Grading Every NFL Team's Undrafted Free-Agent Haul
The 2019 NFL draft ended more than a week ago, which feels like an eternity during the offseason. The internet has been overflowing with draft grades since before Round 7 ended. Winners and losers have been established. It's time to forget about rookie draft classes until at least training camp, right?
Well, not exactly. While the draft is long over, teams have been in the process of acquiring rookies through free agency ever since. Though they won't show up on many draft trackers, undrafted free agents are important pieces of prospect classes.
It doesn't matter where, or even if, a player is selected—it only matters if they can play. Many undrafted rookies can do just that, and several will go on to have fruitful careers.
How has each team done gathering such talent so far? Here, you'll find some of the most notable names signed by every franchise, along with overall grades based on class potential, team fits, team needs and value.
The Arizona Cardinals desperately need an influx of talent. Unfortunately, they haven't found many immediate contributors via undrafted free agency. Former Boise State receiver A.J. Richardson may be the exception.
Richardson has good size for the position (6'0", 212 lbs) and enough physicality to contribute on special teams. He also has decent hands and caught 54 passes for 825 yards and eight touchdowns in 2018. He'll be a back-end receiver at best to start his career, though.
Former Arkansas defensive back Ryan Pulley and former Iowa State defensive back Brian Peavy may find spots as special teamers and could provide depth on the back end of the defense.
North Carolina's William Sweet could be a project at offensive tackle, but he's probably a long shot to make the final 53-man roster.
The Atlanta Falcons haven't added many undrafted free agents who are likely to play early on, which is more of a testament to Atlanta's overall talent than an indictment on its UDFA class.
Former Virginia wide receiver Olamide Zaccheaus, for example, would have a good shot of cracking the lineup on many other teams. He's a smaller receiver at 5'8" and 188 pounds, but he's terrific after the catch and had 1,058 yards and nine touchdowns in 2018 alone.
Former Oregon running back Tony Brooks-James, on the other hand, could see early play. He's versatile and can play on offense and special teams. In 2018, he rushed for 306 yards and averaged 26.1 yards per kickoff return.
Also, keep an eye on former Arkansas State guard Lanard Bonner. He's a long shot to make the roster but could provide much-needed depth along the offensive line.
The gem of the Baltimore Ravens' UDFA class is former Louisville wideout Jaylen Smith. In addition to being a 6'2", 219-pound receiver who racked up 550 yards in 2018, he's a former teammate of quarterback Lamar Jackson's. The two have established chemistry, and it would be surprising if Smith doesn't make the 53-man roster with ease.
Another player of note is former Miami defensive tackle Gerald Willis. He should have been drafted and was the No. 14 defensive lineman on Bleacher Report draft analyst Matt Miller's big board. "As a 3-technique prospect, he's intriguing as a middle-round prospect who could hit and become a starter or at least contribute as a rotational pass-rusher," Miller wrote.
Anyone who can contribute to the pass rush is valuable, especially since the Ravens lost both Za'Darius Smith and Terrell Suggs in the offseason.
This is why edge-rushers Darian Roseboro of NC State and Markus Jones of Angelo State are worth keeping an eye on.
The Buffalo Bills made a smart move in adding former Buffalo Bulls quarterback Tyree Jackson after the draft. He's a local kid and possesses the size (6'7", 249 lbs) and skill set to mirror much of what starting quarterback Josh Allen can do.
Jackson has a good chance to be Allen's long-term backup.
Former West Virginia quarterback-turned-receiver David Sills is also an intriguing addition. Allen needs weapons, and Sills is a playmaker. In 2018, he caught 60 passes for 980 yards and 18 (!) touchdowns.
The Bills likely got a high-end backup in former Texas A&M linebacker Tyrel Dodson, who produced 70 tackles, seven tackles for loss and one interception in 2018.
The Carolina Panthers haven't sought many undrafted free agents, but this is largely because they picked up several veterans from the defunct AAF, such as wideout Rashad Ross, defensive tackle T.J. Barnes and offensive tackle Brandon Greene.
