While the pool for undrafted free agents is incredibly vast, each NFL team has roughly 12-15 of them on their roster depending on the year. With nearly ¼ of NFL active rosters being from the ranks of the undrafted, it can be an important group to keep tabs on. It’s difficult to project exactly which undrafted free agents will stick on NFL rosters, but context can help.
The talent of the prospect, the current depth chart of the team they sign with and the athletic profile that franchises prefer at each position can help with that process. I tabbed one undrafted free agent for each team that I believe has the best chance of making the 53-man active roster.
Arizona Cardinals - Brian Peavy (Iowa State DB)
Peavy is a defensive back that head coach Kliff Kingsbury has seen plenty of in the Big 12. He projects as a nickel corner with his blend of coverage ability and nose for the ball (289 career tackles).
Atlanta Falcons - Olamide Zaccheaus (Virginia WR)
While Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu have the top 3 spots on the depth chart locked down, the subsequent 4-6 slots are pretty wide open. Despite being undersized, Zaccheaus racked up 93 receptions in 2018.
Baltimore Ravens - Otaro Alaka (Texas A&M LB)
Baltimore has a few intriguing undrafted free agents including Antoine Wesley, Gerald Willis, Juston Christian and Evan Worthington. However, Baltimore didn’t draft a linebacker despite a weaker group that is now missing C.J. Mosley. Otaro Alaka fits well into the modern NFL, showing solid reps in coverage on his film.
Buffalo Bills - Tyree Jackson (Buffalo QB)
As far as young backup quarterbacks go, Tyree Jackson is the perfect one for Josh Allen. They have similar size, athleticism and arm talent, which the offense will be built around. Jackson’s ceiling should give him the nod over Matt Barkley and Derek Anderson.
Carolina Panthers - Elijah Holyfield (Georgia RB)
Seemingly all of the Panthers free agents face an uphill battle to earn a roster spot, including Holyfield who will be competing with drafted rookie Jordan Scarlett. If Holyfield can overcome his poor athletic testing and showcase his power, his varying skill set from starter Christian McCaffrey could be valued.
Chicago Bears - Alex Bars (Notre Dame IOL)
This should be Emanuel Hall, but the Bears wide receiver room is incredibly stacked right now. Chicago didn’t draft any offensive lineman, but signed Bars to reunite him with offensive line coach Harry Hiestand.
Cincinnati Bengals - Stanley Morgan Jr. (Nebraska WR)
The only reason that Morgan went undrafted was due to off the field concerns, not talent. Outside of AJ Green and Tyler Boyd, are any of the other Bengals wide receivers locks to make the roster?
Cleveland Browns - Wyatt Ray (Boston College EDGE)
While Cleveland has nice depth among their pass rushers, they didn’t add much more in that area during the NFL Draft. Ray is an ascending player after waiting his turn behind Harold Landry, posting 9.0 sacks in 2018.
Dallas Cowboys - Daniel Wise Jr. (Kansas DL)
While Trysten Hill is locked into a roster spot, Wise isn’t actually that far off from a talent standpoint. His consistent production at Kansas should have gotten him drafted early on Day 3.
Denver Broncos - Brett Rypien (Boise State)
While Drew Lock and Joe Flacco are locked in, Rypien has a path to a roster spot if he can beat out Kevin Hogan and Garrett Grayson (which he should).
Detroit Lions - Beau Benzschawel (Wisconsin OL)
Benzschawel had 20 undrafted free agent offers, and chose Detroit because of a legitimate chance to start right away. He piled up 49 starts throughout his career at Wisconsin.
Green Bay Packers -Yosh Nijman (Virginia Tech OT)
Nijman has 22 starts at left tackle and 11 on the right side, and an intriguing combination of size and agility. With no clear succesor behind impending free agent Bryan Bulaga, Nijman may have a future starting on the right side of the Packers line.
Houston Texans - Johnnie Dixon (Ohio State WR)
This could be Karan Higdon, but the Texans lack of depth at wide receiver paves the way for Johnnie Dixon to carve out a position.
Indianapolis Colts - Penny Hart (Georgia State WR)
One of the brightest spots during Senior Bowl week, Penny Hart’s versatility can allow him to carve out a niche within the Colts wide receiver depth chart.
Jacksonville Jaguars - Saivion Smith (Alabama CB)
Jacksonville hit on Front-7 players during the NFL Draft, but failed to add a player to their secondary. Enter Saivion Smith, who has the Alabama pedigree and showed draftable traits on film.
