5 NFL Undrafted Free Agents Who Are Turning Heads in OTAs
While most undrafted free agents will never see a true game on Sundays, there are still a select few that will overcome their obstacles and make an impact in the NFL.The trouble is that teams sometimes try to keep a tight wrap on talented players, so that they aren't snatched up by other teams with opportunities to steal these hidden gems.
It may still be too early in the game to really tell which of these players may live up to their initial buzz, but here are some undrafted players who are generating some news around the NFL.
Jacquies Smith, DE, Miami Dolphins
The former Missouri Tiger pass-rusher was identified as a potential late-round draft pick, but the Miami Dolphins are excited with what they have seen so far.
Smith impressed by getting pressure on the quarterback consistently and even got in position to sack the extremely mobile Ryan Tannehill before the play was whistled dead (per OTA rules).
Shawn Powell, P, Buffalo Bills
It's not very often that an undrafted specialist comes in and challenges an established veteran for a position during OTAs or training camp. In fact, most times the players are just used as warm bodies to keep from risking the health of the known entities.
Still, Powell has a strong resume from Florida State, and the leg to match it coming to Buffalo. Brian Moorman is an above-average punter, but he isn't so effective that he couldn't be given a run by a younger player.
Case Keenum, QB, Houston Texans
It's hard to tell whether Gary Kubiak is being overly generous when he praises Case Keenum, the system quarterback who set records at the University of Houston, but he is seeing more of Keenum than he normally would.
Keenum is benefiting from having extra reps being added to his workload with Matt Schaub being out temporarily. Nobody is dreaming that Keenum can make the squad right away, but Kubiak (who knows a thing or two about quarterbacks) is excited about his future prospects based on what he is seeing.
Terrance Parks, S, Kansas City Chiefs
Another player who is trying to make the most of an opportunity with the starters out due to injury is former Seminole Terrance Parks, who knows Chiefs starting safety Eric Berry from high school.
Parks is all about speed, having played for the notoriously speedy Florida State defense, and is trying to leverage whatever experience Berry will be willing to dispense to him to make the most of his opportunity.
Chase Minnifield, CB, Washington Redskins
The fact that Chase Minnifield is even participating in OTAs is turning heads, considering the perceived severity of the micro-fracture surgery that he underwent recently. The surgery was what cost Minnifield his draft position.
Still, the Redskins could be under the impression that Minnifield could come in and compete right away for a position as the nickelback in Washington.