The Best Undrafted Free Agent in Every 2021 NFL Training Camp

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistJuly 26, 2021

The Best Undrafted Free Agent in Every 2021 NFL Training Camp

0 of 32

    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    The NFL returned to a more familiar state this offseason, which is great news for rookie undrafted free agents. For players signed after the draft, opportunity is everything, and last year's virtual offseason and lack of a preseason meant fewer opportunities for NFL hopefuls.

    This didn't prevent some undrafted free agents from becoming standouts in 2020, though. Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson, for example, went from not hearing his name called in the draft to being a 1,000-yard rusher in a matter of months.

    However, the return of the preseason and more traditional training camps should allow more undrafted free agents to flourish—or to at least flash their potential ahead of the regular season. They may still be long shots to make NFL rosters, but they'll get the sort of national exposure that wasn't afforded a year ago.

    With this in mind, we'll examine one undrafted rookie in each training camp who will be worth following in the coming weeks. These are players who have a legitimate shot at sticking on a roster or practice squad based on factors like positional value, team needs, physical attributes, playing experience, collegiate production and potential roster fit.

    Will they become future starters as Robinson did in 2020? That remains to be seen, but each player listed here will have a chance.

Arizona Cardinals: TE Cary Angeline, NC State

1 of 32

    Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

    Tight end Cary Angeline was a brilliant pickup for the Arizona Cardinals, who lacked a premier pass-catching tight end in 2020. Dan Arnold led the position group with 438 receiving yards and departed for the Carolina Panthers in the offseason.

    Angeline, who had 412 receiving yards, six touchdowns and averaged 15.3 yards per reception last year, has a solid chance of being an early contributor. The NC State product is a big-bodied (6'6", 250 lbs) target with a basketball background and a high athletic upside.

    While Angeline is unpolished as a blocker, he has the physical tools to consistently create mismatches in the passing game. He could quickly develop into a dangerous rotational pass-catcher and checkdown target for Kyler Murray. At worst, he should find a home on Arizona's practice squad.

Atlanta Falcons: QB Feleipe Franks, Arkansas

2 of 32

    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    The Atlanta Falcons don't need a new quarterback just yet. While starter Matt Ryan is 36 years old, he's still playing at a high level and showing no signs of slowing down. That said, the decision to scoop up a developmental prospect in Arkansas' Feleipe Franks was a wise one.

    Franks, who transferred from Florida, played nine games this past season and finished with 2,107 passing yards, 17 touchdowns and just four interceptions. At 6'6" and 234 pounds, he possesses the size and arm talent to have a lasting pro career. Atlanta was thrilled to land him.

    "Feleipe has a really unique skill set," quarterbacks coach Charles London said, per D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "He has a big arm. He’s a really athletic guy. He had traits that as an offensive staff we were excited about."

    While Franks may not necessarily be the heir apparent to Ryan, he should develop into a long-term backup with upside.

Baltimore Ravens: OT Adrian Ealy, Oklahoma

3 of 32

    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The Baltimore Ravens are in the process of retooling the offensive line after trading Pro Bowl tackle Orlando Brown Jr. There's a realistic chance that Adrian Ealy could become part of the long-term plans.

    A 6'6", 321-pound prospect out of Oklahoma, Ealy has the size and the physical strength to hold up against NFL defenders. While technically on the raw side, Ealy was a two-year starter at right tackle for the Sooners and stood out at the Senior Bowl.

    "Adrian Ealy certainly helped his NFL draft stock with a great practice on Thursday. Early on in the week, Ealy had a visibly better physical tool chest than other linemen," Ian Cummings of Pro Football Network wrote.

    Ealy isn't likely to vie for a starting job early in his career, but he could develop into a quality backup swing tackle in Baltimore.

Buffalo Bills: S Tariq Thompson, San Diego State

4 of 32

    Jeffrey T. Barnes/Associated Press

    The Buffalo Bills have a strong safety tandem in Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer. They also selected Pittsburgh's Damar Hamlin in the sixth round of the draft. Grabbing Tariq Thompson post-draft wasn't exactly a need-based move, but it could nevertheless pay dividends for Buffalo.

    Thompson, a four-year player at San Diego State, has the size (5'11", 210 lbs) and the physicality to thrive as a rotational safety or big-nickel defender. He's also a ball hawk with a penchant for the big play. Over the past two seasons, he amassed 11 pass breakups, three forced fumbles, five interceptions and two fumble recoveries.

