Every year following the draft, teams continue to add prospects in the hopes they become a contributor on the team. Kurt Warner, Adam Thielen, and Philip Lindsay are all former Undrafted Free Agents, and what each team hopes they gain. Sometimes these UDFAs make the roster for a year or two, before becoming journeyman players.
Other times, they are signed to a practice squad, are used for training camp, or can fill a need following an injury. The NFC’s crop of UDFAs may be facing an uphill battle, but here’s who we could see make the roster cuts later in 2019. Each team will be rounded out with a shortlist of players who may potentially make the final roster.
Current UDFAs: QB Drew Belcher, RB Xavier Turner, OT Tariq Cole, OT Joshua Miles, LB Zach Allen, CB Brian Peavy, CB Ryan Pulley
The Cardinals took a Quarterback and Cornerback with their first two picks, and added to both positions after the draft. Belcher is likely a camp arm only, although Peavy or Pulley has a decent chance of still being on the roster in September. If either can excel, Arizona may be interested in keeping them on to solidify their secondary long-term. Linebacker Zach Allen was considered to be a potential early day three pick, and with a lack of depth in the pass rush, he has an above average chance of sticking around.
Cole and Miles are two of a few Offensive Linemen the Cardinals have added since the 2018 season. Both probably have a difficult time ahead to make the team given the amount of money dedicated to other players at the same position. Turner has little competition to be a backup or rotational player behind starting Running Back David Johnson. He has the best shot of all of the Cardinals’ UDFAs of making the roster.
Potential Survivors: RB Xavier Turner, LB Zach Allen, CB Brian Peavy, CB Ryan Pulley
Current UDFAs: Safety Parker Baldwin, WR Olamide Zaccheaus, CB Rashard Causey, OL Devon Johnson, WR Khalil Lewis, WR C.J. Worton, WR Shawn Bane, OT Lanard Bonner, CB Jayson Stanley, Long Snapper Kyle Vasey
Wide Receivers brought in after the draft often make practice squads, and regularly also become the fifth or sixth WR on the depth chart. Of the four Atlanta added as UDFAs, Khalil Lewis looks to be the best and could be someone who sticks around. Bonner and Johnson are competing with first round pick Kaleb McGary for a starting position, and barring an injury along the OL, would be surprises to be kept on.
The Defensive Backs face a similar uphill battle to make the roster, also competing with multiple drafted players. The Falcons drafted two CBs and aside from potentially one for depth, probably won’t retain any UDFA CBs. Parker Baldwin has a better chance at staying on for depth at Safety. Long Snapper Kyle Vasey has a strong chance of winning his battle with incumbent Josh Harris, who is coming back from a hip injury.
Potential Survivors: WR Khalil Lewis, Safety Parker Baldwin, LS Kyle Vasey
Current UDFAs: RB Elijah Holyfield, WR Damion Jeanpiere Jr., LB Jordan Kunaszyk, Safety Corrion Ballard
The Panthers desperately needed a backup to RB Christian McCaffrey, and Holyfield has a strong shot at it. Although he will be competing with fellow rookie Jordan Scarlett, Holyfield’s skill set is dynamically different to McCaffrey, giving him an edge over Scarlett. Between other WRs drafted in the last few years and Free Agent veterans, Jeanpiere Jr. is at best probably a practice squad player.
On Defense, both Ballard and Kunaszyk are unlikely to make the roster. Kunaszyk has established veterans in front of him. Ballard is relying on an injury for a space to open up for him.
Potential Survivors: RB Elijah Holyfield
Current UDFAs: WR Emanuel Hall, WR Joe Walker, WR Thomas Ives, WR Spencer Schnell, TE Ellis Richardson, TE Dax Raymond, OL John Wirtel, OL Marquez Tucker, OL Blake Blackmar, DE Mathieu Betts, DT Lawrence Marshall, DT Sam Mustipher, DT Alex Bars, CB Darius Williams, CB Stephen Denmark, Kicker Chris Blewitt, K Elliott Fry, K Redford Jones, K John Baron
With few picks in the draft, the Bears have brought in numerous UDFAs. The Offensive skill positions could all make the roster, as the Bears’ receiving corps underperformed last year. Raymond and Hall have potentially the best chances as the higher rated prospects, but would need to show they can fit Matt Nagy’s system. The two OL UDFAs are unlikely to be retained.
There is a good chance for one or two of the DL players to make the squad, as the Bears needed depth at both DT and DE. There are no CB spots open for competition, so Darius Williams and Stephen Denmark are at best practice squad players. The Bears were also in need of a Kicker, so whoever wins the battle of the four UDFA Kickers will make the team.
