The 1 UDFA with Best Chance to Make the Roster in Every NFL Team's Training Camp

Maurice Moton@@MoeMotonContributor IAugust 2, 2022

The 1 UDFA with Best Chance to Make the Roster in Every NFL Team's Training Camp

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    Dallas Cowboys safety Markquese Bell (41) runs with ball the after intercepting a pass during NFL football practice in Frisco, Texas, Wednesday, May 25, 2022. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
    AP Photo/LM Otero

    Among active players, Adam Thielen, Austin Ekeler, Robbie Anderson, Anthony Harris, Malcolm Butler and Justin Tucker all know that going undrafted doesn't mean the end of an NFL dream. None of them heard their name called during the draft, but they've all made a significant impact in the league.

    For a variety of reasons, hidden gems slipped through the cracks during the 2022 draft, and they could force coaching staffs to make difficult roster decisions at the end of the summer.

    Who has a shot to go from an unknown commodity to a potential contributor for his team in 2022?

    We took a look through each team's haul of undrafted rookies and selected the player who has the best chance to make the 53-man roster.

    In most cases, the player will compete at a thin position on the depth chart or possesses a skill set his team needs for a specific role. Some of these rookies have already flashed at minicamp, organized team activities (OTAs) or in the first week of training camp.

Arizona Cardinals: CB Darrell Baker Jr.

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    Georgia Southern cornerback Darrell Baker Jr. (14) celebrates after intercepting a pass during the second half of an NCAA football game against Massachusetts, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020, in Statesboro, Ga. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
    AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton

    In terms of starting experience and production, the Arizona Cardinals have an underwhelming cornerback room.

    They lost a potential starter in Jeff Gladney, who died in a car crash in May. Last year, Marco Wilson took several rookie lumps, allowing six touchdowns, a 70.3 percent completion rate and a 120.8 passing rating in coverage. Antonio Hamilton has made four starts in six seasons, and Josh Jackson has started in five contests since 2019.

    While Darrell Baker Jr. hasn’t stirred up a ton of offseason buzz, he plays at a thin position that's shaky behind Byron Murphy Jr.

    Baker didn’t have a lot of ball production at Georgia Southern, though he broke up eight passes for the 2021 term. The 6'1", 190-pound defensive back has experience at cornerback and safety, which gives him a chance to provide some depth in Arizona's secondary.

Atlanta Falcons: LB Nate Landman

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    BOULDER, CO - NOVEMBER 20:  Linebacker Nate Landman #53 of the Colorado Buffaloes runs onto the field during a ceremony to honor graduating seniors before a game against the Washington Huskies at Folsom Field on November 20, 2021 in Boulder, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
    Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

    The Atlanta Falcons selected inside linebacker Troy Andersen in the second round of the 2022 draft, and there's every reason to believe he'll make the final roster. Another first-year player has a chance to earn a spot at the position this summer.

    According to ESPN's Michael Rothstein, Nate Landman has a narrow pathway to the 53-man depth chart, but he caught the coaching staff's attention during the spring.

    "This is admittedly a deep cut in terms of the Atlanta roster, but the undrafted rookie was active in 7-on-7 drills—the only heavy action in the OTA period—and seemed to have a knack for finding the ball. It's probably still a tough road for Landman to make the roster as an inside linebacker, but he might have jumpstarted himself at least into being in the conversation if he builds on his OTAs during training camp."

    Remember, Deion Jones underwent offseason shoulder surgery, and the team placed him on the physically unable to perform list before the start of its training camp. If he’s unable to return to action before August 23, the seventh-year veteran would have to sit out at least four regular-season games, which possibly opens up a spot for Landman.

    Landman played five seasons at Colorado, racking up 104-plus tackles in two of those campaigns. He finished his collegiate run with 42 tackles for loss and 10 sacks in total.

Baltimore Ravens: OLB Jeremiah Moon

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    GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 09: Jeremiah Moon #7 of the Florida Gators looks on during the third quarter of a game against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on October 09, 2021 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
    James Gilbert/Getty Images

    The Baltimore Ravens will need some healthy edge-rushers with David Ojabo and Tyus Bowser on the mend with Achilles injuries. The former has yet to sign his rookie deal. On top of that, the team lost depth at the position when Jaylon Ferguson died unexpectedly in June.

    Baltimore re-signed Justin Houston, but the 33-year-old showed signs of decline last year, missing 19.4 percent of his tackles, which is an 11.6 percent increase from the 2020 campaign. In 2021, he played 61 percent of the defensive snaps.

    Ryan Mink of the Ravens' official website believes two undrafted edge-rushers will battle for a roster spot, though he noted Jeremiah Moon as a standout through OTAs.

    "Jeremiah Moon (Florida) stood out in OTAs and has had a good start to minicamp and is competing with Chuck Wiley (Texas-San Antonio)," Mink wrote in a mailbag response.

    At Florida, Moon didn't produce flashy sack numbers, logging just eight through six terms. However, he's made his presence known at a position of need. He could become the fourth pass-rusher behind Bowser, Odafe Oweh and Houston.