    In Buffalo, Thompson will likely begin his career as a backup and special-teams standout, but he has the instincts and ball skills to make an impact in a defense that has Super Bowl aspirations.

Carolina Panthers: IOL David Moore, Grambling State

5 of 32

    Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

    The Carolina Panthers may have struck gold when they landed Grambling State product David Moore after the draft. Pegged as an early fourth-round talent by the Bleacher Report scouting department, Moore has the necessary physical foundation to eventually start.

    "Moore will need to learn to improve his field vision to process the game quicker post-snap and sharpen up his pass sets and hand precision, but there is enough movement skills with very good play strength, power and competitive toughness in place to build from to earn him a starting role within his first two seasons," Brandon Thorn of the B/R Scouting Department wrote.

    While Moore may lack length (6'3", 320 lbs), he does not want for functional size or power. A two-year starter at Grambling State, he should quickly become a fine rotational piece on the interior of the Panthers line.

    It wouldn't be a shock to see Moore starting before many interior linemen drafted in 2021.

Chicago Bears: Edge Charles Snowden, Virginia

6 of 32

    Andrew Shurtleff/Associated Press

    The Chicago Bears need to find a reliable edge-defender opposite Khalil Mack. Defensive tackle Bilal Nichols was the only other player to log five or more sacks for Chicago last season, and 2020 offseason addition Robert Quinn (two sacks) was largely a bust.

    6'7", 240-pound Charles Snowden possesses the length, quickness and athleticism to rush NFL quarterbacks off the edge. In just eight games last season as an outside linebacker at Virginia, Snowden notched six sacks, 10 tackles for loss and three passes defended for the Cavaliers. He had another five sacks and 11 tackles for loss in 2019.

    While Snowden may not be quite polished enough to waltz right into a starting role and be an every-down defender early in his career, he can be an immediate contributor as a rotational edge-rusher to pair with Mack.

Cincinnati Bengals: RB Pooka Williams Jr., Kansas

7 of 32

    Aaron Doster/Associated Press

    Last season, the Cincinnati Bengals ranked just 24th in rushing. They also parted with versatile backup running back Giovani Bernard in the offseason. While the Bengals have a high-end starter in Joe Mixon—when he's healthy, anyway—Pooka Williams Jr. should have a realistic shot at making Cincinnati's roster.

    Cincinnati also has running backs Samaje Perine, Trayveon Williams and rookie sixth-round pick Chris Evans. However, Bernard, who played 48 percent of the offensive snaps last season, leaves a substantial hole that one back may not be able to fill.

    Though undersized at 5'10" and 170 pounds, Williams is a terror around the edge and in open space. While he isn't going to replace Bernard as Cincinnati's third-down back—blitz pickups could be a problem, given his size—Williams could be a fine change-of-pace alternative to Mixon.

    While Williams only appeared in four games with Kansas last season before opting out, he was a 1,000-yard rusher the previous two years. In all, he racked up 2,689 scrimmage yards and 14 touchdowns between the 2018 and 2019 campaigns.

Cleveland Browns: DT Marvin Wilson, Florida State

8 of 32

    Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

    On paper, the Cleveland Browns had a stellar 2021 draft. They landed potential early-impact players in prospects such as cornerback Greg Newsome II, linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and wideout Anthony Schwartz. Cleveland may have also hit one out of the proverbial park by snatching up former Florida State defensive tackle Marvin Wilson after the draft.

    Wilson, pegged as a fifth-round talent by NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein, has the size (6'4", 303 lbs), power and hand technique to be a contributor from day one. While he wasn't as productive in 2020 as he was in 2019, Wilson flashed pro potential throughout his collegiate career.

    In 2019, Wilson had 44 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, five sacks and four passes defended. He had only one sack and two tackles for loss in six games last season, but he did log 11 solo tackles—not bad for an interior defensive lineman.

    Wilson will likely begin his Browns career behind the likes of Andrew Billings, Malik Jackson and Jordan Elliott on the depth chart. However, he should see the field early as a member of Cleveland's defensive line rotation.

