Finding legit NFL talent in the ranks of the undrafted free-agent pool is something the Detroit Lions did well a year ago. Two undrafted free agents (UFDA) in right tackle LaAdrian Waddle (pictured) and tight end Joseph Fauria were significant contributors as rookies.
While this is fairly atypical for Detroit, where it's hard to find any other UDFAs from the Martin Mayhew regime anywhere, it's something the rest of the league relies upon.
According to Pro Football Talk, in 2012 a full 37 percent of the UDFA class wound up on NFL rosters. In addition, 17 percent of the entire NFL player pool that season consisted of UDFAs.
For a team with significant salary-cap issues like the Lions, hitting on more of the cheap labor in undrafted players is almost a necessity.
Fortunately, general manager Martin Mayhew has some promising aspirants in the den. Here are five who could wind up making real contributions in Detroit over the next couple of seasons.