Buffalo Bills: TE Jalen Wydermyer

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    ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - JUNE 15: Jalen Wydermyer #84 of the Buffalo Bills runs after a catch during Bills mini camp on June 15, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images)
    Joshua Bessex/Getty Images

    The Buffalo Bills have a clear-cut lead starter in tight end Dawson Knox, and they added 2017 first-rounder O.J. Howard, who had some flashes as a pass-catcher in his first three seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    In the No. 3 spot, Tommy Sweeney could feel some pressure through the summer. He's only hauled in 17 passes for 158 yards and a touchdown through three campaigns. Second-year pro Quintin Morris, who didn't take a regular-season snap last year, and rookie Jalen Wydermyer can make a move for the third spot at the position.

    Wydermyer draws some intrigue because he posted steady receiving numbers through three seasons at Texas A&M, registering at least 32 catches, 447 yards and four touchdowns in each of of his collegiate years. At 6'5", 255 pounds with 33⅛" arms, the former Aggie has the body frame and length to contribute as an inline blocker on the perimeter.

    With two pass-catchers in the top tight end spots, Wydermyer’s ability to develop his blocking technique could propel him over Sweeney and Morris for a roster spot.

Carolina Panthers: EDGE Arron Mosby

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    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 07:  Arron Mosby #15 of the Fresno State Bulldogs reacts after a play against the UNLV Rebels during the second half of their game at Allegiant Stadium on November 07, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fresno State won 40-27.  (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
    David Becker/Getty Images

    The Carolina Panthers allowed Haason Reddick to walk in free agency. Yetur Gross-Matos will likely slide into a starting position opposite Pro Bowl edge-rusher Brian Burns. Marquis Haynes Sr. likely holds on to a rotational role after logging seven sacks and 18 pressures over the past two terms.

    The Panthers selected Amare Barno in the sixth round of the 2022 draft. At 6'6", 245 pounds, he has impressive 4.36 speed, but late-round picks typically need to compete for a spot on the 53-man roster. Arron Mosby can make a case to win the No. 4 position on the edge or squeeze into the rotation with a strong camp.

    Last year, at Fresno State, Mosby recorded 40 tackles, 15.5 for loss, and six sacks, which compares closely to Barno's best year at Virginia Tech when he logged 43 tackles, 16 for loss and 6.5 sacks in 2020.

    Carolina needs another pass-rusher to round out its edge unit, and Mosby can put himself on the team's radar in camp.

Chicago Bears: LB Jack Sanborn

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    PISCATAWAY, NJ - NOVEMBER 06:  Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Jack Sanborn (57) during the college football game between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Wisconsin Badgers on November 6, 2021 at SHI Stadium in Piscataway, NJ.  (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    This offseason, the Chicago Bears' linebacker corps underwent changes and has some question marks going into training camp.

    The team released Danny Trevathan and didn't re-sign Alec Ogletree or Christian Jones. Special teamer and backup linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe signed with the Seattle Seahawks.

    Among the notable additions at the position, Nicholas Morrow stands out the most. Over the past two years, he’s started in 19 out of 30 contests for the Las Vegas Raiders, racking up 151 tackles, 10 for loss, three sacks, 13 pass breakups and two interceptions in that two-year stretch. He’ll likely play the majority of the defensive snaps alongside Roquan Smith atop a shaky linebacker depth chart.

    Jack Sanborn can make waves at training camp and climb a shaky linebacker depth chart. The Athletic's Kevin Fishbain noted the Wisconsin product as "one of the standouts of minicamp." NBC Sports Chicago's Josh Schrock listed him on his 53-man roster projection.

    "I like undrafted rookie Jack Sanborn to make the roster. He's a high-IQ, tackling machine who can provide good depth," Schrock wrote.

    According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Smith won't participate in camp practices as he leverages for a new deal. In the meantime, Sanborn can get some extra reps and impress the coaching staff.

Cincinnati Bengals: WR Kwamie Lassiter II

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    CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 13: Cincinnati Bengals Kwamie Lassiter II (18) takes part in drills during the Cincinnati Bengals rookie minicamp on May 13, 2021, at the Bengals practice field in Cincinnati, OH. (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    We can write Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd in pen for the top three spots on the Cincinnati Bengals' wide receiver depth chart. Behind them, the team has an open competition for the back-end slots.

    Kwamie Lassiter II can push Mike Thomas and Trent Taylor for the No. 4 wideout position. Neither of the two veteran holdovers made a significant impact on the offense in 2021. The rookie made an early splash to attract some eyeballs through OTAs, per ESPN's Ben Baby.

    "Kwamie Lassiter II keeps making noise," Baby wrote. "The undrafted free agent wide receiver out of Kansas was one of the top risers during offseason workouts. He eventually worked his way into the top rotation and earned some reps with the first-team offense."

    As Higgins recovered from surgery on his labrum, Lassiter took advantage of reps with the first unit, which bodes well for him going forward. At Kansas, he only returned 30 punts and one kickoff for a total of 219 yards, so he may need to make a big impact as a receiver for role in the regular season.

Cleveland Browns: CB Shaun Jolly

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    BOONE, NC - OCTOBER 19: Appalachian State University defensive back Shaun Jolly (3) intercepts a pass during a game between the University of Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks and the Appalachian State Mountaineers on October 19, 2019, at Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone, NC.  (Photo by Mary Holt/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Mary Holt/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Though the Cleveland Browns have a strong cornerback room with depth, they need a reliable backup slot defender. This offseason, the team traded Troy Hill to the Los Angeles Rams, and M.J. Stewart signed with the Houston Texans in free agency.

