Most undrafted players do not go on to long and successful NFL careers. That does happen from time to time, but if anyone could predict it right when a player signed his first free agent deal, then that player would’ve been drafted in the first place.
I am not here to tell you the interesting QB your team just signed is going to be Warren Moon, that the receiver it signed will be Adam Thielen, or that the outside linebacker it signed will be James Harrison. Sadly, that’s probably not gonna happen.
But sports should be fun, and I am here to tell you that some of the UDFAs who inked deals right after the draft are fun. If your team signed one of these players, your team is now more fun, at least until some point in minicamp and maybe for longer.
This’ll be a running list as players sign deals.
Buffalo QB Tyree Jackson to the Bills
Jackson is extremely similar to Josh Allen, the QB the Bills spent the seventh overall pick on in 2018. There is no particularly good reason Allen went that high and Jackson didn’t get picked. But now the Bills have a 6’7 QB with a rocket arm who needs to work on his accuracy, to go along with their 6’5 QB with a rocket arm who needs to work on his accuracy. Jackson is a delightful viewing experience, and I’m pretty sure he was the best QB playing in the city of Buffalo last year, when he was in the MAC.
Missouri WR Emanuel Hall to the Bears
Hall was injured for much of his college career, but advanced stats say he has upside, and his tape when he’s playing well is some of the best in the draft. Hall can be a horrifying deep threat, and I’m a bit confused on why he didn’t get picked by, like, the fifth round. I like him more than a lot of receivers who actually had their names called.
Alabama CB Saivion Smith to the Jaguars
Smith didn’t test well at the NFL Combine. But he has ideal size for an outside corner at 6’1 and 200 pounds. More importantly, Nick Saban trusted him enough to bring him on as a transfer and start him for the Tide all season. Saban is a defensive backs coach by trade and takes personal ownership of his team’s secondary, and he thought Smith was worth putting on the field over a whole brigade of four- and five-stars.
Pitt FB George Aston to the Broncos
Aston is an absolute unit.
The #Broncos new fullback George Aston looks like Rocky. pic.twitter.com/yRoq9pnkQC— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) April 27, 2019
Maryland LB Tre Watson to Dolphins
Watson was one of the best coverage linebackers in college football, and I thought it was bizarre that he a) didn’t get an NFL Combine invite and b) didn’t get picked. The Illinois transfer had five interceptions in his lone year in College Park, to go with 95 tackles, and he was one of those players who got really exceptional reviews for his leadership. It would be unsurprising to me if Watson made a 53-man roster.
Rice punter Jack Fox to the Chiefs
Here’s Fox’s commentary on how far he could punt various non-football objects:
“I feel like a cabbage would be really satisfying to kick,” Fox said. “I feel like it might fall apart a little bit. That would be my number one, like, if I had a satisfaction thing. I would love to break it, so it gets a higher grade from me.”
“Cabbage is definitely satisfying to punt,” Bailey agreed.
But, gentlemen, we’re not here to rank by satisfaction. We’re here to rank by distance.
“I would ask for a burrito that’s really tightly wrapped. And I think I could get that farther than a cabbage,” Bailey said.
“At Chipotle, it’s not tightly wrapped,” Fox retorted.
Sounds fun to me.