Dallas Cowboys: S Tyler Coyle, Purdue

9 of 32

    Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

    The Dallas Cowboys have been looking to bolster the back end of their defense all offseason. They added safety Damontae Kazee and safety/linebacker Keanu Neal in free agency and used draft picks on defensive backs Kelvin Joseph, Nahshon Wright and Israel Mukuamu.

    Dallas also signed Purdue's Tyler Coyle as an undrafted free agent. An intriguing size-speed prospect, Coyle wasn't spectacularly productive at Purdue, but he did have 10 passes defended, an interception and 86 tackles in 2019. Perhaps more importantly, he is a 6'1", 209-pound defender who logged a 4.36-second 40-yard dash at his pro day.

    Coyle's combination of size and speed is rare, and it has a good chance of landing him on special teams. He should be quite valuable in that role as Dallas looks to develop him alongside guys like Joseph and Wright in the secondary.

Denver Broncos: OT Drew Himmelman, Illinois State

10 of 32

    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Former Illinois State offensive tackle Drew Himmelman isn't likely to immediately reward the Denver Broncos for picking him up. He is a relatively raw prospect who will need to spend time in an NFL weight room before taking the field in a significant role.

    However, Himmelman's length (6'9", 317 lbs) and athleticism offer major upside.

    "There is no question Himmelman is way behind with his functional power and ability to utilize his length at an optimal level," Zierlein wrote. "He's a quality athlete who should be able to handle most move-blocking duties, and his understanding of how to create some leverage with his hand strike is a big help."

    As a developmental prospect, Himmelman could prove to be a steal. If he can improve his functional strength and learn to fully harness his size, he can develop into a valuable swing tackle or even a starter for the Broncos.

Detroit Lions: IOL Drake Jackson, Kentucky

11 of 32

    Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

    New Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell is looking to instill a tough, competitive "bite a kneecap off" mentality in his football team. Kentucky product Drake Jackson, an undersized, high-motor interior lineman, fits with that identity perfectly.

    "Jackson is a four-year starter and team captain in 2020 who exudes starter-level competitive toughness, smarts and craftiness to function inside a zone-based run scheme where he can focus on creating lateral displacement on defenders," Brandon Thorn of the B/R Scouting Department wrote.

    At 6'2" and 298 pounds, Jackson is on the smaller side for an interior lineman, though perhaps not dramatically so. A little time with an NFL strength and conditioning coach could help alleviate any potential size/strength concerns.

    With his experience, gritiness and technique, Jackson should quickly slot in as a backup guard and center. He should have a very good chance to make the final 53-man roster.

Green Bay Packers: DL Carlo Kemp, Michigan

12 of 32

    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    The Green Bay Packers have a couple of standouts along their defensive front in Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry. However, the depth is underwhelming and the Packers could use an influx of talent after ranking 21st in yards per rushing attempt allowed last season.

    This is where former Michigan defensive lineman Carlo Kemp enters the picture. A team captain and three-year starter, Kemp is an experienced prospect with adequate size (6'3", 281 lbs) and plenty of production on his resume.

    In six games this past season, Kemp logged two sacks, three tackles for loss and 21 total tackles. In 2019, he racked up two sacks, 4.5 tackles for loss and 40 total stops.

    Kemp is a bit of a 'tweener who may be best utilized on a rotational basis in sub-packages. However, he has the athleticism and motor to thrive in that role.

Houston Texans: WR Damon Hazelton, Missouri

13 of 32

    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    After the Houston Texans traded wideout DeAndre Hopkins, the offense struggled to find a reliable No. 1 option in the passing game. Rookie wideout Damon Hazelton isn't going to fill that role, but he has the size (6'3" 215 pounds) and catch radius to at least help make up for what Houston lost in Hopkins.

    Hazelton, who posted a 37.5-inch vertical at Missouri's pro day, can create mismatches in the red zone and in jump-ball situations. The Virginia Tech transfer wasn't as productive at Missouri (397 receiving yards, one touchdown in 2020) as he was at his previous stop. Between 2018 and 2019, Hazelton caught 82 passes for 1,329 yards and 16 touchdowns.

    With his size, Hazelton can become a dangerous complement to quicker Texans receivers like Brandin Cooks and Andre Roberts. That could be enough for him to make the final 53, and at worst, Hazelton should get a chance to develop on the practice squad.