Kansas City Chiefs - James Williams (Washington State RB)
Woof, this one was tough. I had draftable grades on Gary Johnson, Cody Thompson, Felton Davis, Mark Fields, Jamal Custis and James Williams. This comes down to opportunity, as Williams’ pass-catching ability stands out above the rest of the Chiefs running backs.
Los Angeles Rams - Alex Bachman (Wake Forest WR)
The Rams have an obvious top 4 receivers, but didn’t add any depth behind them during the NFL Draft. While Bachman had just modest production at Wake Forest, he was apart of a deep group of wide receivers and ran a 4.40 forty-yard dash at his pro day.
Los Angeles Chargers - Matt Sokol (Michigan State TE)
With Antonio Gates currently unsigned, the Chargers could be looking to add to their tight end depth behind Hunter Henry and Virgil Green. At the very worst, Sokol offers potential as an in-line blocker.
Miami Dolphins - Preston Williams (Colorado State WR)
While Preston Williams had technique issues hold back his game in college, his on-field athleticism would occasionally pop. Miami’s wide receiver depth chart is basically question marks from top to bottom, so Williams’ has as good of a chance as any.
Minnesota Vikings - Jake Browning (Washington QB)
Minnesota’s UDFA class was one of the weaker ones, and they committed a solid amount of money to Browning. While Browning isn’t a very good quarterback, neither are Kyle Sloter or Sean Mannion.
New England Patriots - Jakobi Meyers (NC State WR)
I have no idea why Kobi Meyers wasn’t drafted, but he landed on a team with an open competition for slot receiver duties. Give me his possession traits over the skill set of Braxton Berrios or Bruce Ellington.
New Orleans Saints - Devine Ozigbo (Nebraska RB)
New Orleans doesn’t have much in the way of Ozigbo to take over for Mark Ingram’s absence other than veteran Latavius Murray. Give me Ozigbo’s potential over Murray’s any day of the week.
New York Giants - Paul Adams (Missouri OT)
New York has a massive need at right tackle and didn’t do much to address their offensive line through the NFL Draft. Paul Adams is a two-time captain with 30 starts at right tackle in the SEC.
New York Jets - John Battle (LSU SAF)
With 28 career starts and an appearance in the NFLPA Bowl, John Battle has the experience necessary to play multiple roles for the Jets. Battle’s poor athletic testing pushed him to the undrafted ranks, but he has solid enough college film.
Oakland Raiders - Keelan Doss (UC-Davis WR)
Oakland has a lot of bodies at wide receiver after overhauling the position this offseason. Despite that, the bottom of the depth chart doesn’t have any standouts for players locked into the 53-man roster. Doss is talented enough to make it and Oakland coached him at the Senior Bowl.
Philadelphia Eagles - Ryan Bates (Penn State OT)
Ryan Bates is an ideal option for offensive line depth, as he has experience starting at both tackle positions and the interior. Brought in due to local ties, his versatility could fill multiple roles within the Eagles depth chart.
Steelers - PJ Locke III (Texas DB)
Pittsburgh has depth on the backend, but there could be a role for Locke to carve out. With 47 games and 31 career starts under his belt, Locke has versatility in his alignments and modern defensive back skill set.
San Francisco 49ers - Kevin Givens (Penn State DL)
While the 49ers defensive line is stacked, Kevin Givens is the most talented undrafted free agent that they’ve signed. Built like a bowling ball and playing with excellent leverage, Givens had 13.5 sacks from the interior in college.
Seattle Seahawks - Davante Davis (Texas CB)
Seattle wasn’t as strong as they typically are at cornerback in 2018, and Davis fits their profile as a bigger prospect who can play with physicality. He contributed all four years at Texas, playing cornerback in 34 games.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Damarkus Lodge (Ole Miss WR)
There is no doubt in my mind that Damarkus Lodge should have been drafted, and he offers way more upside than a bunch of his future competitors. Former UCF punter Mac Loudermilk has relatively clear path to a roster spot as well.
Tennessee Titans - Hamp Cheevers (Boston College CB)
Tennessee had interest in Cheevers throughout the pre-draft process, and didn’t add a cornerback during the NFL Draft. Cheevers’ excellent ball skills and fluid hips makes him a competitor in coverage. This spot could also go to Alex Barnes or Anthony Ratliff-Williams.
Washington Redskins - JoJo McIntosh (Washington SAF)
Washington didn’t add a safety during the NFL Draft, and their depth at the position isn’t something to write home about. With nearly 50 starts throughout college, McIntosh projects as a backup safety with special teams versatility.