On average, around 12-15 undrafted free agents make up an NFL roster. The NFL Draft process is an imperfect one, which results in talent being overlooked in each class. It’s difficult to predict which undrafted free agents will make each team, but the context of each team’s current roster can help. Today, I’ll predict the 2020 undrafted free agent most likely to make each NFL team’s opening week roster.[sv slug=mocksim]
Dallas Cowboys – Aaron Parker (URI WR)
While they drafted CeeDee Lamb in the first round, there are still open roster spots at the bottom of the Cowboys wide receiver depth chart. Aaron Parker, a shrine bowl standout and Combine invite, had 2,196 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns over the past two seasons (23 games).
Washington Redskins – Thaddeus Moss (LSU TE)
It’s still unbelievable to me that Thaddeus Moss went undrafted. Without a standout starter at tight end, there’s an inside track to a roster spot for Moss in Washington.
Sweet mother of divine, Thad Moss pic.twitter.com/L1B3b2DOY9
— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) January 30, 2020
Philadelphia Eagles – Elijah Riley (Army DB)
Philadelphia failing to address cornerback early in the 2020 NFL Draft was a surprise, but Elijah Riley projects well to the nickel spot and on special teams with his all-around skill-set and strength.
New York Giants – Javon Leake (Maryland RB)
New York signed Dion Lewis to be a passing down compliment to Saquon Barkley, but they may have found an equal option in Maryland running back Javon Leake, who averaged 7.9 yards per rush and added three kick return touchdowns in his college career.
New England Patriots – J.J. Taylor (Arizona RB)
While the Patriots running back depth chart seems set, don’t discount J.J. Taylor’s versatility, power for his size, and return ability to carve out a role on their roster.
Miami Dolphins – Benito Jones (Ole Miss DL)
I can’t find a reason that Benito Jones wasn’t drafted in the middle rounds, but the All-SEC player and Senior Bowl invite fits the Brian Flores profile for interior defensive linemen.
New York Jets – Lawrence Cager (Georgia WR)
The Jets still have need at wide receiver, and Lawrence Cager was quietly putting together a dominant season before an injury that also robbed him of the pre-draft process.
Buffalo Bills – Trey Adams (Washington OL)
Trey Adams was a potential top-50 selection before injuries ruined his promising collegiate career. If Adams is able to regain that form in Buffalo, he could become a potential starter down the road.
Green Bay Packers – Marc-Antoine Dequoy (Montreal DB)
Coming from Canada will be a transition for Marc-Antoine Dequoy, but he reportedly blew up his pro day athletic testing (4.36s forty-yard dash, 6.55s three-cone drill). There’s a track to a roster spot and special teams duties for a prospect with that level of athleticism.
Minnesota Vikings – Quartney Davis (Texas A&M WR)
Quartney Davis going undrafted was a bit of a surprise after a solid season and showing at the Senior Bowl. To put it simply, the Vikings have almost no depth at wide receiver.
Detroit Lions – Hunter Bryant (Washington TE)
Hunter Bryant falling to the ranks of the undrafted was a surprise, as he showed day two traits for the tight end position. He’s an intriguing talent with the necessary agility for vertical route running and picking up yards after the catch.
Hunter Bryant was an explosive play machine at Washington. There are issues for him to clean up (hand placement at the catchpoint, dipping his eyes into blocks), but he will change how teams choose to defend against an offense #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/AQc2vjk5UR
— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) February 11, 2020
Chicago Bears – Rashad Smith (Florida Atlantic LB)
While the Bears have a strong linebacker core, Rashad Smith was the only one that they added in the draft or free agency. Smith produced over 300 tackles and 6 interceptions in college and could carve out a depth role in Chicago.
Pittsburgh Steelers – Calvin Taylor Jr. (Kentucky DL)
Among the Steelers undrafted free agents, Calvin Taylor Jr. has the most intriguing traits and physical profile. At nearly 6-9 and over 300 pounds, Taylor finished with 8.5 sacks as a redshirt senior in 2019. He’s still developing on the defensive line after being shuffled through multiple positions in college.
Baltimore Ravens – Jacob Breeland (Oregon TE)
Baltimore loves their hybrid tight end, fullback, H-back types, and Jacob Breeland fits that mold. With Hayden Hurst gone, there’s a spot on the Ravens depth chart up for grabs.
Cleveland Browns – A.J. Green (Oklahoma State DB)
A.J. Green was up-and-down at the Senior Bowl, but showed enough traits to be a potential late-round pick. Cleveland gave him a sizable guarantee, increasing his chances of making the final roster.
Cincinnati Bengals – Josh Knipfel (Iowa State OL)
Cincinnati surprisingly only spent one pick on an offensive lineman during the 2020 NFL Draft, potentially opening the door for an undrafted free agent to make the roster. Josh Knipfel started 39 straight games to finish his collegiate career and would improve the Bengals depth at offensive guard.