions of Stefon Diggs and Ben Skowronek to go along with Nico Collins, Tank Dell, John Metchie III and Noah Brown. But 6’3″ targets who can get vertical are always valuable additions to a group.

Indianapolis Colts: QB Kedon Slovis

14 of 32

    STILLWATER, OK - NOVEMBER 25:  Quarterback Kedon Slovis #10 of the BYU Cougars throws before a game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium on November 25, 2023 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.  Oklahoma State won 40-34 in double overtime.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    Very few undrafted quarterbacks get a legitimate chance to make an active roster. Kedon Slovis is one of them after signing with the Indianapolis Colts.

    The Colts have their quarterback of the future in Anthony Richardson and a strong veteran backup after signing Joe Flacco in free agency. From there, the third spot is open since the Colts carried three a year ago, with Sam Ehlinger still on the roster.

    Two factors work in Slovis’ favor.

    First, those within the organization know who Ehlinger is and his ceiling, whereas there’s still some hope that Slovis can return to the player who was Pac-12 Freshman of the Year in 2019. Second, the latter is a better all-around athlete, posting an impressive 9.74 relative athletic score during the predraft process, per Pro Football Network’s Kent Lee Platte.

    The second point is important considering Richardson’s skill set and the Colts’ heavy reliance on run-pass options.

Jacksonville Jaguars: S Josh Proctor

15 of 32

    MOBILE, AL - FEBRUARY 03: National defensive back Josh Proctor of Ohio State (41) during the 2024 Reese's Senior Bowl on February 3, 2024 at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.  (Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    A season ago, Ronnie Hickman, an undrafted free-agent safety from the Ohio State Buckeyes, turned in an exceptional rookie performance with the Cleveland Browns.

    The Jacksonville Jaguars should hope they can get the same out of Josh Proctor this fall.

    Proctor didn’t become a full-time starter until his sixth year with the Buckeyes. But he lettered and contributed in five. The safety’s final season saw him finish with 47 total tackles and tie for the team lead with eight pass breakups.

    Proctor lacks a top gear, but he’s capable of lining up over the slot, particularly against bigger and longer targets.

    Last year’s Jaguars weren’t good in coverage. The group finished 26th in pass defense. The front office added more at cornerback than anything, with the signing of veteran Ronald Darby. Proctor can carve a role as a versatile safety.

Kansas City Chiefs: LB Curtis Jacobs

16 of 32

    UNIVERSITY PARK, PA - NOVEMBER 11: Penn State linebacker Curtis Jacobs (23) runs to the ball during the Michigan Wolverines versus Penn State Nittany Lions game on November 11, 2023 at Beaver Stadium in University Park, PA. (Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Today’s NFL is about defenders being able to work in space. Teams want second-line defenders who won’t be exploited when they’re on the field for obvious passing downs.

    The Kansas City Chiefs might have something that fits well with undrafted linebacker Curtis Jacobs.

    “Jacobs has the potential to be a solid coverage linebacker in the NFL,” Holder wrote. “He’s a good athlete and has shown the ability to cover tight ends in man coverage. He also has good awareness in zone coverage to make him scheme-flexible. Slow run-pass transitions against play action and a lack of ball production are his biggest issues in this area of the game.”

    The 6’1″, 240-pound linebacker is fluid and explosive, but he can be a hindrance against the run. Still, he can be developed similarly to when the Chiefs drafted Willie Gay, who signed with the New Orleans Saints in free agency.

Las Vegas Raiders: QB Carter Bradley

17 of 32

    MOBILE, AL - FEBRUARY 01: American quarterback Carter Bradley of South Alabama (12) during the American team practice for the Reese's Senior Bowl on February 31, 2024 at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.  (Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    The Las Vegas Raiders weren’t positioned to select a quality quarterback prospect in this year’s NFL draft. So they didn’t take one.

    Once a team misses out on the top options from the first and second rounds, the chances of landing a true long-term solution are very low. Don’t believe so? Of the remaining 31 teams, 28 of the projected starters were chosen in the first two frames.

    That stat doesn’t guarantee success, either. But the position is simply too valuable to wait, and few are fortunate enough to find a franchise-caliber option beyond that point.

    So the Raiders must make do with what’s on the roster, which is veteran Gardner Minshew II and Aidan O’Connell, who the team selected in last year’s fourth round.