Indianapolis Colts: WR Tarik Black, Texas

14 of 32

    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    While the Indianapolis Colts may not be loaded with receiving talent, they do like what they have in T.Y. Hilton, Michael Pittman Jr., Zach Pascal and Parris Campbell.

    "We think we're a little better than other people do," general manager Chris Ballard told The Athletic Football Show (h/t Jared Dubin of CBS Sports). 

    This doesn't mean, however, that Indy shouldn't be thrilled with landing Texas product Tarik Black after the draft.

    The 6'3", 213-pound Black has size to spare, and though he lacks polish, he could make an immediate impact as a red-zone threat or downfield jump-ball specialist. Black only caught 10 passes for the Longhorns in 2020, but they went for 240 yards and a touchdown. In 2019 with Michigan, Black caught 25 passes for 323 yards and another score.

Jacksonville Jaguars: LB Dylan Moses, Alabama

15 of 32

    Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

    Health is the only real concern with former Alabama linebacker Dylan Moses. It's what kept Moses from hearing his name called in the draft—an ACL injury erased his 2019 campaign—and it's the one thing that could prevent him from sticking with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

    Jacksonville recently placed Moses on the non-football injury list. If he can get close to 100 percent during camp, though, Moses should have a very good shot at making the roster.

    "With a full recovery, Moses could be one of the draft's steals as a "Will" linebacker, as he was on the trajectory of being one of the next Alabama greats before 2019," Justis Mosqueda of the B/R Scouting Department wrote.

    This past season, Moses racked up 80 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, an interception and a forced fumble. If not for the injury concerns, there's virtually no way Moses wouldn't have heard his name called over draft weekend.

Kansas City Chiefs: QB Shane Buechele, SMU

16 of 32

    Brandon Wade/Associated Press

    The Kansas City Chiefs do not need a new quarterback. They have arguably the game's best in Patrick Mahomes, and they have him under contract through the 2031 season. What the Chiefs could use, however, is a long-term backup behind Mahomes.

    Chad Henne is more than capable of handling the role now—he helped Kansas City to a playoff win this past season—but he's also 36 years old and approaching the back end of his playing career. This is where undrafted rookie and former SMU quarterback Shane Buechele enters the equation.

    Buechele is on the smaller side at 6'0" and 210 pounds, and he isn't going to wow anyone athletically. However, he has good touch accuracy and field vision and enough experience to know what he's seeing from the sideline.

    After losing the starting job at Texas, Buechele transferred to SMU, where he started and played well. In 2020, he amassed 3,095 passing yards with 23 touchdowns and six interceptions. Buechele is never going to challenge Mahomes for the starting job, but he can be a great bit of long-term insurance at the game's most important position.

Las Vegas Raiders: RB Trey Ragas, Louisiana-Lafayette

17 of 32

    Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

    The Las Vegas Raiders are set to have a dangerous running back committee with Josh Jacobs, Kenyan Drake, Jalen Richard and Theo Riddick on the roster. However, former Louisiana-Lafayette running back Trey Ragas should get a shot at a role.

    The bruising 5'10", 214-pound ball-carrier can provide a power-running complement similar to the one Devontae Booker did in 2020. Booker—a similarly built back at 5'11" and 219 pounds—rushed for 423 yards and three touchdowns while spelling Jacobs last season.

    With Jacobs and Drake leading the rushing attack, Ragas isn't likely to earn a significant role early, but he could be an asset in short-yardage situations and late in games. At worst, he's likely to earn a spot on Las Vegas' practice squad and potential opportunities late in the season.

    In 11 games last year, Ragas rushed for 758 yards, caught nine passes for 106 yards and scored 12 combined touchdowns.

Los Angeles Chargers: DL Forrest Merrill, Arkansas State

18 of 32

    Peter Aiken/Getty Images

    Based on his past production, defensive tackle Forrest Merrill could prove to be a post-draft steal for the Los Angeles Chargers. The Arkansas State product was a force over the past two seasons, amassing 63 total tackles, 5.5 sacks, 11 tackles for loss and a forced fumble during that span.

    However, Merrill likely went undrafted because of his lack of ideal length. At 6'0" and 322 pounds, he is a compact interior defender who could struggle to disengage from long-limbed pass protectors at the next level. That said, he is a load to seal off in the ground game and can clog running lanes by himself.