Potential Survivors: WR Emanuel Hall, TE Dax Raymond, DE Chuck Harris, DT Alex Bars
Current UDFAs: WR Jaylen Guyton, WR Jon’Vea Johnson, OL Brandon Knight, OL Larry Allen Jr., OT Mitch Hyatt, OT Derrick Puni, DT Daniel Wise Jr., DE Jalen Jelks, LB Luke Gifford, LB Justin Phillips, LB Nate Hall, CB Chris Westry
The Cowboys wanted depth along the OL, but none are good chances to make the team. Aside from an injury, there is potentially space on the practice squad but if the Cowboys valued any that highly, they would have drafted them. Both the WRs have a good chance to make the team, as the Cowboys needed to overhaul the Offense.
Dallas also needed depth at MLB, so Hall and Phillips, both with experience at the position, may be in contention. Westry is buried beneath other young CBs, and unlikely to be more than a training camp body. Likewise for DT Daniel Wise Jr. and DE Jalen Jelks, who would need to outperform fellow rookies taken in the draft, and are also mostly there for training camp.
Potential Survivors: WR Jaylen Guyton, LB Justin Phillips, LB Nate Hall
Current UDFAs: RB Ty Johnson, WR Andre Wilson, WR Jonathan Duhart, TE Nate Becker, TE Donald Parham, OT Ryan Pope, OG Micah St Andrew, DE Malik Carney, DL Matt Nelson, DL Ray Smith, LB Tre Lamar, LB Tre Williams, CB Josh Miller, CB Amani Oruwariye
The Lions needed new pieces for the Offense, and they added multiple skill players through the draft. However, there is still space for a TE to fill in the depth chart, while RB Ty Johnson and WRs Wilson and Duhart are less likely to get beyond the practice squad. Detroit were average in sacks allowed in 2018 and needed to improve the OL, and OG Micah St Andrew could add depth along the interior, while OT Pope is unlikely to last unless he can switch to OG.
Detroit should also be looking to add depth at DT, giving Matt Nelson and Ray Smith an opportunity. The CBs are unlikely to make even the practice squad, as the Lions were 8th in passing yards allowed per game and bolstered the secondary through the draft and Free Agency. LBs Williams and Lamar have strong chances of filling a need at OLB where the Lions are thin, if they can show the speed, coverage and tackling skills that suit the scheme.
Potential Survivors: TE Nate Becker, OG Micah St Andrew, LB Tre Lamar, LB Tre Williams
Green Bay Packers
Current UDFAs: QB Manny Wilkins, WR Matthew Eaton, TE Davis Koppenhaver, OG Larry Williams, OT Yosh Nijman, LB Curtis Bolton, LB Eric Cotton, LB Randy Ramsey, LB Greg Roberts, CB Kavion Ento, CB Nydair Rouse Brooks, CB Javien Hamilton
Unless Wilkins can win the third-string QB battle, he is no more than a camp arm. WR Eaton and TE Koppenhaver are looking to make an impact on an underwhelming receiving corps, but the latter has the better shot with a thin TE group in Green Bay. The Packers needed to upgrade the OL too after allowing the third-most sacks in 2018, but after drafting multiple OGs OT Yosh Nijman has a better chance than Larry Williams.
The LBs brought in after the draft have a slight chance, with one possible slot existing at ILB. This would benefit Curtis Bolton over the others, as he has the experience at the position, but he has to beat out the 2018 rookies Oren Burks and James Crawford. The CBs don’t have a starting spot to play for, and are unlikely to crack the depth chart.
Potential Survivors: TE Davis Koppenhaver, OT Yosh Nijman, LB Curtis Bolton
Los Angeles Rams
Current UDFAs: RB Matt Colburn, WR Alex Bachman, WR Jonathan Lloyd, WR Justin Sumpter, WR Nsimba Webster, TE Keenan Brown, TE Kendall Blanton, TE Romello Brooker, OG Chandler Brewer, OG Brandon Hitner, OG Vitas Hrynkiewicz, OT Matt Kaskey, OT Justice Powers, DE Marquise Copeland, DE Owen Roberts, DE Tyrell Thompson, LB Natrez Patrick, LB Troy Reeder, LB Landis Durham
The Rams found their lack of depth on Offense limiting in the tail end of the 2018 season, and the WRs could edge their way in, while RB Matt Colburn is unlikely. The TEs face little competition on the existing roster, and could especially fill a role in a jumbo set (which would suit Blanton) or as a red zone target (Keenan Brown). The OL are competing for a potential OG starting spot or depth at the position, but at best only one of the five UDFAs will make it.
Among the DEs, there is a good chance at least one will make the roster as the Rams need someone to play opposite Michael Brockers. At the very least they should make it for depth, which could even open up two spots. The LBs have much less chance to make the final roster and are purely camp bodies.