    But no one should discount undrafted free agent Carter Bradley. He can make the roster and possibly earn playing time down the road.

    At this year’s Senior Bowl, which featured two future first-round quarterbacks in Michael Penix Jr. and Bo Nix, Bradley was the most consistent passer throughout the week. He combined for 5,995 passing yards and 50 total touchdowns in his two seasons at South Alabama.

Los Angeles Chargers: IOL Karsen Barnhart

18 of 32

    UNIVERSITY PARK, PA - NOVEMBER 11: Michigan Wolverines offensive lineman Karsen Barnhart (52) blocks during a college football game against the Penn State Nittany Lions on November 11, 2023 at Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Karsen Barnhart didn’t start every game for Michigan until his fifth season, but he became an invaluable player with 15 starts at three different positions during the program’s national championship-winning run.

    By following his collegiate head coach to the professional ranks, Barnhart has an instant advantage over other incoming rookies, even those who were drafted. The offensive lineman knows Jim Harbaugh’s offensive system and the expectations that go along with playing for him.

    The 6’5″, 306-pound Barnhart can slot in nicely as a guard after the Chargers invested their top pick in offensive tackle Joe Alt. Los Angeles has depth at both tackle posts with Trey Pipkins III and Foster Sarell backing up those spots.

    Barnhart’s versatility will certainly help his case since he can play four different positions if necessary.

Los Angeles Rams: S Kenny Logan Jr.

19 of 32

    CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 25: Kansas Jayhawks safety Kenny Logan Jr. (1) lines up on defense during a college football game against the Cincinnati Bearcats on November 25, 2023 at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Safety Kenny Logan Jr. graded as one of the top two available prospects once the 2024 NFL draft officially came to a close.

    “While Logan might not be the fastest or most explosive athlete on the field, he was highly productive in college, with 95 tackles being his lowest total over the last three seasons,” B/R scout Cory Giddings wrote. “Overall, Logan being well-rounded against the pass and run should give him the ability to find a role in the NFL.”

    For the Los Angeles Rams, Logan is a fortunate signing since they have arguably the league’s weakest groups of safety. The team did draft Kamren Kinchens in the third round, and the rookie may emerge as its starting free safety.

    Logan fits more as a traditional strong safety, with the potential to contribute in big nickel looks once Kamren Curl bumps over the slot.

Miami Dolphins: OT Bayron Matos

20 of 32

    HONOLULU, HI - DECEMBER 23: Bayron Matos #14 of the South Florida Bulls and Jerome Desrosiers #22 of the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors battle for position during the 2021 Diamond Head Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center on December 23, 2021 in Honolulu, Hawaii.  (Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)

    Darryl Oumi/Getty Images

    As the game of American football expands internationally, more players from outside the United States will get opportunities to grow with it.

    During the draft itself, Giovanni Manu and Travis Clayton both heard their names called. Manu played college ball in Canada, while Clayton played rugby in England.

    The Miami Dolphins sort of went the international route with the signing of offensive tackle prospect Bayron Matos. Matos primarily played basketball in college for South Florida. He never played in a collegiate football game as an offensive lineman.

    But the native of the Dominican Republic is a nearly 6’8″, 313-pound ball of clay, with all of the physical attributes to eventually develop into a world-class blocker.

    “It’s opportunity,” Matos told reporters. “They gave me the opportunity to be here, and I’m really grateful for that. Not a lot of people take a chance on a guy that’s never played the sport before, and the organization did.”

Minnesota Vikings: Edge Gabriel Murphy

21 of 32

    LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 18: UCLA Bruins defensive lineman Gabriel Murphy (11) and defensive lineman Laiatu Latu (15) pressure USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) in the pocket during the second half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023 in Los Angeles, CA. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

    Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

    The Minnesota Vikings lost a top-five sack-artist in Danielle Hunter yet somehow got better off the edge.

    Maybe “better” is too bold. The Vikings are definitely younger and more explosive overall after adding Jonathan Greenard, Andrew Van Ginkel and first-round rookie Dallas Turner.

    Hunter and D.J. Wonnum combined to lead the Vikings with 24 sacks last season. Now, they’re with other squads. Greenard and Van Ginkel managed 18.5.

    On top of those changes, Gabriel Murphy was one of the best available undrafted free agents. He registered 16 tackles for loss and eight sacks last season.