    When the Browns field five defensive backs, Greg Newsome II projects as the slot cornerback with Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams on the outside.

    With Ward on the physically unable to perform list, rookie third-rounder Martin Emerson Jr. could continue to see more snaps on the outside with the first unit. Meanwhile, Shaun Jolly can fill a void inside with the backups following the departures of Hill and Stewart.

    At Appalachian State, Jolly showcased his ball skills, recording five interceptions and eight pass breakups in 2019. He finished his collegiate career with six interceptions and 19 pass breakups.

    Because the Browns' options in the slot have limited regular-season experience, Jolly's ball production can help him earn a spot within a talented group.

Dallas Cowboys: S Markquese Bell

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    FRISCO, TX - JUNE 02: Dallas Cowboys safety Markquese Bell (41) makes a play during the Dallas Cowboys OTA Offseason Workouts on June 2, 2022 at The Star in Frisco, TX. (Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Versatility will always increase a player's chance of making the regular-season roster. Markquese Bell can make an impression at two defensive positions.

    Per The Athletic's Jon Machota, the Dallas Cowboys believe Bell can "help them at safety and linebacker."

    Via Machota’s report, head coach Mike McCarthy went into specifics about the Florida A&M product.

    "He's been impressive," McCarthy said. "He jumped out at the rookie camp. He was very impressive in the Zoom calls, leading up to coming in here. That's all about younger guys just keep stacking success, and then they start making plays like that, too. That definitely helps."

    Last week, via Twitter, Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News wrote that Bell is in a "strong position" to make the roster.

    At 6'3", 205 pounds, Bell has the size to play closer to the line of scrimmage as a hybrid defender, though his experience at safety may allow him to match up against tight ends and bigger slot wide receivers in coverage as well.

    In his final collegiate term, Bell shined as a downhill defender, logging 95 tackles, 6.5 for loss, two sacks and five forced fumbles.

Denver Broncos: EDGE Christopher Allen

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    MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 29: Alabama linebacker Christopher Allen (4) during the first half of the CFP Semifinal at the Orange Bowl between Alabama Crimson Tide and the Oklahoma Sooners on December 29, 2018, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL. (Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    The Denver Broncos have a deep, talented edge-rusher group with Bradley Chubb, Randy Gregory, Malik Reed and rookie second-rounder Nik Bonitto. Baron Browning could make a transition from inside to outside linebacker, too.

    On the flip side, Chubb has missed 24 games since his 2018 rookie campaign. Per 9News’ Mike Klis, the Broncos won’t rush Gregory back from shoulder surgery, and he’s not expected to suit up for the preseason.

    Christopher Allen could carve out a role as an insurance policy for Chubb or as a rotational player to spell Gregory, who hasn’t played more than 55 percent of the defensive snaps in a single season.

    Among the rookie undrafted free agents with the best chance to make the Broncos' 53-man roster, The Athletic's Nick Kosmider highlighted Allen as a top candidate.

    "If he can prove he's healthy, there's no reason to think Allen, a 6-foot-4, 252-pound linebacker who led the SEC with 13 tackles for loss in 2020, can't put himself in the mix for a roster spot, much the same way Andre Mintze did at the same position for the Broncos last season."

    In addition to 13 tackles for loss, Allen had six sacks through his junior term at Alabama. Unfortunately for him, he went down with a fractured foot early in the Crimson Tide’s 2021 season opener against Miami. At full strength, the rookie pass-rusher can bounce back and look like the player who made a name for himself at the collegiate level two years ago.

Detroit Lions: OT Obinna Eze

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    MANHATTAN, KS - OCTOBER 30: TCU Horned Frogs offensive tackle Obinna Eze (55) before a Big 12 football game between the TCU Horned Frogs and the Kansas State Wildcats on Oct 30, 2021 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, KS. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    The Detroit Lions will field one of the league’s best offensive lines with longtime starter Taylor Decker at left tackle, 2021 first-rounder Penei Sewell at right tackle and Pro Bowl center Frank Ragnow. Jonah Jackson and Halapoulivaati Vaitai will return at the guard spots.

    But just in case of injuries, the Lions should make sure they have quality depth across their offensive line. Matt Nelson filled in as the starting right tackle for 11 games last year, allowing three sacks through 675 snaps, per Pro Football Focus.

    Tim Twentyman of the Lions' official website highlighted Obinna Eze, who can compete for the fourth tackle position.

    "If the Lions want four tackles, then one of the competitions to watch in camp is between [Dan] Skipper and the rookie Eze, who sticks out in a crowd with his size (6'8", 325 lbs.) and arm length (36⅛")," Twentyman wrote.

    If Eze shows great upside at his size, Detroit's coaching staff may look to keep him on the active roster over a sixth-year veteran in Skipper, who's only played 58 career offensive snaps with the Houston Texans and Lions.

Green Bay Packers: RB Tyler Goodson

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 04: Iowa Hawkeyes running back Tyler Goodson (15) heads up field during the Big 10 Conference Championship between the Iowa Hawkeyes and Michigan Wolverines on December 04, 2021 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    For the upcoming season, Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon will likely handle the bulk of the rushing workload. They could earn leaguewide respect as one of the top running back duos.

