Now that the 2014 NFL draft is done, it's time for a little reflection. Not on the players chosen, but on those signed after as undrafted free agents. It is an interesting dynamic that takes place after the draft.
The NFL draft is a process where the staff of each franchise choose the players they think can help them win. By contrast, the undrafted free-agent signing period completely flips the script. Now it is the prospects that get to pick their team. Priority free agents field calls from teams and pick which they want to sign with.
Pittsburgh went out and signed a total of nine free agents after the draft. This number might seem low in comparison to other teams, but a team can only sign enough to fill their roster. Teams with fewer players under contract sign more undrafted free agents. Here's the breakdown of the rookies Pittsburgh are bringing in:
Chris Elkins, G, Youngstown State
Ethan Hemer, DE, Wisconsin
Kaycee Ike, OT, UAB
Howard Jones, LB, Shepherd
Brendon Kay, QB, Cincinnati
Josh Mauro, DE, Stanford
Roy Philon, DT, Louisville
Will Simmons, G, East Carolina
Eric Waters, TE, Missouri
After having a chance to break these players down more closely, it is time to project a little more about their future with this team and give them a grade.