"We signed so many of the AAF guys, so we don't have as many undrafted rookies like we've had in the past," head coach Ron Rivera said, per the team's official website.
Two undrafted rookies to note are former Utah safety Corrion Ballard and former Georgia running back Elijah Holyfield.
Ballard should compete to provide depth on the back end of the defense, while Holyfield could emerge as a short-yardage complement to star Christian McCaffrey.
The Chicago Bears don't have many needs, which is why the highlights of their UDFA class are project players—but two could prove valuable.
Former Notre Dame guard Alex Bars suffered a serious knee injury in 2018, which is likely why he went undrafted. There's no telling exactly how well or how quickly he will recover, but the upside is there for Bars to develop into a quality NFL lineman. He's a 6'6", 312-pound blocker who started for two-plus seasons with the Irish.
Former Missouri wideout Emanuel Hall may also have the upside for a successful career. He posses sub-4.4 speed and could quickly emerge as a field-stretcher in head coach Matt Nagy's offense.
"It could take time, but he has the size and speed to become a low-volume, high-impact WR2/WR3," NFL.com's Lance Zierlein wrote of Hall.
On defense, Chicago may have added secondary depth with Appalachian State's Clifton Duck and Nevada's Jomon Dotson.
For a team that didn't make a lot of actual draft picks, this UDFA class is a huge addition.
The Cincinnati Bengals may have found another weapon for head coach Zac Taylor's offense in former Nebraska receiver Stanley Morgan. The undrafted wideout has the measurables (6'0", 202 lbs) and proven production (1,004 yards in 2018) of a late-round draft pick. He could latch on as a fourth or fifth receiver.
The Bengals also added possible depth pieces for the offensive line, which was a need. Louisiana Tech guard O'Shea Dugas and Texas A&M guard Keaton Sutherland could both compete for backup jobs as rookies.
On the defensive side, former Michigan safety Tyree Kinnel has a chance to make the roster. He's a solid 5'11", 207-pound defender who could see early action on running downs and special teams.
The Cleveland Browns had a strong draft despite the lack of a first-round pick. However, their UDFA class is a little more lackluster.
Former Miami cornerback Jhavonte Dean is probably the gem of the bunch, and he was only recently signed after he shined as a tryout player in rookie camp.
"Anytime you are a factor, you kind of stand out," head coach Freddie Kitchens said, per Daryl Ruiter of 92.3 The Fan. "That is a good thing during this time of the year."
Dean has a great nose for the football—he was tied for the team lead with three interceptions last season—and this got him a deal.
Former Boston College defensive end Wyatt Ray who could also stick on the roster as a situational pass-rusher. He had 9.0 sacks in 2018. Guys who can get to the quarterback will have a shot at making the final 53.
Purdue's David Blough is an intriguing quarterback prospect, but he's likely just a camp arm with Cleveland. Drew Stanton will back up Baker Mayfield for the foreseeable future.
The Dallas Cowboys added intriguing undrafted prospects who fill needs and have the polish to contribute soon.
Former Kansas defensive tackle Daniel Wise probably won't start from day one, but he could become a rotational piece of Dallas' dangerous defensive front.
"He lacks some of the needed playing strength throughout his 6'3", 281-pound frame and has to develop fast and powerful hands to counter professional linemen, but he has traits to build upon," Bleacher Report's Matt Miller wrote.
Former Toledo wideout Jon'Vea Johnson could also emerge as a weapon. He has downfield receiving ability, as evidenced by his 20.6 yards-per-reception average in 2018.
Dallas' offensive line could use depth, which is where Clemson's Mitch Hyatt comes in. He's a four-year starter who could quickly become one of the league's better backups.
Kudos to the Denver Broncos for taking a chance on quarterback Brett Rypien. They gave the Boise State product $146,000 guaranteed to land him, but he provides some security at the position.