    Nonetheless, the Green Bay Packers need quality depth in the backfield because their top two ball-carriers may take on a heavy workload with the departure of wideout Davante Adams. If head coach Matt LaFleur shifts toward a run-first offense, a third running back could become a valuable commodity, especially if Jones or Dillon play through injuries.

    In Week 8 of the 2021 campaign, the Packers lost No. 3 running back Kylin Hill, who tore his ACL. The club placed him on the physically unable to perform list before training camp.

    Hill may miss the first four weeks of the upcoming campaign while on the PUP list, which opens the door for second-year pro Patrick Taylor and rookie undrafted free agents Tyler Goodson and BJ Baylor to make the 53-man roster.

    Taylor took over for Hill in the No. 3 spot last year. He didn't show exceptional playmaking ability, rushing for 89 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries.

    Why Goodson over Baylor?

    Goodson showed more consistency at the collegiate level, leading Iowa in rushing for all three of his years with the program. Baylor had one breakout campaign at Oregon State. Furthermore, the former had significant production as a receiver in college, hauling in 70 passes for 565 yards and a touchdown. The latter only caught 16 passes for 115 yards.

Houston Texans: CB Jacobi Francis

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    Houston Texans' Jacobi Francis sprays water on the back of his neck during an NFL football training camp practice Friday, July 29, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
    AP Photo/David J. Phillip

    Derek Stingley Jr., whom the Houston Texans selected with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2022 draft, will garner the most attention among the team’s cornerbacks.

    The Texans re-signed Desmond King II, who can play inside and outside, and added a starting-caliber veteran in Steven Nelson to the group. Yet, the team still has room for a training-camp standout at the position.

    At 5'11", 193 pounds, Jacobi Francis plays with enough physicality to line up in the slot and take on matchups against tight ends. At Memphis, he had a productive four-year collegiate run between 2018 and 2021, logging six interceptions and 25 pass breakups in that period.

    Stingley, Nelson, King and slot cornerback Tavierre Thomas should be roster locks. Francis will battle Fabian Moreau, Isaac Yiadom, Kendall Sheffield and Tremon Smith for possibly two openings if M.J. Stewart mixes in with the safeties.

    Smith's special teams contributions give him an inside track to one of the spots, though Francis' upside may give him the edge over Moreau, Yiadom and Sheffield for the sixth position.

    With Tristin McCollum on the physically unable to perform list, Francis is the undrafted rookie cornerback at Texans' camp to watch this summer.

Indianapolis Colts: LB Sterling Weatherford

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    Miami of Ohio's Sterling Weatherford plays against Cincinnati during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
    AP Photo/Jay LaPrete

    As three-time All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard recovers from back surgery, the Indianapolis Colts should get a good look at three undrafted rookies battling for a spot behind Bobby Okereke, E.J. Speed and Franklin Zaire, all holdovers from the previous season.

    Sterling Weatherford draws more intrigue than JoJo Domann and James Skalski.

    Weatherford has the capability to start his career on special teams and develop into a linebacker-safety hybrid who's effective in pass coverage.

    At Miami (Ohio), Weatherford made plays all over the field, recording 210 tackles, 10.5 for loss, three sacks, 19 pass breakups and four interceptions. He's an athletic 6'4", 224-pounder who can match up against tight ends and support the run on the weak side.'s Andrew Moore narrowed the linebacker battle down to Domann and Weatherford because coaches "raved" about both players' spring performances.

    As a 6'1", 230-pound linebacker, Domann doesn't have the physical profile that compares to Weatherford's intriguing size. The coaching staff may choose the bigger defender who's a matchup issue for big-bodied pass-catchers in the middle of the field.

Jacksonville Jaguars: IOL Nick Ford

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    Utah offensive lineman Nick Ford (55) celebrates after TJ Pledger's touch down in the second half during an NCAA college football game against Arizona State Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
    AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

    Brandon Lindner retired this offseason, leaving a vacancy at center. While Tyler Shatley and rookie third-rounder Luke Fortner will likely battle for the starting job,'s John Shipley believes Nick Ford has a shot to claim a back-end roster spot.

    "Wes Martin looks like the leading candidate to take the final spot in the group, but undrafted free agent Nick Ford could push him for that spot considering his versatility, which helped him take snaps at all five offensive line positions in college," Shipley wrote.

    Shatley filled in at pivot in Linder’s absence for several outings over the past two years. The former has opened 18 games with the first-stringers since 2019. As an early round draft pick, Fortner should make the cut. In 2021, Ben Bartch made 11 starts at right guard.

    With those three interior offensive linemen along with five-time Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff likely to make the 53-man depth chart, KC McDermott, Martin and Ford sit on the roster bubble. Among the trio in contention for the position, Martin has the most regular-season experience, which may explain why he's Shipley's front-runner in the camp battle.

    Don't count out Ford yet, though. If the Jaguars put a high premium on versatility, the 6'5", 310-pounder's value could help him get through final cuts.

Kansas City Chiefs: LB Mike Rose

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    Iowa State Cyclones linebacker Mike Rose (23) warms up before an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
    AP Photo/John Locher

    In February, the Kansas City Chiefs released Anthony Hitchens, who started 59 games for the team since the 2018 season. Nick Bolton and Willie Gay will likely take most of the snaps at linebacker going forward.

