With all the trades, veteran cuts and free agents switching teams, it's pretty easy to forget about the primary mechanism by which most NFL teams actually improve their rosters.
In a recent chat I had with a former NFL employee who worked with the salary cap, he mentioned that on average, 28 players on a 53-man roster are ones drafted by the team. The more successful teams will have closer to 40 players they drafted on the roster.
Why? Because, for every accrued year of service a player has, he gets a higher base salary. So a backup offensive tackle with seven to nine years service might make roughly double the minimum yearly salary that a backup offensive tackle with just one year of service might make.
The bottom line is this: If a team doesn't draft well, it will likely have to sign and acquire more veteran free agents to fill the roster. Therefore, are more likely to be up against the cap limit.
That is why "sleepers" "steals," and undrafted free agent success stories are so imperative and coveted.
Here is one guess at 20 NFL rookie sleepers who just might be ready to awake and impress their teams.