    Merrill is purely a down lineman who isn't going to provide much as an edge-defender. However, he still has the goods to contribute quickly as an early-down run-defender and rotational player alongside defensive tackles like Linval Joseph, Christian Covington, Jerry Tillery and Justin Jones. Look for the Chargers to give Merrill a legitimate shot at a roster spot and then stash him on the practice squad if he doesn't pass final cuts.

Los Angeles Rams: S Paris Ford, Pittsburgh

19 of 32

    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    The Los Angeles Rams have a relatively complete roster, which will make it difficult for undrafted free agents to carve out a role. However, former Pittsburgh standout Paris Ford should have a good chance to at least make the practice squad based on his high motor and proven production.

    Ford is a bit undersized at 6'0" and 190 pounds, but he is a willing tackler. He also has a knack for locating and making a play on the football, as evidenced by 14 passes defended and six interceptions over the past two seasons. The 23-year-old is already making an impression with Los Angeles.

    "I've been hearing a lot of good things as far as how he’s been doing," star defensive tackle Aaron Donald said of Ford, per John McGonigal of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

    At a minimum, Ford should make the practice squad. With a skill set that is perfect for L.A.'s aggressive defense, don't be shocked if he cracks the final 53-man roster.

Miami Dolphins: S Trill Williams, Syracuse

20 of 32

    Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

    Former Syracuse defensive back Trill Williams was originally signed by the New Orleans Saints after the draft. However, he was waived after a failed physical and made his way to the Miami Dolphins.

    Williams, who underwent surgery in November, has stated that he played with a ligament tear in 2020.

    "Most people don't know but I played throughout the season with a torn ligament in my ankle," he said, per Stephen Bailey of 247Sports.

    If healthy, though, Williams could stick as a backup safety and rotational nickelback in Miami. At 6'1" and 205 pounds, he has more than enough size for the role, and he flashed plenty of ability in college. In his five games this past season, Williams had 24 tackles, four passes defended, a tackle for loss and returned an interception 90 yards for a touchdown.

Minnesota Vikings: WR Whop Philyor, Indiana

21 of 32

    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    The Minnesota Vikings have a tremendous pair of starting wide receivers in Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson. However, finding a reliable third option has been a struggle. Last season, for example, Chad Bebe was third among wideouts with 201 receiving yards.

    Former Indiana receiver Whop Philyor could make a bid for early playing time with a strong camp. Though a tad undersized at 5'11" and 181 pounds, he has the physical traits to succeed at the pro level.

    "I'm sure teams would like for him to carry a little more weight on his frame, but he's certainly not lacking in toughness," Zierlein wrote. "Philyor is more than willing to work into the teeth of the defense underneath, but also has the acceleration to blow past unsuspecting off-man coverage and stretch the field from the slot."

    With Jefferson and Thielen commanding defensive attention downfield, Philyor could become a major factor over the middle and on underneath routes. In eight games with the Hoosiers last season, he caught 54 passes for 495 yards and three touchdowns.

New England Patriots: K Quinn Nordin, Michigan

22 of 32

    Corey Perrine/Getty Images

    The New England Patriots have a rich history of turning undrafted free agents into standouts. Current players J.C. Jackson, David Andrews and Jonathan Jones, for example, come from the ranks of the undrafted.

    However, former Michigan kicker Quinn Nordin was the only undrafted free agent with New England during minicamps and OTAs.

    A four-year player with the Wolverines, Nordin didn't showcase great accuracy in college. He made just 72.4 percent of his field-goal attempts. However, he did flash plenty of leg strength and nailed a 57-yarder during the 2019 season.

    Given his penchant for booming kicks, Nordin may get a look on kickoff duties. It's more likely, however, that the Patriots stick him on the practice squad and look to develop him as a potential replacement for Nick Folk—who made 92.9 percent of his field-goal attempts last season but will turn 37 during the 2021 season.

New Orleans Saints: S Eric Burrell, Wisconsin

23 of 32

    Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

    While the Saints moved on from Trill Williams pretty quickly, they've held on to fellow undrafted safety Eric Burrell thus far. The former Wisconsin strong safety could stick as a developmental safety and special teamer.

    The 6'0", 195-pound defender possesses the strength, aggressiveness and big-hitting ability to make an impact on the back end and in punt coverage. In seven games with the Badgers last season, Burrell logged 23 tackles, two tackles for loss, two passes defended and an interception. He had three interceptions, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in 2019.