There's no guarantee that second-round pick Drew Lock will work out as a pro, and there's no telling how many good seasons the 34-year-old Joe Flacco has in him. Rypien provides depth and potentially someone to challenge Lock for the future starting gig.
Former Pittsburgh fullback George Aston could become a starter at a position few NFL teams value. Denver does, though, so getting Aston as a free agent is terrific.
The Broncos also brought in Samford receiver Kelvin McKnight, who amassed an impressive 1,453 receiving yards in 2018. He could stick on the back end of the depth chart and has the potential to move into a significant offensive role.
The Detroit Lions have a lackluster UDFA class. Former Wisconsin offensive lineman Beau Benzschawel is the lone highlight—though to be fair, his addition is impactful.
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Benzschawel had offers from "more than 20" franchises. It wouldn't be a surprise to see Benzschawel work his way into a starting role over the next couple of years.
Former North Carolina defensive lineman Malik Carney is another player to watch out for. The Lions need pass-rushers, and Carney produced 11.5 sacks over the last two seasons combined.
Benzschawel and Carney could both make the team, though both may be purely depth players as rookies.
Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers' UDFA class is not filled with immediate contributors.
Former Baylor defensive end Greg Roberts has potential as an edge-rusher, but he isn't polished and hasn't produced much (just 3.0 sacks in 2018). Former Arizona State quarterback Manny Wilkins is likely just a camp arm, though he could stick as a developmental quarterback.
This, obviously, hinges on how the Packers feel about backup DeShone Kizer.
Yosuah Nijman is an intriguing offensive tackle prospect, but he's a project. His size (6'7", 324 lbs) and physical ability could keep him on the roster, but he's unlikely to play within his first couple of years.
The Houston Texans added a few rookies of note after the draft, including former Clemson defensive tackle Albert Huggins. He could fit right into Houston's defense as a penetrating interior lineman in a rotation.
Other possible rookie contributors include former Colorado linebacker Drew Lewis and former Akron edge-rusher Jamal Davis. The latter could become a valuable rotational player off the edge. He had 16.0 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks in 2018.
Fans hoping to see an improved rushing attack should love the addition of former Michigan running back Karan Higdon. He was often the centerpiece of the Michigan offense and rushed for 1,178 yards and 5.3 yards per carry in 2018.
The Indianapolis Colts signed nine undrafted free agents during the week after the draft, including former Georgia State receiver Penny Hart.
Hart is the highlight of Indianapolis' UDFA class, and he could be a legitimate offensive weapon in year one. He has the speed to stretch the field as a fourth or fifth receiver, and he brings ability as a return specialist. He averaged 19.9 and 17.6 yards per kick and punt return, respectively, in 2018.
Another player to keep an eye on is former Mississippi State cornerback Jamal Peters. The Colts need secondary depth, and Peters has the size (6'2", 220 lbs) to match up with bigger receivers on the outside.
Maryland's Damian Prince could provide depth at guard behind starters Quenton Nelson and Mark Glowinski.
The Jacksonville Jaguars largely focused on defense when signing undrafted rookies.
Former Duke linebacker Joe Giles-Harris could be a valuable addition. He's instinctual and projects as a two-down run defender. In 2018, Giles-Harris amassed 81 total tackles, 7.0 tackles for loss and a sack.
On the back end, Jacksonville could get a boost from Alabama cornerback Saivion Smith and former Michigan cornerback Brandon Watson. While neither were standouts in college, both bring big-program pedigree.
Offensively, the Jaguars may have found something in former Marshall receiver Tyre Brady. He had 71 receptions for 1,002 yards and nine touchdowns in 2018.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs desperately need to improve a defense that allowed 405.5 yards per game last season, second-most in the NFL. This is why undrafted free agents such as Clemson cornerback Mark Fields have a chance to make the team.
Fields was not a major piece of the Clemson defense in 2018, but he did a solid job in coverage when targeted. Though he only had seven tackles, he also had five pass breakups. He could catch on as a nickel or dime corner early.