    “Murphy has the potential to develop into an effective third-down rusher in the NFL,” Holder wrote. “His athleticism and bend are apparent on film, which helped him win in college and be an effective looper in line games.”

New England Patriots: LB Jontrey Hunter

22 of 32

    MOBILE, AL - FEBRUARY 03: National linebacker Jontrey Hunter of Georgia State (1) during the 2024 Reese's Senior Bowl on February 3, 2024 at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.  (Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Aside from maybe the Houston Texans’ DeMeco Ryans, no NFL head coach knows more about the linebacker position than the New England Patriots’ Jerod Mayo.

    The Patriots didn’t draft a linebacker, though. The organization rightly invested nearly all of its draft picks on the offensive side of the ball, starting with quarterback Drake Maye.

    With Ja’Whaun Bentley, Jahlani Tavai, Raekwon McMillan and Sione Takitaki at linebacker, the Patriots have their inside backers. Each is a big, physical option. In contrast, undrafted linebacker Jontrey Hunter is a converted defensive back and plays like one.

    “Listed as a 6’2″ and 205-pound safety recruit coming out of high school, Hunter moved up a level on defense and packed on some size during his six years at Georgia State,” Holder wrote. “On tape, it’s clear that he has a background as a defensive back, as his movement skills are his biggest asset.”

New Orleans Saints: TE Dallin Holker

23 of 32

    BOULDER, CO - SEPTEMBER 16:  Tight end Dallin Holker #5 of the Colorado State Rams runs after a catch and gains 19 yards and a first down in the third quarter against the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field on September 16, 2023 in Boulder, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

    Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

    The New Orleans Saints’ tight end room is an interesting mix of a wide receiver convert (Juwan Johnson), a sometimes quarterback (Taysom Hill) and an inspirational athlete (Foster Moreau).

    Undrafted free agent Dallin Holker is a more traditional option who might be maxed out as a 24-year-old tight end with athletic limitations. However, he presents the natural receiving skills and feel for the position that can help the Saints offense.

    “Holker checks a lot of the boxes to be a useful TE2 with blocking skills and yards-after-the-catch ability,” Klassen wrote.

    “Holker’s selling point is his ease of movement. He is a smooth, controlled athlete who has zero issues navigating through the second and third levels. He has enough speed to run away from linebackers and the agility to beat safeties on deeper routes such as seam benders and sail routes.”

New York Giants: DL Casey Rogers

24 of 32

    EUGENE, OR - OCTOBER 21: Oregon Ducks defensive lineman Casey Rogers (98) pressures the pass by Washington State Cougars quarterback Cameron Ward (1) during a college football game between the Oregon Ducks and Washington State Cougars on October 21, 2023, at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon.(Photo by Brian Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Brian Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    NFL teams are always willing to bet on top-notch athleticism.

    The New York Giants are doing so with defensive tackle Casey Rogers. The 6’5″, 294-pound defender posted a 9.80 relative athletic score during the predraft process, according to Pro Football Network’s Kent Lee Platte.

    Interestingly, Rogers served in a rotational role with the Oregon Ducks during the 2023 campaign after starting during the previous season. But his build and experience lend well to him playing in odd-man fronts alongside Dexter Lawrence.

    Beyond Lawrence, who is a Pro Bowl performer, the Giants’ defensive front is rather poor. While Davidson’s explosiveness doesn’t necessarily reflect in his style of play, defensive line coach Andre Patterson can unlock the potential found in his profile, which signals someone who can thrive aligned as a 5-technique or 4i.

    Rogers is a constant effort player, who needs to harness his raw traits to create more production.

New York Jets: DL Leonard Taylor III

25 of 32

    MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 21: Leonard Taylor III #56 of the Miami Hurricanes pressures Cade Klubnik #2 of the Clemson Tigers during the second half of the game at Hard Rock Stadium on October 21, 2023 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

    Megan Briggs/Getty Images

    Leonard Taylor III projected as a future first-round pick at the onset of the 2023 season. As the campaign ensued, the previous enthusiasm dissipated to the point where he slid out of the draft altogether.

    As a sophomore, Taylor looked like a burgeoning disruptive force, with 10.5 tackles for loss and three sacks. He played in two fewer games as a junior, but Taylor didn’t even appear to be the same player.

    Still, it’s hard to forget about the previous potential that had so many excited about the defensive lineman.