    Perhaps the biggest obstacle for Burrell will be the Saints' depth. They are loaded with safety talent—including Marcus Williams, Malcolm Jenkins and P.J. Williams—and may not have a spot for Burrell in the defensive lineup. Look for him to initially find a home on special teams or as a member of New Orleans' practice squad.

New York Giants: C Brett Heggie, Florida

24 of 32

    Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

    The New York Giants have been working to remake their offensive line for years now, from signing Nate Solder in the 2018 offseason to drafting Andrew Thomas fourth overall last year. Undrafted free agent Brett Heggie is the latest addition to New York's line experiment, and while he's largely a developmental prospect, he's a good one.

    Heggie battled injuries during his Gators career, including a season-ending knee injury as a redshirt freshman. However, he earned starting experience at both center and guard, and that versatility could be a big asset to New York.

    The Giants parted with starting guard Kevin Zeitler just before the start of free agency. Heggie could get an opportunity to compete with Kyle Murphy and Shane Lemieux for the job at left guard. At worst, he should stick as a backup guard/center on the final 53 or the practice squad.

New York Jets: TE Kenny Yeboah, Mississippi

25 of 32

    Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

    The New York Jets have a new head coach in Robert Saleh, a new quarterback in Zach Wilson and new wide receivers in Corey Davis and rookie Elijah Moore. They also may have a new pass-catching tight end in former Mississippi standout Kenny Yeboah.

    "Everything is new, it's a new culture. They're starting to make a new brand for the Jets, so I just want to be a part of that honestly," Yeboah said, per Eric Allen of the team's official website.

    While Yeboah isn't a lock to make the roster like Wilson and Moore are, he could find his niche as a receiving-only tight end and a downfield target for Wilson. New York lacks a proven weapon at tight end—Chris Herndon led the position group with 289 receiving yards in 2020—and Yeboah could help fill the void.

    Yeboah lacks the strength and physical base to be a consistent in-line blocker, but he has the straight-line speed to stretch the field. At 6'4" and 250 pounds, he also has enough size to provide Wilson with a big, steady target on intermediate routes. In seven games with Mississippi last season, Yeboah caught 27 passes for 524 yards and six touchdowns.

Philadelphia Eagles: WR Jhamon Ausbon, Texas A&M

26 of 32

    Sam Craft/Associated Press

    The Philadelphia Eagles had arguably the league's worst receiving corps in 2020, a problem the team looked to remedy in the draft. Philadelphia used its first-round selection on former Alabama wideout—and former teammate of quarterback Jalen Hurts—DeVonta Smith.

    While snagging Smith should give Hurts a viable No. 1 target, the addition of undrafted receiver Jhamon Ausbon could pay less obvious dividends. The Texas A&M product isn't going to stretch the field the way Smith can, but he's a physical and big-bodied (6'2", 217 lbs) pass-catcher who can bully smaller corners underneath.

    Ausbon's best collegiate campaign came in 2019, when he caught 66 passes for 872 yards and five touchdowns. (He opted out of his senior season.) The Eagles cannot expect him to produce similar numbers as a rookie, but as a possession man, downfield blocker and special teamer, Ausbon can make early contributions.

    Travis Fulgham was the only Eagles wideout to top 500 yards last season, and it wouldn't be a shock to see Ausbon push players like Jalen Reagor, Greg Ward Jr. and John Hightower for early playing time.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Edge Jamar Watson, Kentucky

27 of 32

    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    The Pittsburgh Steelers lost pass-rusher Bud Dupree in free agency this offseason. While Alex Highsmith flashed potential as an edge-defender last season—and the Steelers recently added Melvin Ingram III—Dupree's departure could help open the door for Kentucky product Jamar Watson.

    Watson, a 6'2", 241-pound outside linebacker, has the speed and initial burst to contribute as a rotational speed-rusher. While he isn't going to outright replace Dupree as T.J. Watt's primary running mate, Watson could play an early role.

    Over the past two seasons at Kentucky, Watson amassed 11.5 sacks, 21.5 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles. He doesn't possess the raw power or bevy of counter-moves needed to be an instant star, but Watson should be a fixture on the final 53 or with the practice squad and could see game action sooner than later.

