NFL Free Agency: Undrafted Free Agents with Chance of Early Success
The past two weeks have been very unique for the NFL. The CBA was finally finished and teams were scrambling to complete their rosters.
Big name free agents had massive signings and there were plenty of surprises, but then there's the players who weren't drafted that teams picked up for roster spots. But who out of these guys will have a chance for some immediate success?
The draft was way back in April and for the guys that weren't drafted, they were forced to wait in limbo before their phone finally rang and they found a landing spot.
These guys will have the same chance as any rookie considering that none of them were allowed at camp, but then again, these undrafted free agents didn't even have a place to call home.
Here are a few undrafted free agents with a chance to make an immediate impact with their new teams.
Kendric Burney: CB, Carolina Panthers
Kendric Burney had a very productive career at North Carolina, but because of his size (5'9) he was overlooked some by a lot of NFL Scouts.
The truth is that he's somewhat of a ball hawk. He recorded 11 interceptions in his career and was always around the ball. He made up for his lack of size in athleticism and quickness.
The Carolina Panthers picked him up to help the depth of their secondary and at this moment, Burney is at the bottom of the depth chart, but with his style of play, he's sure to make the roster and prove those scouts wrong.
Burney could see himself in a nickel or dime type of situation by season's end and if he emerges into that role, that would only help the Panthers, who need all the help they can get.
Mister Alexander: LB, Houston Texans
The Houston Texans and transitioning to a 3-4 defense and they need pass rushers. They don't have a lack of talent at linebacker with Brian Cushing, Mario Williams and DeMaco Ryans, but they need pass rushers.
Mister Alexander out of Florida State knows how to do just that. Blitzing was his specialty at Florida State and while he was good against the run, in the 3-4 he would be primarily used to blitz.
Alexander ran a 4.6 at his pro-day, which isn't blazing speed, but it's quick for a linebacker. If Alexander could transition into the 3-4, he could see himself with significant playing time as the year goes along.
Terrance Toliver: WR, Houston Texans
Another Houston Texan makes the list. Terrance Toliver was once a five-star recruit, but he didn't quite live up to the hype at LSU. That doesn't mean he can't have success in the NFL.
Toliver is a big receiver at 6'5 and he's got good speed. He also won't have to worry about being the primary target. Andre Johnson has that responsibility taken care of, so Toliver could see some playing time.
Houston has a high powered offense with a great running back, tight end and receiver, as well as a solid quarterback in Matt Shaub. So Toliver could slip between the lines and have success early if he can step up and play to his potential.
Mike McNeill: TE/FB, Indianaplis Colts
Mike McNeill found a landing spot with the Indianapolis Colts and he's sitting behind Jacob Tamme on the depth chart at fullback, but we all saw the success that Tamme had last year. That is due in a large part to Dallas Clark being injured, but the Colts always find ways to get players involved.
McNeill was a solid tight end at Nebraska and he's a talented receiver who can find success in the NFL, especially with Peyton Manning passing to him.
McNeill is a worker, that's well documented at Nebraska and the Colts offense is a fine tuned machine that needs guys who know what their doing. Don't be surprised to see McNeill step in right away and have success.
Pat Devlin: QB, Miami Dolphins
Early on in the draft, Pat Devlin was pegged as the next Joe Flacco. Both played at Delaware and both had success, but Devlin just didn't make scouts like him enough to get drafted.
Now Devlin has been picked up by the Miami Dolphins who are in a sad situation right now. They have Chade Henne and Matt Moore, but both haven't exactly had success in the NFL.
If Henne and Moore don't get the job done, Devlin could find himself in a situation to start and prove that he was worthy enough to be a top pick, or at least drafted for him.
Mark Herzlich: LB, New York Giants
The story of the 2010 season was Mark Herzlich beating cancer and making his way back onto the field. He's the definition of a success story. Herzlich was originally drafted by the Omaha Nighthawks, a UFL team, but since the CBA was finalized, the New York Giants scooped him up right away.
Herzlich is a work-horse. He's a fantastic player when he's healthy and he'll be a locker room favorite right away. On top of that, Herzlich is going to work so hard to prove that he can make it in the NFL. He's got the NFL size and the smarts to play linebacker in this league, so don't be surprised to see him playing early this season and having a nice career in New York.
Dane Sanzenbacher: WR, Chicago Bears
Dane Sanzenbacher has already made an immediate impact with the Chicago Bears. He's predicted to be the slot receiver and he's making plenty of noise in camp thus far.
Sanzenbacher was a solid receiver at Ohio State. He had a productive career and while he didn't impress enough at the combine, he's doing just that right now.
Sanzenbacher will fit in perfectly with Mike Martz offense and he'll provide a reliable target for Jay Cutler. Expect Sanzenbacher to have immediate success with the Bears.
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