    “Overall, Taylor has the potential to be a fairly complete player,” Holder wrote. “He has a good frame, is hard to move with one-on-one blocks against the run and has shown a few pass-rush moves he can win with. His biggest flaw is his pad level, which is the primary cause of many of his issues. When the Hurricane does keep his pads down, he’s hard to block and very disruptive.”

    Taylor can add yet another talented body to the New York Jets’ defensive front.

Philadelphia Eagles: IOL Gottlieb Ayedze

26 of 32

    COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 07: Maryland Terrapins offensive lineman Gottlieb Ayedze (72) blocks Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end JT Tuimoloau (44) during a college football game on October 7, 2023 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    The Philadelphia Eagles are one of the landing spots where offensive linemen are expected to develop because of position coach Jeff Stoutland. No one has been better bringing along top talent.

    The Eagles’ front five will look a little different this fall after Jason Kelce’s decision to retire. Cam Jurgens is expected to bump over the ball, while Tyler Steen takes over at right guard.

    General manager Howie Roseman brought in free agents Matt Hennessy and Mekhi Becton while drafting Trevor Keegan and Dylan McMahon in this year’s fifth and sixth rounds, respectively.

    Despite all of that movement, undrafted free agent Gottlieb Ayedze is a fascinating project because of his experience at both tackle spots, with the potential to project inside.

    “Ayedze is a relative newcomer to football at a high level,” Thorn wrote, “yet he has the quickness, body control, balance and dexterity using his hands that are worth developing. He will need to refine his footwork in the run game and improve his lower-body strength to stick in the NFL long-term.”

Pittsburgh Steelers: CB Beanie Bishop Jr.

27 of 32

    FORT WORTH, TX - SEPTEMBER 30: West Virginia Mountaineers cornerback Beanie Bishop Jr. (11) waits for the snap during a college football game between West Virginia Mountaineers and TCU Horned Frogs on Sept 30, 2023, at Amon G Cater Stadium in Fort Worth, TX.(Photo by Christopher Leduc/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Christopher Leduc/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    The Pittsburgh Steelers are relatively young in their secondary, specifically at cornerback.

    Joey Porter Jr., Ryan Watts, Cory Trice Jr. and Darius Rush have played two or fewer seasons. The Steelers are looking for some stability along the back end.

    Undrafted free agent Beanie Bishop Jr. might be undersized (5’9″, 182 lbs), but he has the right mentality to be a part of the vaunted Steelers defense.

    “I like to hit guys in the mouth,” Bishop told reporters. “A lot of receivers don’t like to play like that. There are a lot of receivers who are pretty and stuff like that. I don’t like to be a pretty player. I’m one of those nasty and physical guys.”

    While undrafted, the rookie feels like he has a home already.

    “They need a slot and they feel that I can play in the slot, so I just feel that it’s been a perfect match,” Bishop told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review‘s Chris Adamski.

San Francisco 49ers: IOL Drake Nugent

28 of 32

    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 02: Michigan Wolverines offensive lineman Drake Nugent (60) prepares to snap the ball during the Big 10 Championship game between the Michigan Wolverines and Iowa Hawkeyes on December 2, 2023, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    San Francisco 49ers center Jake Brendel entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent. It may be only a matter of time before he’s beaten out by another.

    Drake Nugent is tailor-made to be the pivot in Kyle Shanahan’s scheme. Nugent became a two-year starter for the Stanford Cardinal before transferring to the Michigan Wolverines, where he turned into the lynchpin of an elite front. In total, the 6’2″, 298-pound snapper started 39 straight contests.

    He’s experienced. He knows how to make the calls. And he’s a perfect fit for Shanahan’s scheme.

    “Nugent is a spark plug at the pivot who plays fast and hard,” Thorn wrote, “but he lacks the necessary size, play strength and power to hold up as a starter in the NFL without positional versatility to fall back on. His best chance of sticking around would be a change in scheme to a more zone-based approach rather than the gap-heavy system he was in at Michigan where his quickness will become more of a focal point in his game.”

Seattle Seahawks: TE Jack Westover

29 of 32

    CORVALLIS, OREGON - NOVEMBER 18: Tight end Jack Westover #37 of the Washington Huskies warm up against the Oregon State Beavers at Reser Stadium on November 18, 2023 in Corvallis, Oregon. (Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images)

    Tom Hauck/Getty Images

    Tight end Jack Westover is another example where previous experience will help greatly in his transition from the collegiate game to professional ranks.