San Francisco 49ers: LB Justin Hilliard, Ohio State

28 of 32

    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    Ohio State product Justin Hilliard may have a difficult time cracking a San Francisco 49ers linebacker lineup that features standouts like Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw. However, the former Buckeyes star could swiftly work his way into a rotational role.

    Hilliard is a quick and stout (6'1", 231 lbs) box linebacker with a high motor—though he does have an injury history that includes two torn biceps and a torn Achilles. A former 5-star recruit, Hilliard flashed his NFL potential during the abbreviated 2020 season.

    In six games this past year, Hilliard amassed 33 tackles, five tackles for loss, a forced fumble and an interception. He should have a good chance of earning a roster spot as an early-down rotational linebacker and a special teamer.

Seattle Seahawks: WR Cade Johnson, South Dakota State

29 of 32

    Rusty Costanza/Associated Press

    The Seattle Seahawks aren't exactly desperate for wide receiver help. They have DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett on the roster and used a second-round pick on Western Michigan's D'Wayne Eskridge. Yet, the addition of undrafted rookie Cade Johnson could still be huge for the Seattle offense.

    Johnson is a tough, physical pass-catcher, albeit one with average size (5'11", 184 lbs). He regularly found holes over the middle with South Dakota State and was extremely productive during the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

    Between 2018 and 2019, Johnson amassed 2,554 receiving yards and 25 touchdowns. He was also a standout during Senior Bowl week.

    With adequate size and athletic ability and a tremendous amount of polish in his route-running, Johnson should make an early impact as a rotational slot receiver and core special teamer.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: K Jose Borregales, Miami

30 of 32

    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are returning all 22 offensive and defensive starters from their Super Bowl squad, so getting excited about undrafted free agents could be difficult. However, Tampa did land one intriguing free agent in kicker Jose Borregales.

    While Borregales is no lock to win a starting job—Ryan Succop made 90.3 percent of his field-goal attempts last season—his leg power should give him a shot in camp.

    "Borregales' ability to bang kickoffs out of the end zone and make kicks of 50-plus yards with consistency should go a long way toward ensuring he's drafted with a chance to become an instant NFL starter," Zierlein wrote.

    While Succop was mostly reliable in 2020, he only attempted two field goals from at least 50 yards. Borregales has the potential to increase Tampa's scoring range, which would make him a potent addition to an already impressive offense.

Tennessee Titans: TE Miller Forristall, Alabama

31 of 32

    Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

    The Tennessee Titans lost tight end Jonnu Smith in free agency and will likely look to replace him with some combination of Anthony Firkser and Geoff Swaim in 2021. However, undrafted Miller Forristall could insert himself into the rotation with a strong camp.

    Forristall, a five-year player at Alabama, is more of a combo tight end than a pure pass-catcher, but he has shown the ability to beat underneath zone coverage. In 2020, he caught 23 passes for 253 yards and a touchdown.

    Though he possesses good size at 6'5" and 240 pounds, Forristall is a bit unpolished as an in-line blocker. Therefore, he's not likely to see a significant early role as a blocking tight end. However, he is effective as a lead blocker and could find success opening holes for reigning rushing leader Derrick Henry.

    As a competent pass-catcher with lead-blocking potential, Forristall is a tremendous developmental pickup for Tennessee.

Washington Football Team: RB Jaret Patterson, Buffalo

32 of 32

    Nic Antaya/Getty Images

    The Washington Football Team worked to overhaul its passing attack this offseason, adding quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and receivers Curtis Samuel, Adam Humphries and Dyami Brown. Washington also signed running back Jaret Patterson after the draft, which could supplement the ground attack.

    Antonio Gibson is the clear starter in the backfield after rushing for 795 yards and 4.7 yards per carry as a rookie. The Football Team also has J.D. McKissic and Peyton Barber behind him on the depth chart. However, the 5'8", 195-pound Patterson could contribute early as a change-of-pace runner.

    Though on the shorter side, Patterson is not small. His compact frame allows him to run through arm tackles, and Patterson turned his physicality, quickness and vision into prime production at Buffalo.

    Patterson rushed for 1,072 yards and 19 touchdowns in only six games last season. He had 1,799 yards and another 19 rushing touchdowns in 2019. While Patterson doesn't offer much as a pass-catcher (only 20 career receptions), Washington fans should be thrilled to see what he can add as a situational ball-carrier.