Undrafted Free Agents Who Are Bound To Make An NFL Roster


One of the overlooked processes of the offseason is undrafted free agency, which is made up of the player who declared for the draft but weren’t selected in the NFL. While it may be easy to dismiss this as a team’s way of filling their 90-man roster with warm bodies, there have been countless players who were acquired through undrafted free agency to become solid contributors or even stars.

Tony Romo, Arian Foster, Wes Welker, Jeff Saturday, Kurt Warner and Antonio Gates were all undrafted free agents who became stars for their respective NFL franchises. It would be foolish to believe or expect any of the undrafted players from this class to become that type of player, but it can be easily expected for some to become solid NFL contributors. Without further ado, let’s take a look at who those undrafted free agents might be.

David Perkins, Defensive End, Seattle Seahawks

David Perkins came from a relatively small school and wasn’t invited to any of the big predraft bowl games, which left him off most NFL radars. However, when you watch Perkins play at Illinois State, you see a player who has the type of traits that translate.

He has incredible speed and bend around the edge, which was almost unrivaled in this draft class. Perkins has the ability to stress an offensive tackle’s pass set with his speed alone. He needs to work on his counter moves and get a little bit stronger, but he is a perfect fit in the Seattle Seahawks’ defense as an upfield penetrator.

Jeremy Cash, Safety, Carolina Panthers

Jeremy Cash is a talented football player who didn’t have a traditional position on an NFL roster and without the elite athleticism of Deone Buchanon, it was unlikely that a team would create a position for him. Despite this fact, Cash has a lot of traits that will allow him to be a contributor for the Carolina Panthers. He has great instincts; he’s tough and a phenomenal tackler.

At the very worst, Cash is going to be a special teams ace who contributes as a nickel or dime linebacker. Cash is going to be a great find for the Panthers.

Jack Allen, Center, New Orleans Saints

The fact that Jack Allen wasn’t drafted was nothing short of absurd. He has position flexibility, and he was the best offensive lineman on his own team (including top-10 pick Jack Conklin) at times. Allen doesn’t have great measurables or athleticism, but he is a cerebral athlete who has a solid understanding of the fundamentals.

Allen is a strong and stout center who will excel in the Saints offense. He has the football and strength to hold up against a head up or shaded nose tackle and he has the awareness to help out his guards in pass protection. Allen might not start or contribute immediately, but he will be a starter in New Orleans within three or four years.

Peyton Barber, Running Back, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Every year there is a running back who goes undrafted, but ends up being a major contributor during his rookie year. This year, Peyton Barber has a chance to be that player for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, especially if there is an injury to starter Doug Martin.

Barber is a very talented running back who didn’t get enough recognition because he lacked the physical traits that NFL teams look for; however, his physical traits are above the threshold to make it in the NFL. Barber showcases very good vision and ability to break tackles. He’s never going to be a big-play threat, but he can be a workhorse back who consistently puts his offense is good down and distance situations.

About John Owning

John Owning

John Owning is a NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has years of experience covering the NFL, NFL draft and NCAA football. John's work has been featured on the Bleacher Report and