Potential Survivors: TE Keenan Brown, TE Kendall Blanton, OG Chandler Brewer, OG Brandon Hitner, DE Marquise Copeland, DE Tyrell Thompson
Current UDFAs: QB Jake Browning, FB Khari Blasingame, WR Alexander Hollins, WR Davion Davis, TE Brandon Dillon, OG John Keenoy, DT Anree Saint-Amour, DT Tito Odenigbo, CB Isaiah Warton, Safety Nate Meadors, Safety Micah Abernathy
Although undrafted, Browning has a chance to become a 3rd string QB if he can beat out Kyle Sloter. The other skill position UDFA are also at best camp bodies, with too much depth in front of them to challenge for a role. The OL face a similar uphill battle, as the Vikings drafted three OL and are set for depth.
The Defense has similar strength across the board, and there is little chance for any of the UDFAs to make the roster. An injury at DT could give Saint-Amour or Odenigbo a chance, but they won’t make it without someone else’s misfortune. The DBs likewise have no starting positions to fight for, nor are likely to crack the depth chart without an injury.
Potential Survivors: QB Jake Browning
New Orleans Saints
Current UDFAs: RB Devine Ozigbo, WR Emmanuel Butler, TE Jake Powell, OT Mike Herndon, DT Kenny Bigelow, DT Corbin Kaufusi, LB Chase Hansen, CB Jordan Wyatt, CB Darius Williams
The UDFAs on Offense have little chance to make the final roster. The skill positions won’t beat out the current starters and will struggle to find space as depth at their respective positions. OT Mike Herndon won’t be in consideration and will be around for camp only.
Both DTs Bigelow and Kaufusi will be cut at some point as the Saints carry few DL, and already have established starters. LB Hansen has a strong chance to make the roster at a position the Saints not only needed to upgrade, but didn’t really address during the draft. The CBs face a similar fate as the DTs, with no space on the roster for them.
Potential Survivors: LB Chase Hansen
New York Giants
Current UDFAs: QB Eric Dungey, RB Jon Hilliman, WR Alex Wesley, WR Reggie White Jr., TE C.J. Conrad, Center James O’Hagan, OG Austin Droogsma, OT Paul Adams, LB Jeremiah Harris, LB Josiah Tauaefa, Safety Jacob Thieneman, Safety Marc McLaurin, Safety Jake Carlock, Safety Tenny Adewusi
QB Eric Dungey is purely a camp arm, although the WRs could force their way into the Giants’ receiving corps as the fourth or fifth WR. RB Jon Hilliman and TE C.J. Conrad would at best be backups, with Conrad especially having the skillset that would make him more of a blocking TE, giving him a greater chance. The OL each could make it as a backup, especially Adams as the Giants need depth at OT.
Both of the UDFA LBs are unlikely to make the team, as the Giants drafted LBs at both the inside and outside spots, and have current starters. The range of Safeties are equally unlikely to make the roster as there is not a need as a starter or backup. Unless they can excel on Special Teams, none of the defensive UDFAs have a chance at making the roster.
Potential Survivors: WR Alex Wesley, WR Reggie White Jr., TE C.J. Conrad, OT Paul Adams
Current UDFAs: RB Nico Evans, WR Deandre Thompkins, OG Iosua Opeta, OG Jonny Gibson, OG Nate Herbig, OT Ryan Bates, Center Keegan Render, DT Kevin Wilkins, DT Anthony Rush, LB T.J. Edwards, LB Joey Alfieri, LB Mason Moe, CB Jamalcolm Liggins, CB Ajene Harris, Safety Delvon Randall
The Eagles have little need for the RB or WR, and they will be camp bodies only. However, depth along the interior of the OL could be something Philadelphia are looking for. Ryan Bates is the best of these, and he could move to OG while offering strong fundamentals and decent use of hands, as well as having a better grade than some OL drafted. Likewise Keegan Render has a better shot than the other OL, as he can also play all interior OL spots and showed promise in the run game while in college.
The Eagles have one of the better DL in the league, and it is extremely unlikely any of the UDFAs make the roster at DE or DT. LB T.J. Edwards can blitz and play coverage, giving him a chance at making it as an OLB, while the other two LBs will struggle to make it beyond training camp. Although they were the third worst team in passing yards allowed per game, the Eagles may not find the help they need in the secondary, but there is a better chance of one of the UDFAs making it as a CB than most other positions.