    Rookie third-rounder Leo Chanel should crack the linebacker rotation. Jermaine Carter can provide depth after he started in all 17 games with the Carolina Panthers last year. The Chiefs didn't retain Ben Niemann, and they haven't re-signed Dorian O’Daniel.

    Mike Rose deserves an extended look because of his impressive collegiate resume. In 2020, he became Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. The Iowa State product logged at least nine tackles for loss in all four of his years with the program and finished with eight pass breakups and six interceptions.

    Charles Goldman of Chiefs Wire listed Rose as one of three undrafted rookies who can make Kansas City's final roster.

    "Rose's ability to play all three linebacker spots effectively certainly puts him in the mix, but special teams play could be the determining factor here," Goldman wrote.

    Coming out of South Dakota, Jack Cochrane may need to go through an extended adjustment period on the pro level. Elijah Lee and Darius Harris only have eight starts between them. The coaching staff could try to tap into Rose's potential while he's on the active roster.

Las Vegas Raiders: LB Darien Butler

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    Arizona State linebacker Darien Butler (20) in the first half during an NCAA football game against Southern Utah on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
    AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

    This offseason, the Las Vegas Raiders turned over their linebacker unit, releasing Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski and allowing Nicholas Morrow to walk in free agency.

    Coming off his first Pro Bowl campaign, Denzel Perryman is locked into a starting spot. Alongside him, second-year pro Divine Deablo could split snaps with Jayon Brown, whom the team signed in March.

    Kenny Young hasn't played a significant role on special teams since 2019. If he’s not a contributor with that unit, the Raiders may let him go.

    Micah Kiser has struggled to stay on the field. He missed the entire 2019 campaign with a pectoral injury and sat out 13 games over the past two years. Per The Athletic's Tashan Reed, the fifth-year veteran may have suffered a leg injury during Sunday's practice. The team placed him on injured reserve Monday.

    Before his 2021 term at Arizona State, Butler shed 15 pounds and had his most productive year, registering 68 tackles, 8.5 for loss, two sacks, three interceptions and three pass breakups. This summer, he'll play under linebackers coach Antonio Pierce, who served as his defensive coordinator last year, which bodes well for the rookie's early development.

    In the Raiders' first padded practice, Butler took reps with the starters and made his presence felt with a big hit.

Los Angeles Chargers: LB Tyreek Maddox-Williams

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    PISCATAWAY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 04: Rutgers Scarlet Knights linebacker Tyreek Maddox-Williams (9) during the college football game between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Temple Owls on September 4, 2021 at SHI Stadium in Piscataway, NJ. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    The Los Angeles Chargers may have whiffed on 2020 first-rounder Kenneth Murray. Midway through the 2021 campaign, he lost the handle on his starting job and now he's on the physically unable to perform list following offseason ankle surgery.

    Drue Tranquill will likely open the season in a starting role after playing a career-high 59 percent of the defensive snaps in 2021. Troy Reeder played under head coach Brandon Staley, who served as the defensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams in 2020.

    As an undrafted rookie free agent out of Oklahoma State, Amen Ogbongbemiga flashed in a limited role last year, logging 26 tackles, two for loss and a sack while on the field for 11 percent of the defensive snaps.

    Even if Kyle Van Noy plays a fair number of snaps at inside linebacker, the Chargers would still have a mediocre second-level defensive group. If Tyreek Maddox-Williams turns heads at training camp, he can slide into the last linebacker spot on the depth chart.

    At Rutgers, Maddox-Williams didn't have much ball production in coverage (nine pass breakups), but he's a solid downhill defender who recorded 205 tackles and 14.5 for loss through five collegiate terms.

    At linebacker, the Chargers would welcome more run support for a defense that allowed the fifth-most yards per carry (4.6) last season.

Los Angeles Rams: OL Jack Snyder

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    San Jose State offensive tackle Jack Snyder (55) in the first half of the Arizona Bowl NCAA college football game against Ball State, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
    AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

    The Los Angeles Rams lost right guard Austin Corbett in free agency, which opens up a starting spot on the offensive line.

    According to The Athletic's Jourdan Rodrigue, rookie fifth-rounder Logan Bruss and versatile interior lineman Coleman Shelton lead the clubhouse as the top competitors for the open position.

    As for depth at guard, Jack Snyder can surpass Bobby Evans and Chandler Brewer, who's played 17 offensive snaps since he went undrafted out of Middle Tennessee in 2019. Skyler Carlin of Rams Wire believes Evans is on the bubble as he competes for a roster spot with Tremayne Anchrum Jr., who's played just three offensive snaps in his career.

    The Athletic's Nick Baumgardner highlighted some of Snyder's strengths.

    "His arms are short, and he's real fast," Baumgardner wrote. "Snyder has great feet that never stop moving, which always gave him a chance on the edge in pass protection despite his length disadvantage. Play strength has to improve, but he's athletic enough to have a chance inside."

    Snyder isn't likely to win the starting job, but he can earn a backup role at a position in which the Rams don't have a ton of experience.

    Moreover, Snyder played a majority of his snaps at left tackle for San Jose State, which may be appealing to the Rams' coaching staff as Joe Noteboom transitions to a full-time starter in place of Andrew Whitworth (retired) on quarterback Matthew Stafford's blind side. Noteboom has only started in 17 games (some of those at guard) through four seasons.

