Once the NFL Draft is in the books, the race begins to hoover up the remaining prospects and offer them another chance of making their NFL dreams come true as a UDFA. Today the Cardinals announced the addition of seventeen such prospects…is the next Tony Jefferson amongst them?
For every Tony Jefferson, a player plucked from the UDFA pool before having a very good early career and then getting a big-money move elsewhere, there’s a Kameron Canaday.
Undrafted Free Agents are free to sign wherever they want, provided there’s interest from the team that is. Teams have a set amount of bonus money and it’s up to them how to divide that to each prospect – some may earn a few thousand dollars, others tens of thousands depending on how much of a competition there is for their signature.
It gives those unlucky not to have heard their name called in the three-day NFL Draft extravaganza another opportunity to make it onto an NFL teams roster. Or even the Practice Squad which pays pretty well and keeps a player nearby in case of injuries to those on the main roster.
The Cardinals current off-season roster has a handful of players who were signed as undrafted free agents following the 2016 NFL Draft; the likes of Hakeem Valles, Chris Hubert, Givens Price, Elie Bouka and Elijhaa Penny still around as preparations for the 2017 NFL Season begin.
Who were the 17 to be signed this year though? The list;
WR Carlton Agudosi (Rutgers)
DT Collin Bevins (NW Missouri State)
C Lucas Crowley (North Carolina)
S Ironhead Gallon (Georgia Southern) – what a name!
S Gump Hayes (Arizona State) – ASU fans will love this. UoA, not so much. Probably.
WR Krishawn Hogan (Marian) – a fascinating story from a very small, NAIA school where he put up ridiculous numbers and even made it to the NFL Combine. Has the size and athletic ability to play, but can he step up from that level to the NFL? Would be great to see him stick around on the practice squad.
S Drico Johnson (Central Florida) – always thought the Cardinals never had enough DJs on their roster.
OLB Tre’Von Johnson (Weber State) – similarly there’s not enough Johnsons.
QB Trevor Knight (Texas A&M) – Cardinals didn’t draft a quarterback in the 2017 NFL Draft, much to the disbelief of everyone. Knight has tremendous athletic ability but passing ability? Well, put it this way, he was one the most inaccurate passers in college football last season…so…
CB Ryan Lewis (Pittsburgh) – Isn’t he Macklemore’s mate?
T Jonathan McLaughlin (Virginia Tech)
S Cyril Noland-Lewis (Louisiana Tech)
TE Ricky Seals-Jones (Texas A&M)
CB Sojourn Shelton (Wisconsin) – the Cardinals reportedly spent over a quarter of their UDFA budget to get this guy to sign with them. A guy relatively small in stature, it’ll be interesting to see if he sticks around – Cardinals clearly have a need at CB2, could he be the answer?
RB James Summers (East Carolina)
DT Pasoni Tasini (Utah)
TE Steven Wroblewski (Southern Utah) – that’s another great name to be honest. Great player? Not the foggiest.