Once the NFL lockout ends, one of the first orders of business will be to start signing undrafted free agents. Those are the players that weren't selected in the 2011 NFL draft last April and, because of the NFL lockout, they haven't been able to sign with anyone.
They're the ones that are arguably hurt the most by the lockout. When training camps hit, teams will likely be more worried about preparing the top 53 players in such a shortened offseason instead of looking for diamonds in the rough through undrafted free agency.
That said, some undrafted free agents will be signed and some of them will contribute in 2011. It happens every year.
Some of the big names available this year include Louisville QB Adam Froman, Texas Tech QB Taylor Potts, West Virginia RB Noel Devine, Ohio State WR Dane Sanzenbacher, Fort Valley State WR Ricardo Lockette, USC C Kris O'Dowd, Oregon DT Brandon Bair, Boston College LB Mark Herzlich and Florida S Will Hill.
There are plenty of other players that will be signed and, if all goes well, we'll see some of those guys on the field in 2011. As hard as GMs try, they can't identify the best talent out of the crop of draftable players each year. Undrafted free agency is useful for those guys who slipped through the cracks.