Miami Dolphins: S Verone McKinley III

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    PASADENA, CA - OCTOBER 23: Oregon Ducks safety Verone McKinley III (23) during a college football game between the Oregon Ducks and the UCLA Bruins on October 23, 2021, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    The Miami Dolphins have an underrated safety duo with Brandon Jones and Jevon Holland. Eric Rowe brings valuable versatility with the ability to play both safety spots and in the slot.

    At a top-heavy position, Verone McKinley III will need to contribute on special teams, which means he's up against Clayton Fejedelem and Sheldrick Redwine. The two roster holdovers played 85 percent and 56 percent of the snaps with the special teams unit last year, respectively.

    As a pro, Fejedelem has been a special teams ace with the Cincinnati Bengals and Dolphins for six seasons, but McKinley may be able to unseat Redwine, whom Miami plucked off the Carolina Panthers' practice squad in October of last year.

    As a defender, McKinley has ball-hawking qualities. Over his last three years at Oregon, he recorded 11 interceptions and 10 pass breakups. He played alongside Holland in 2019 when they logged four interceptions apiece.

    Redwine doesn't have a secure roster spot, and he's light on production in coverage through three seasons (three pass breakups and an interception). McKinley has a legitimate shot to beat him out for a job.

Minnesota Vikings: EDGE Luiji Vilain

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    WINSTON-SALEM, NC - SEPTEMBER 03: Wake Forest Demon Deacons defensive lineman Luiji Vilain (2) during a game between the Old Dominion Monarchs and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on September 3, 2021 at Truist Field in Winston Salem, NC.   (Photo by Brian Bishop/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Brian Bishop/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    On the edge, the Minnesota Vikings need depth behind Danielle Hunter, Za’Darius Smith and D.J. Wonnum.

    The Vikings probably won't give up on 2021 third-rounder Patrick Jones II after one quiet year, though they should add someone to push him and Janarius Robinson for snaps at outside linebacker.

    Last August, Minnesota placed Robinson on injured reserve, which sidelined him for the entire 2021 campaign. He could be the odd man out if Luiji Vilain comes on strong this summer.

    In two terms at Michigan, Vilain didn't make an impact, but he showed flashes in a pass-rushing role last year at Wake Forest, logging nine tackles for loss and nine sacks. The 6'4", 252-pounder needs to refine his pass-rushing moves, but he won on the perimeter with the use of his hands and enough quickness to beat offensive linemen in one-on-one situations.

    Fellow undrafted rookie edge-rusher Zach McCloud didn't log more than 5.5 sacks in any of his six terms at Miami.

    Vilain may have to tighten up as a run defender, though he can become a designated pass-rusher on third downs right away.

New England Patriots: IOL Kody Russey

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    BIRMINGHAM, AL - DECEMBER 28: Houston Cougars offensive lineman Kody Russey (65) warms up for the TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl between the Houston Cougars and the Auburn Tigers on December 28, 2021 at Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama.  (Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Kody Russey's availability alone puts him in a position to make the final cut.

    Before the start of training camp, the New England Patriots placed fellow rookie offensive lineman Chasen Hines (sixth round) on the non-football injury list.

    In competition with Hines for a spot on the interior, Russey can get a head start and challenge center James Ferentz, who's headed into his age-33 term with 521 offensive snaps on his resume.

    Russey comes into the league with a great deal of experience at center. He started through four campaigns at Louisiana Tech and one term at Houston as a team captain.

    Because of his playing experience, Russey may be able to catch on quickly in the NFL. The coaching staff may value his leadership qualities as well. He could carve out a role as David Andrews' understudy while on the active roster.

New Orleans Saints: S Smoke Monday

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    AUBURN, ALABAMA - NOVEMBER 13: Safety Smoke Monday #21 of the Auburn Tigers celebrates after a big play during their game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 13, 2021 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)
    Michael Chang/Getty Images

    At Auburn, Smoke Monday knew how to find the football and make impact plays. He finished his collegiate career with 17 tackles for loss, six sacks, eight pass breakups and five interceptions (three pick-sixes).

    As a ball magnet, Monday could easily find his way on to the New Orleans Saints’ special teams unit. Because of his production in coverage, he can push Daniel Sorensen and Justin Evans for snaps at safety.

    Over the past two years, opposing quarterbacks' eyes probably lit up when they saw Sorensen in the Kansas City Chiefs secondary. In 2020 and 2021, he allowed at least a 72.1 percent completion rate and a 100.7 passer rating in coverage. Through those two terms, the ninth-year veteran gave up nine touchdowns. As a 32-year-old liability on passing downs, he may not make the final cut.

    Evans hasn't played a regular-season down since his 2018 campaign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After some time on the practice squads of the Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals and Cincinnati Bengals, he's a long shot to make the Saints' 53-man roster.

    Monday isn't likely to surpass Pro Bowl and All-Pro special teamer J.T. Gray on the depth chart, though he can win a battle for the No. 4 spot over Sorensen and Evans.

New York Giants: S Yusuf Corker

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JUNE 08: Safety Yusuf Corker #21of the New York Giants runs a drill during the team's mandatory minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on June 8, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
    Rich Schultz/Getty Images

    Following the departures of Logan Ryan and Jabrill Peppers, the New York Giants have to reload at safety. They need depth behind Xavier McKinney and Julian Love.

    The Giants selected safety Dane Belton in the fourth round of the draft, but he broke his collarbone Monday. Yusuf Corker will likely battle Andrew Adams and Jarrod Wilson for the primary backup spot. The former signed with the team last week, and he's played just 237 defensive snaps over the past two campaigns. Big Blue signed the latter after Belton went down with an injury.

    On his rookie impact meter,’s Zack Rosenblatt ranked Corker ninth; fellow undrafted rookie safety Trenton Thompson didn’t make the list.

    "Some had him ranked even ahead of fourth-round safety Dane Belton in this draft class, and the Giants don't have much depth at safety currently. It's not inconceivable that, with a good training camp, Corker could quickly play his way into a role as a backup behind Xavier McKinney and Julian Love, plus as a key contributor on special teams."

    At Kentucky, Corker increased his tackle total every year. Though he finished the 2021 season without an interception, the 6'0", 197-pounder did break up eight passes.

New York Jets: WR Calvin Jackson

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    New York Jets' Calvin Jackson participates in a drill at the NFL football team's training facility in Florham Park, N.J., Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
    AP Photo/Seth Wenig

    Anyone who watched Netflix's Last Chance U series may remember Calvin Jackson. Spectators at the New York Jets' workouts may remember him from rookie minicamp.

    DJ Bien-Aime formerly of the New York Daily News saw Jackson put on a show during the spring, hauling in a pair of contested catches. After his tryout, the Jets signed him to a contract.

    Apparently, Jackson left a strong impression because The Athletic's Connor Hughes listed the Washington State product among the Jets’ wideouts on his 53-man roster projections.

    The Jets may have two open wide receiver positions with Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, Braxton Berrios and rookie first-rounder Garrett Wilson in the top four spots. Denzel Mims, a 2020 second-rounder, hasn't played up to expectations with 31 receptions for 490 yards in 20 games.

    Even if Mims continues to trend in the right direction, Jackson can beat out roster holdover Jeff Smith for the sixth spot on the depth chart with a strong showing through the preseason.

Philadelphia Eagles: WR Britain Covey

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    PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 01: Britain Covey #18 of the Utah Utes rushes for a touchdown against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the second quarter in the Rose Bowl Game at  at Rose Bowl Stadium on January 01, 2022 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
    Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

    The Philadelphia Eagles have a crowded wide receiver room.

    In a trade with the Tennessee Titans, Philadelphia acquired A.J. Brown, who will start alongside DeVonta Smith, and signed Zach Pascal. In 2021, Quez Watkins made a significant second-year leap, hauling in 43 passes for 647 yards and a touchdown. Despite early offseason trade chatter around 2020 first-rounder Jalen Reagor, he remains on the roster. Greg Ward is a decent holdover capable of providing depth.

    Where can Britain Covey fit in?

    The Eagles can use him on special teams. NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Dave Zangaro believes the team needs an upgrade in the return game.

    "Covey could be a surprise, but he impressed his coaches and teammates at OTAs, and he's the type of dynamic return man the Eagles haven't had in quite some time," Zangaro wrote.

    Covey can provide a spark as a kick and punt returner. As a collegian, the Utah product returned 92 kicks and 33 punts for a total of 1,930 yards and five touchdowns.

Pittsburgh Steelers: RB Jaylen Warren

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    Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jaylen Warren (30) goes through drills during an NFL football practice, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
    AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

    Who's the No. 2 running back? That's what the Pittsburgh Steelers have to figure out over the next few weeks.

    In 2021, Najee Harris ran the ball 307 times for 1,200 yards and seven touchdowns. Benny Snell Jr. placed second on the team with 36 carries for 98 yards, and his rushing yards total has dropped every year since the 2019 term.

    Meanwhile, Anthony McFarland Jr. has logged 36 rush attempts for 116 scoreless yards in his two-year career.

    The Steelers don't have a reliable playmaker who can spell Harris, but undrafted rookies Mataeo Durant and Jaylen Warren could make a push for the role. Both stood out in the team's first padded practice of the offseason, but the latter may have done a little more to garner some attention.

    "He has an appetite for the competition," Tomlin said about Warren via Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "ct."

    DK Pittsburgh Sports' Dale Lolley took note of Warren during an individual drill.

    "Undrafted rookie running back Jaylen Warren also has stood out in backs on backers. He did a nice job in three reps against Mark Robinson, getting kudos from the coaches," Lolley tweeted.

    As an early riser who shined in a padded practice, Warren has certainly put himself on the team's radar. Because Snell and McFarland haven't contributed much in their time in Pittsburgh, Warren has an opportunity to win the backup job with a strong showing through camp.

San Francisco 49ers: IOL Dohnovan West

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    Arizona State offensive lineman Dohnovan West smiles from the sideline during the second half of an NCAA college football game against UCLA Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, in Pasadena, Calif. Arizona State won 42-23. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
    AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

    The San Francisco 49ers have major question marks on the interior of their offensive line with the departure of Pro Bowl guard Laken Tomlinson in free agency and center Alex Mack’s retirement.

    According to NBC Sports Bay Area's Jennifer Lee Chan, the 49ers may have viewed Dohnovan West as Mack's potential successor in the not-so-distance future.