Potential Survivors: OT Ryan Bates, Center Keegan Render, LB T.J. Edwards, Safety Delvon Randall
San Francisco 49ers
Current UDFAs: QB Wilton Speight, RB Austin Walter, WR Malik Henry, WR Shawn Poindexter, TE Tyree Mayfield, OG Ross Reynolds, DT Kevin Givens, DE Jamell Garcia-Williams, LB Azeez Al-Shaair, CB Cameron Glenn, Safety Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles
Speight is no more than a camp arm, but the other skill position players on Offense have a better chance as backups. In particular, the WRs have little competition ahead of them, as the 49ers lacked quality starters on the outside for the last few seasons. OG Ross Reynolds is another player who would be a surprise to make the team.
With a dominant DL, Givens and Garcia-Williams shouldn’t make the team. Likewise, the DBs also will have difficulty breaking through after the 49ers addressed the secondary through Free Agency. On the other hand, Al-Shaair could see an opportunity as an OLB with a thin group ahead of him.
Potential Survivors: WR Malik Henry, LB Azeez Al-Shaair
Current UDFAs: QB Taryn Christion, RB Adam Choice, WR Terry Wright, WR Jazz Ferguson, TE Mik’Quan Deane, TE Justin Johnson, OG Demetrius Knox, DL Bryan Mone, DL Jay-Tee Tiuli, CB Davante Davis, CB Derreck Thomas, Safety Jalen Harvey
While the Seahawks have been building their Offense, the UDFAs have little chance of lasting. They drafted three WRs, leaving Ferguson and Wright little space on the roster, and alongside Christion could be instead practice squad candidates. OG Knox will be cut, as will both be TEs unless they can become contributors in run blocking. Seattle often have a large stable of RBs, but Adam Choice has a diverse bunch to compete with and is unlikely to edge out any of the current group.
On the other hand, both of the DL (Mone and Tiuli) have a much better chance with the Seahawks needing a strong interior run-stuffer and having a space to fill at the position. The DBs are ones to also keep an eye on as Seattle finishes their replacement of the Legion of Boom. Although starting CBs have been identified, they don’t have a stranglehold on their spots, and Thomas especially fits the ideal Seattle CB with his size and physicality at the line of scrimmage. Safety Jalen Harvey will have a tougher time making the roster as Seattle not only drafted two Safeties, but also have sufficient depth.
Potential Survivors: CB Davante Davis, DL Jay-Tee Tiuli
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Current UDFAs: QB Nick Fitzgerald, RB Bruce Anderson, WR DaMarkus Lodge, WR Malik Taylor, WR Anthony Johnson, WR Contrelle Simpson, TE Isaiah Searight, Center Nathan Trewyn, DE Kahzin Daniels, DL Dare Odeyingbo, DL Anthony Johnson, LB Judah Davis, CB Jalen Allison, Safety Lukas Davis
With a new offensive-minded Head Coach (Bruce Arians) comes a new system, opening up opportunities for the UDFAs on Offense. QB Fitzgerald could break through with little quality at the position behind Jameis Winston. The WRs have a big chance to become the WR3 or WR4, as Tampa Bay also lacks depth at the position, with Anthony Johnson and DaMarkus Lodge perhaps the best chance of them all. The other skill position players are less fortunate with no need for starters or depth. Center Trewyn won’t be kept on as the Buccaneers gave Ryan Jensen a big contract before the 2018 season.
The interior of the DL also lacks quality depth, giving a chance to Odeyingbo and Johnson, while DE Daniels is unlikely to make the roster. LB could be Tampa Bay’s best position group giving Judah Davis little chance of staying beyond training camp. The DBs have a stronger opportunity at becoming backups, but will most likely need to show promise early to have a true shot.
Potential Survivors: QB Nick Fitzgerald, WR Anthony Johnson, WR DaMarkus Lodge, DL Dare Odeyingbo, DL Anthony Johnson
Current UDFAs: WR T.J. Rahming, WR Steven Sims Jr., TE Kano Dillon, OT Juwann Bushell-Beatty, OT Chidi Okeke, DL Ryan Bee, LB B.J. Blunt, Safety JoJo McIntosh
Washington have needed better playmakers at WR for a few years, and despite drafting two, Rahming and Sims Jr. could both crack the roster with a strong training camp. TE Dillon doesn’t face competition from this draft class. With an ageing Vernon Davis and injury-prone Jordan Reed at the top of the depth chart, and little beneath them, Dillon has an opportunity to survive the cuts. Both of the OTs will struggle to even make it as backups with a strong OL group in Washington.
Among the UDFAs on Defense, only DL Ryan Bee has a chance to make the roster, with a lack of depth at the position, especially at DE. LB Blunt has too much strong competition on the roster already. Although Safety McIntosh doesn’t have too many dominant players ahead of him, barring an injury or exceptional Special Teams contributions, he shouldn’t make the team either.
Potential Survivors: TE Kano Dillon, DL Ryan Bee