Former Texas linebacker Gary Johnson could also find a home on Kansas City's defense. He's an aggressive defender with penetrating ability—he had 90 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks in 2018.
The Chiefs are also still trying to replace Kareem Hunt at running back, which is why former Washington State running back James Williams could be valuable. He's a tremendous receiving back who caught 83 passes for 613 yards and four touchdowns last season and could be a dangerous piece in Andy Reid's offense.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Los Angeles Chargers have mostly targeted depth in undrafted free agency, which isn't surprising. L.A. has few holes.
Former Duke tight end Daniel Helm and former Michigan State tight end Matt Sokol could compete for playing time behind Hunter Henry and Virgil Green, but neither is likely to be a significant piece of the offense.
Former Syracuse offensive tackle Koda Martin has tremendous size for the position (6'6", 304 lbs) but is a project. At best, he'll compete to provide depth on the right side—the one offensive line spot that isn't settled.
Los Angeles Rams
The Los Angeles Rams' UDFA class doesn't include any potential starters, which is fine since the roster doesn't have much room for them. The Rams grabbed some possible rotational players, though.
Former Cincinnati defensive lineman Marquise Copeland has the size (6'2", 281 lbs) and ability to play end and tackle, and he could work his way into the rotation. He's an attacking lineman—not a block-eater—and in 2018, he produced 50 total tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks.
Former Texas State tight end Keenen Brown could find a role as a move piece in head coach Sean McVay's offense, though he's probably practice-squad material for year one.
Villanova's Brandon Hitner is a physically intriguing prospect at 6'6" and 305 pounds, and he could be a nice developmental lineman.
The Miami Dolphins are beginning yet another rebuild, and some of their undrafted rookies could be part of the process.
Former Colorado State receiver Preston Williams should have a chance of earning a spot among the lackluster receiving corps. The Dolphins don't have many real playmakers at receiver, and Williams caught 96 passes for 1,345 yards and 14 touchdowns last season.
The Dolphins also need to bolster their depth and talent along the offensive line, which makes the addition of former Mississippi State guard Deion Calhoun quite attractive.
Defensively, former New Mexico State linebacker Terrill Hanks could provide a boost. He had 101 tackles last season and might be the kind of sideline-to-sideline defender Miami needs at the second level. Northwestern cornerback Montre Hartage could also provide a boost to the defense and special teams.
As is the case with the Broncos, the Minnesota Vikings' UDFA class is highlighted by an intriguing quarterback. Minnesota scooped up former Washington signal-caller Jake Browning, who could provide insurance if Kirk Cousins doesn't pan out as the team's franchise quarterback.
The Vikings gave Browning $140,000 guaranteed, which suggests they think he might stick around.
Running back Khari Blasingame is another name to watch, as the Vikings are trying to find a reliable complement to the oft-injured Dalvin Cook. Blasingame is more of a fullback type, but his 6'0", 233-pound frame could make the Vanderbilt product a solid short-yardage back.
New England Patriots
The New England Patriots added a number of rookies after the draft, including former UAB receiver Xavier Ubosi and former NC State wideout Jakobi Meyers. Receiver is probably the biggest area the Patriots targeted in undrafted free agency, and one or both of these two could stick.
Meyers, in particular, is intriguing as an outside possession target. He's a 6'2" pass-catcher who hauled in 92 balls for 1,047 yards and four touchdowns in 2018.
On defense, former Marshall defensive back Malik Gant has the tools to contribute as a rotational player. He's a strong tackler—he had 95 stops in 2018—and could see early play as an extra safety on running downs.
There isn't anything overwhelming about New England's UDFA class, but one or two guys could make the final roster.
New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints didn't go into the draft with many needs, which is fortunate since they didn't have a first-round selection and only made five picks. But the team added a number of potential contributors after the draft.
Former Nebraska running back Devine Ozigbo is one to watch, as his physical running style could help the offense overcome the offseason loss of Mark Ingram II. Former Ohio Bobcat AJ Ouellette has a similar physical running style and was granted a tryout with the team.