    "West might have been the 49ers' long-term plan to replace Alex Mack at center when they were under the impression that he was going to play through the 2022 season," Chan wrote. "West is rather raw but has potential to be a contributor on the offensive line down the line."

    Well, the 49ers may have to speed up that succession plan as Mack hangs up his cleats. While 2021 second-rounder Aaron Banks has a clear shot to start at left guard, the undrafted rookie out of Arizona State may learn on the job as the immediate replacement for Mack at the pivot.

    Five months ago, the 49ers signed Jake Brendel to a one-year extension. He's West's top competitor for the starting job at center. The former played six offensive snaps with the club in 2021.

Seattle Seahawks: LB Vi Jones

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    North Carolina State's Vi Jones (31) sizes up the play against Syracuse during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
    AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker

    Back in May, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll praised Vi Jones and laid out a vision for him.

    "One of the guys that wasn't the draft picks that I totally picked up on, was excited to see him, and you can picture, he could be a special teamer. He could play a little bit outside, play a little inside backer for you, if you need him to, and he'll be able to match up with guys. So he had a good camp. A really good camp."

    Carroll already had his eyes on Jones before he arrived at Seahawks camp, and the North Carolina State product didn’t disappoint him. Seattle has room for the 6'2", 225-pounder at linebacker.

    Last week, Seattle released Ben Burr-Kirven with a failed physical designation. K.J. Wright signed with the team on a one-day deal to retire as a Seahawk. As a special teamer, Nick Bellore earned a Pro Bowl nod in 2020, but he's headed into his age-33 campaign.

    With Joel Iyiegbuniwe, Tanner Muse, Jon Rhattigan and Lakiem Williams filling out the rest of the depth chart at linebacker, Jones isn't going up against any established veterans for a back-end spot at the position. Carroll may not be able to leave him off the 53-man roster.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: LB Olakunle Fatukasi

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    PISCATAWAY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 18: Olakunle Fatukasi #3 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in action against the Delaware Blue Hens during a college football game at SHI Stadium on September 18, 2021 in Piscataway, New Jersey. Rutgers defeated Delaware 45-13. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
    Rich Schultz/Getty Images

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a pair of surefire starting inside linebackers in Devin White and Lavonte David.

    Because the Buccaneers haven't re-signed Kevin Minter, they'll need a couple of their youngsters at the position to provide depth.

    In the 2021 draft, Tampa Bay selected K.J. Britt and Grant Stuard in the fifth and seventh rounds, respectively. They each played fewer than 29 defensive snaps, so we could see some competition for the No. 3 and 4 spots behind White and David.

    This offseason, the Buccaneers signed a pair of undrafted rookies, Olakunle Fatukasi and J.J. Russell. The former (6'2", 240 lbs.) has a bigger body frame than the latter (6'1", 225 lbs.), who's more nimble but didn't have much production in coverage through five terms at Memphis (seven pass breakups and an interception).

    Over the past two years at Rutgers, Fatukasi consistently made his way into the opposing team's backfield, recording 22 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks in that two-year period. He has the skill set to spell White as an effective downhill defender.

Tennessee Titans: IOL Hayden Howerton

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    DALLAS, TX - SEPTEMBER 11: SMU Mustangs offensive lineman Hayden Howerton (#75) drops back to block during the college football game between the SMU Mustangs and North Texas Mean Green on September 11, 2021, at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, TX.  (Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    This offseason, the Tennessee Titans chose not to tender right tackle David Quessenberry, which allowed him to become a free agent. They also released Pro Bowl left guard Rodger Saffold.

    With those two departures, the Titans must develop reliable run-blockers for their ground attack, which features two-time rushing champion Derrick Henry. Hayden Howerton may fit the bill, and he has four years of starting experience at SMU.

    For most of his collegiate career, Howerton played guard and center. Even if he doesn't win a starting job over Aaron Brewer and Jamarco Jones at left guard, the 6'3", 300-pound lineman can provide depth at all three interior positions.

    In March, the Titans signed center Ben Jones to a two-year extension. They still need a long-term starter at the pivot. Howerton's versatility and growth while on the active roster could help this team in the short-term future.

Washington Commanders: LB Bryce Notree

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    ASHBURN, VA - JUNE 16: Bryce Notree #59 of the Washington Commanders participates in a drill during the organized team activity at INOVA Sports Performance Center on June 16, 2022 in Ashburn, Virginia. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
    Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

    With a thin linebacker unit, the Washington Commanders signed four undrafted players at that position. Among the four rookies, Bryce Notree stands out because of his athleticism and production.

    The Commanders hope to see 2021 first-rounder Jamin Davis make strides after he struggled through his rookie campaign, specifically in coverage, allowing an 85.7 percent completion rate and a 107.1 passer rating. Nonetheless, they should add quality depth in case the Kentucky product doesn't make significant strides in 2022.

    David Mayo has played mostly in a backup role for seven seasons, and the same goes for Khaleke Hudson over the past two years.

    Notree can provide a spark for the Commanders' linebacker unit because he's capable of playing on all three downs. The Southern Illinois product recorded 246 tackles, 15 for loss, 6.5 sacks, nine pass breakups and four interceptions in five active collegiate campaigns.

    Of course, Notree will need to show he can handle the transition from an FCS program to the pro game, but Washington could use his skill set on the second level of its defense.

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    Maurice Moton covers the NFL for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @MoeMoton.