    Westover signed as an undrafted free agent with the Seattle Seahawks, which so happens to have his collegiate offensive coordinator, Ryan Grubb, taking over playing-calling duties. Starting quarterback Geno Smith already took note of the undrafted rookie because of his understanding of the new offensive scheme.

    As a piece to the puzzle, Westover fits as a detached tight end behind Noah Fant, whereas Pharaoh Brown and fourth-round rookie AJ Barner are both in-line options.

    “[Westover is] an agile athlete with enough speed to be a nuisance in the open field,” Klassen wrote. “Westover is also a clean pass-catcher. While he won’t go up for the ball in the air, he catches passes without breaking stride and knows how to find the ball outside his frame.”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DL Judge Culpepper

30 of 32

    BOWLING GREEN, OH - NOVEMBER 10: Bowling Green Falcons Running Back Jaison Patterson (28) runs with the ball with Toledo Rockets Defensive Tackle Judge Culpepper (95) in pursuit during the first half of the College Football game between the Toledo Rockets and the Bowling Green Falcons on November 10, 2021, at Doyt Perry Stadium in Bowling Green, OH. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    A legacy player of a fan-favorite NFL player is always fun to root for, especially if he’s considered an underdog to make the roster.

    Brad Culpepper played six seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the nose tackle next to Warren Sapp. His son, Judge, is now trying to make his way with the same franchise.

    The younger Culpepper spent three seasons with the Penn State Nittany Lions before transferring to the Toledo Rockets, where he became a three-year starter and a first-team All-MAC performer.

    Judge Culpepper doesn’t play like his dad, though. He’s bigger and longer, with the ability to rush the passer instead of being a space-eater. Last season, Culpepper posted a career-high nine sacks.

    His fit with the Bucs is interesting because he’ll line up as a shaded nose, but he can move up and down the line of scrimmage. Obviously, Tampa Bay already has Vita Vea and Greg Gaines on the roster. Culpepper can work his way into a rotational role behind Calijah Kancey.

Tennessee Titans: RB Dillon Johnson

31 of 32

    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01: Washington Huskies running back Dillon Johnson (7) rushes the ball during a game between the Texas Longhorns and the Washington Huskies on January 1, 2024, at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, LA. (Photo by John Korduner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    John Korduner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Dillon Johnson was one of the nation’s best backs until he suffered an injury during the College Football Playoff that limited his effectiveness.

    Overall, Johnson ran for 1,195 yards and 16 touchdowns. He’s a decisive, one-cut runner, though some of that has to do with the fact he’s not an explosive ball-carrier.

    “Johnson is also an incredibly smart runner, both with zone runs and gap runs,” Klassen wrote. “He is patient without being conservative and decisive without being rash. Johnson runs with quick, controlled feet that allow him to switch between rushing lanes and commit down the field with ease. He also does well to run tight to his blocks and squeeze through narrow spaces when need be.”

    The running back adds value in the passing game after playing three seasons in Mike Leach’s offense. Johnson caught 173 passes in four collegiate seasons. He can easily fit in a rotation alongside Tony Pollard, Tyjae Spears and Hassan Haskins.

Washington Commanders: CB Chigozie Anusiem

32 of 32

    BOULDER, CO - SEPTEMBER 16:  Defensive back Chigozie Anusiem #1 of the Colorado State Rams stands on the field in the third quarter against the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field on September 16, 2023 in Boulder, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

    Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

    Going undrafted can be disheartening. Interest from “half the league” with a massive guaranteed contract as an undrafted free agent quickly makes matters significantly better, as was the case for cornerback prospect Chigozie Anusiem.

    Anusiem has the build that makes NFL coaches drool over his potential. He’s a muscular 6’1″, 200-pound corner who’s more than willing to be physical in coverage and against the run. He can be a nice change-of-pace for the slender Emmanuel Forbes if the Washington Commanders want to change up their coverages under new head coach Dan Quinn.

    However, Anusiem does lack sharp change-of-direction and ball skills. He’s going to compete and brings 4.39-second straight-line speed to the mix. But his main emphasis should be on handling bigger targets while Forbes is a far better pure coverage corner, Benjamin St-Juste brings plenty of experience and fellow rookie Mike Sainristil serves as the playmaker from the slot.

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *