Every year there seems to be top tier talent that falls during the draft until they inevitably become undrafted free agents. This year’s top talent included guys like Hunter Bryant, Thaddeus Moss, and Trey Adams. In years past, there have been guys like Phillip Lindsay, Cory Littleton, A.J. Bouye, and Deonte Harris who have all went undrafted and then turned around and contributed big time for their teams. It seems like every class has one or two undrafted free agents turn into pro bowl players. In fact, the last time there wasn’t an undrafted free agent make the playoff was from the 1995 NFL Draft.
Let’s see which signings our writers, Connor and Gio, think are the best from this class.
Connor’s Top Undrafted Free Agent Signings
Thaddeus Moss, TE, Washington Redskins
Thaddeus Moss, son of Randy Moss, is a near-perfect fit for the Redskins. Moss can beat corners and linebackers with his route running and hands. He isn’t the most athletic tight end and can’t block but he is talented none the less. He will fill Jordan Reed’s shoes very nicely as he has a very similar skillset. He will have a chance to start for the Redskins in the 2020 season.
A.J. Green, CB, Cleveland Browns
I was a big fan of A.J. Green during the draft process. Although he isn’t the best athlete, he is feisty and has a relentless motor. He may need to clean up his aggressiveness manor in order to avoid pass interference calls in the NFL. However, I believe this is another case where Green could push for a starting job. A secondary that consists of Grant Delpit, Greedy Williams, Denzel Ward, Karl Joseph, and A.J. Green is scary good.
J.R. Reed, SAF, Jacksonville Jaguars
Again this is a situation where J.R. Reed could become a starting free safety for the Jaguars as their current starter Jarrod Wilson underperformed last season. I know the Jaguars drafted a safety in the fifth round but Reed is, in my opinion, a much better player. Reed is a secure tackler who can hit hard and play the run. There are concerns with his coverage ability, but I believe those concerns were way overblown and he has the skillset and football IQ to become good in coverage.
Charlie Taumoepeau, TE, Dallas Cowboys
I love Charlie Taumoepeau’s fit in Dallas. Dallas is in need of a tight end and that is only a third of what Taumoepeau is. Taumoepeau can run the ball and lineup at both WR and TE. He is very good at creating separation due to his twitchiness. He pairs both of those with a nice pair of hands that will catch most of the balls without dropping any. He struggles to block and isn’t the fastest guy but his versatility makes up for both of those.
Darryl Williams, iOL, Kansas City Chiefs
Darryl Williams should have gotten drafted late day 3. I don’t believe Williams will start for the Chiefs but he has a nice frame along with very good awareness to make a very solid backup and fill-in starter for when the actual starter is injured. He played all offensive tackle, guard, and center while at Mississippi State so he can change positions at need when he needs to fill in for an injury.
J’Mar Smith, QB, New England Patriots
I know Jarret Stidham is the Patriots starting quarterback this next season. However, I’m probably higher on J’Mar Smith than most but this man can do it all. He can pass well, run the ball well, throw on the run, and everything in between. It’s a little bit of an interesting fit as athletic, mobile quarterbacks don’t normally get signed by the Patriots. The Patriots are by far the best landing spot for Smith due to the Patriots reputation at producing stud quarterbacks like Jimmy Garrapollo and, the best to ever play, Tom Brady. Smith is a very good developmental quarterback prospect who I believe could be better than Jarret Stidham.
Gio’s Top Undrafted Free Agent Signings
Luqman Barcoo, CB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Barcoo was a one-year wonder at San Diego State, but he had nine interceptions last year. The guy has natural instincts for the ball and great anticipation. He needs a lot of work in zone coverage, but for a team that lacks any semblance of depth at cornerback, Barcoo will be given an opportunity to make an impact right away.
Darrell Stewart Jr., WR, Green Bay Packers
The Packers have zero depth at wide receiver, since they didn’t draft any, so Stewart should be able to see the field in his rookie year. In an offense that features Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, this team needs some help. Stewart won’t go out there and catch 30 balls, barring injury, but he should solidify his role as a WR4 or WR5 in Green Bay
Lamar Jackson, CB, New York Jets
The Jets got a very violent, physical corner in Jackson. At 6’3”, Jackson brings great length to the table. He lacks some long speed and gives up a little too much cushion in zone coverage, but he’s a reliable man coverage corner who should be given an opportunity to see the field immediately.
Javelin Guidry, CB, New York Jets
Pierre Desir was brought in to New York, but only on a one-year deal. After that, there are no guarantees as to who starts for the Jets. Guidry is an incredibly fast (4.29) slot cornerback who could possibly compete for a starting spot right away. He needs to sharpen his coverage ability, but he’s a reliable tackler with great range.
JaMycal Hasty, RB, San Francisco 49ers
This team already has a lot of running backs, but they put them all to use. Also, Matt Breida was dealt to Miami today, so Hasty could slide right into his spot and easily make the team. With Jerick McKinnon’s injury history, Hasty could find himself getting some carries in 2020. He’s a very twitchy player who can be used in San Francisco’s receiving game.
Trajan Bandy, CB, Pittsburgh Steelers
If you couldn’t tell, I loved this year’s cornerback class. Bandy is a nasty player who isn’t afraid to get in the receiver’s face. He’s incredibly physical and brings solid tackling ability to the table. He has great instincts and shows the ability to play zone coverage at a good enough level to make an impact in the NFL. I could definitely see him being a special teamer right away, and potentially even seeing some time on the field as a corner by 2021. Joe Haden isn’t getting any younger and Steven Nelson only has two more years of his deal.
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