Undrafted Free Agents 2014: Updated Outlook on Most Intriguing Prospects

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIMay 11, 2014

Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch (6) runs the ball against Toledo during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in Toledo, Ohio, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)
Rick Osentoski/Associated Press

The rookie acquisitions for NFL teams don't end when the final selection is made at the NFL draft. A boatload of undrafted free agents pick from a group of teams that have offered non-guaranteed contracts.

They must now go about the business of trying to make the team.

While every prospect would love to hear his name called on one of the three days of the NFL draft, there are some benefits to latching on as an undrafted free agent.

Players get to pick their destination and the right fit for their playing styles. The following three undrafted players have already signed deals with their teams. Each has an interesting path ahead of him to realize his dream of playing in the NFL.


Jordan Lynch, RB/QB, Chicago Bears

Lynch is staying close to home with the Bears.

At 6'0", 217 pounds, he is not the ideal size for an NFL quarterback. He also doesn't possess the accuracy or mechanics teams look for in NFL signal-callers.

What he does have is exceptional skills as a runner. He was second in the nation in rushing behind Boston College's Andre Williams. 

If Lynch embraces a position change, he could ultimately be a gadget player for Chicago. From the moment he signed his deal, Lynch took to Twitter to inform his followers of the news:

He has the toughness and speed to spell running back Matt Forte or even to play an H-back role out of the backfield.

Because he went to Northern Illinois, he's in familiar surroundings in Chicago as well. That could help to drive him toward a productive stay with the Bears.


Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Seattle Seahawks

Eric Gay/Associated Press

Jeffcoat is a really good athlete who is a little similar to the Seahawks' Bruce Irvin. Both are undersized and explosive edge-rushers who can wreak havoc in opposing teams' backfields.

Rushing the passer is something the Seahawks did very well in 2013, en route to the Super Bowl championship, but there's been some attrition across the defensive line.

Jeffcoat is the son of Dallas Cowboys legend Jim Jeffcoat, so there's an NFL pedigree. Even with that, the Texas product was mature and grateful for his shot to play in the NFL.

If Jeffcoat can be competitive, he'll have a decent shot at making the team and contributing. 


Denicos Allen, OLB, Carolina Panthers

October 13, 2012; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans linebacker Denicos Allen (28) reacts to play during the first half of  a game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Spartan Stadium.    Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan State Football program tweeted the news that Allen had agreed to a deal with the Panthers.

NFL.com's Nolan Nawrocki might have nailed it on the head with his scouting report summary on Allen. Narwocki wrote:

"Undersized college linebacker with a classic special-teams temperament. Unimpressive measurables could leave him undrafted, but production on special teams could allow him to earn a roster spot. Better football player than athlete."

Can Allen surprise and overachieve? He was the heart and soul of the nation's top-rated defense in 2013. It'll be interesting to see if he can make a mark with the Panthers.

He stands just 5'11", but there's something about the way he attacks a ball-carrier that is reminiscent of Lance Briggs of the Chicago Bears.

Carolina can only hope it has uncovered that type of gem.