Wyoming defensive end Carl Granderson could make an early impact as a situational pass-rusher if he sticks. He had 11.5 sacks over the past two seasons. Utah product Chase Hansen, who had 114 tackles in 2018 alone, could also catch on as a reserve linebacker.
Don't sleep on Monmouth tight end Jake Powell either. Though he only had 165 yards receiving in 2018, he's an athletic 6'6" tight end who could develop into an offensive mismatch.
As an established title contender, New Orleans doesn't have many roster spots to give out, but there are a few players with the potential to take one.
New York Giants
The New York Giants are still taking flak for selecting Duke quarterback Daniel Jones at No. 6. That's fair. However, general manager Dave Gettleman also deserves credit for addressing needs in post-draft free agency.
Former Missouri offensive tackle Paul Adams and former Buffalo center James O'Hagan could both emerge as quality rookie backups and potential starters down the road.
While former Monmouth receiver Reggie White Jr. won't replace Odell Beckham Jr., he does have the talent to crack the 53-man roster. The 6'3" receiver hauled in 71 passes for 1,133 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2018.
White should have a chance to become New York's fourth or fifth receiver.
New York Jets
The New York Jets haven't added many undrafted free agents who are likely to contribute as rookies. The exceptions are former Wake Forest wide receiver Greg Dortch and former Appalachian State running back Jalin Moore.
Dortch has the talent to earn a spot in New York's offense. He's undersized at 5'7" and 173 pounds, but he's quick, shifty and has sticky hands. He caught 89 passes for 1,078 yards in 2018 and could emerge as the Jets' fifth receiver as a rookie.
Moore isn't likely to see a significant role as long as offseason acquisition Le'Veon Bell remains healthy. However, he's good at finding space in traffic and could spell Bell in short-yardage situations—which is great if the Jets don't want to give the star back 400 touches per season. Moore rushed for 1,037 yards and 5.7 yards per carry in 2017.
Undrafted guards Wyatt Miller and Tyler Jones could compete to provide depth along the offensive line.
The Oakland Raiders are another rebuilding team. With a draft class that includes three first-round picks—not to mention the offseason acquisitions of Antonio Brown, Ty Williams and Lamarcus Joyner—the stage is set for things to turn around quickly.
The Raiders also added some undrafted rookies who could help move along the process. Former UC Davis receiver Keelan Doss, who was coached by Jon Gruden at the Senior Bowl, tops the list.
Doss is a 6'3", 213-pound pass-catcher who racked up 118 receptions, 1,334 yards in 2018. He'll likely start low on the depth chart, but there is a place for him in the offense. He is an absolute steal as a free agent.
The Raiders also have some pieces who could contribute defensively in Notre Dame linebacker Te'von Coney and South Carolina cornerback Keisean Nixon. Given the struggles Oakland had on defense at times in 2018—it allowed a league-high 29.2 points per game—it wouldn't be a shock to see either carve out regular-season roles on defense.
The Philadelphia Eagles appear to be in the market for guard depth. They added three quality interior linemen—Penn State's Ryan Bates, Weber State's Iosua Opeta and Stanford's Nate Herbig—and it wouldn't be a surprise to see at least one of them crack the roster.
Herbig, in particular, looks capable of carving out a lengthy NFL career.
"Herbig is a future starting guard, but his physical deficiencies could make him a more up-and-down performer than celebrated starter," NFL.com's Lance Zierlein wrote.
Philadelphia also found a gem in former Wisconsin linebacker T.J. Edwards. He was a four-year starter who racked up 112 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and three interceptions in 2018. He could land a significant backup role as a rookie and eventually move into the Eagles' starting lineup.
The Pittsburgh Steelers' UDFA class is underwhelming but may include a couple of solid backups, including former Florida offensive tackle Fred Johnson.
"Johnson flashes an impressive ability to keep rushers in front of him with a stiff punch and adequate balance in his mirror. He has day three, backup potential," NFL.com's Lance Zierlein wrote.
Former Texas defensive tackle Chris Nelson could also grab a roster spot. He has decent size (6'1", 298 lbs) and is physical enough at the point of attack to get sporadic playing time while spelling nose tackle Daniel McCullers.
Running back Travon McMillian is another player to watch, as the Steelers continue to try to replace Le'Veon Bell. The Colorado product has the size (5'10", 210 lbs) to be a punishing inside runner on short-yardage downs.
San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers haven't added many notable undrafted free agents, which is surprising given the fact that they're still in the early stages of a rebuild.
Former Florida Atlantic linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair is the highlight of the group, as he has some pass-rushing ability and a connection with pass-rush-specialist coach Chris Kiffin. Kiffin was FA's defensive coordinator in 2017, a year in which Al-Shaair had 146 tackles and 10 tackles for a loss.
Former Penn State defensive lineman Kevin Givens has upside but faces a crowded depth chart. Former Iowa guard Ross Reynolds could crack the 53-man roster as a backup and developmental player.
San Francisco should have been more aggressive on the UDFA market.
The Seattle Seahawks offensive line isn't quite the disaster it was a couple of years ago, but there is always room for improved talent and depth. The Seahawks' undrafted class may provide both, as two quality prospects—Florida's Martez Ivey and Ohio State's Demetrius Knox—landed with the team.
Former Baylor cornerback Derrek Thomas could earn a spot on the other side of the ball. He's more of a developmental prospect, but the 6'3", 192-pound defender has the kind of physical upside that might land him a future with the franchise.
Texas' Davante Davis is another long (6'2") corner who fits the Seattle mold. Both he and Thomas could produce early as reserve defenders and special teams standouts.
The Seahawks aren't in dire need of additional talent, so if even two or three of their undrafted rookies remain in the regular season, this has to be viewed as a strong class.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers potentially filled two offensive needs with their undrafted signings.
Former Buffalo wide receiver Anthony Johnson has the goods to replace Adam Humphries as Tampa's No. 3 receiver. He's a 6'2", 209-pound pass-catcher who racked up 2,367 yards over the last two seasons. He also seems to thrive on proving his worth.
"Guys didn't think I had that much potential," Johnson said, per Nick Filipowski of WIVB.com. "Getting to Buffalo just made me work harder."
The Buccaneers also addressed their backfield by adding North Dakota State's Bruce Anderson. He's a 210-pound bruiser who averaged a whopping 7.5 yards per carry in 2018.
Former Fordham tight end Isaiah Searight could also help boost Tampa's offense. He's a bit of a project, but the 6'2", 242-pound pass-catcher could emerge as a solid complement to O.J. Howard in two-tight end sets.
The Tennessee Titans shouldn't view running back as a primary need with Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis on the roster. However, the signing of former Kansas State running back Alex Barnes could be a real find.
Barnes is a 226-pound back with 4.59 speed who could spell Henry in short-yardage situations.
Former North Carolina Tar Heel Anthony Ratliff-Williams could also prove valuable as both a receiver and returner. In 2018, Ratliff-Williams caught 42 passes for 689 yards. He added 598 yards on 28 kick returns.
On defense, the Titans added projects with upside, such as Boston College cornerback Hamp Cheevers and Sam Houston defensive lineman Derick Roberson.
Tennessee has a solid UDFA class, but it's not likely to impact the top of the roster.
The Washington Redskins have added a few interesting prospect since the draft, but the only one who could see early play is former Marshall defensive tackle Ryan Bee. He has the size (6'7", 280 lbs) to disrupt opposing quarterbacks both with pressure and by interfering with throwing lanes.
Bee had 36 tackles, 4.0 sacks and two batted passes in 2018, and he could be a situational pass-rusher early in his career.
Former Tennessee State offensive lineman Chidi Okeke has enough upside to stick around, but he's a project and will need time to develop.
Former Oregon tight end Kano Dillon is another player with upside—and size at 6'5", 256 pounds—but he's facing a crowded depth chart at the position, including Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis.