Last season, 33 undrafted free agents made NFL rosters. Those 33 NFL players included James Robinson and his 17.7 (No. 5 among qualified running backs) Fantasy Points Per Game and Marquez Callaway, who had an 8-75-0 stat line in Week 7 on 10 targets. The goal in dynasty football is to find ways to improve your team and add depth anywhere you can.
Each season, people claim that Player A is this season’s UDFA player to own. Five popular Undrafted Free Agent Dynasty Diamonds have been discussed over on PlayerProfiler.com, including the ever-popular Javian Hawkins. For an undrafted free dynasty diamond to get the chance to shine, they first have to make the 53-man roster. The goal of this article is to identify undrafted free agents with the best chance to make NFL rosters.
RB Stevie Scott – New Orleans Saints
Stevie Scott, not Javian Hawkins, has the highest undrafted running back Breakout Rating in the 2021 class (15.0). Scott is a player to get excited about in dynasty leagues as Cody Carpentier mentioned on the BreakoutFinder podcast. It starts with an intriguing Best Comparable Player comp to James Conner. Sure, Scott doesn’t have the Workout Metrics that minions and buzzards alike crave from players. What he does have though is the size (6-0, 225 pounds), 29.1-percent (65th-percentile) College Dominator, and 7.0-percent (52nd-percentile) College Target Share.
Time is ticking for Latavius Murray. With only $2.7 million in guaranteed money left on the four-year contract that he signed in 2019, the Saints should be looking ahead at replacing Murray. The reason is that the Saints are in perpetual salary cap purgatory and 2022 is not any different. They are projected to be $27.4 million over the salary cap, and eventually, teams run out of chances delaying the salary cap bill. This offseason cost them Emmanuel Sanders and Jared Cook; next offseason it may be 31-year-old Murray’s turn.
The past three seasons have seen the Saints primarily roll with three running backs. Alvin Kamara and Murray have split the running back workload, while Dwayne Washington has made a career playing on special teams. The Saints showed last season that they are not opposed to keeping a fourth running back if an intriguing option is on the roster such as Ty Montgomery last season.
Montgomery’s versatility saw him play 90 snaps on special teams in 2020 and touch the ball 19 times for 107 yards in a Week 17 game without Kamara and Murray. Murray’s role over the past two seasons has seen him face 7.3 (No. 2) and 7.2 (No. 3) Average Defenders In The Box. With a 12.4-percent (No. 60) Juke Rate and 0.85 (No. 53) Yards Created Per Touch, Murray doesn’t get much more yards than what’s blocked for him already, evidenced by his 88.3 (No. 15) Run Blocking Efficiency. The fourth running back role will be utilized as a stash for Murray’s eventual heir.
wr cade johnson – seattle seahawks
The top-3 of the wide receiver depth chart for the Seattle Seahawks is set with D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and D’Wayne Eskridge. Behind them, nine players with less than three years of experience compete for roster spots. Since 2017, the Seahawks have kept 6, 5, 7(!), and 6 wide receivers on their roster. Seven of the nine wide receivers are UDFAs, while Freddie Swain (6th round) and John Ursua (7th round) are the only receivers with draft capital.
Mathematically, Cade Johnson has a 33-percent chance of making the roster, assuming the Seahawks choose to keep three more receivers to pair with their starting trio. Why am I confident in his chances of making the roster? Look no further than the BreakoutFinder app! Johnson’s 67.0 Dynamic Score ranks third amongst 2021 rookie wide receivers, behind hybrid RB-WR Demetric Felton (123.0) and 2021 first-rounder Kadarius Toney (73.0). Players that score well (above 60.0) in their Dynamic Score simply make rosters.
Last season, Isaiah Wright (104.7) made the Washington Football Team as an undrafted free agent. In 2019, Olamide Zaccheaus (62.3) latched on with the Atlanta Falcons and is set to contribute more frequently on offense. Richie James (57.1, best in 2018) was a late seventh-round pick in 2018. Greg Ward (141.5) in 2017 didn’t quite make the Eagles team as an undrafted rookie as he transitioned from quarterback to wide receiver, but eventually found a role as their punt returner.
Speaking of punt returns, last year’s primary punt returner, David Moore, departed in free agency to the Carolina Panthers. In Johnson’s freshmen season at South Dakota State, he finished with 839 special teams yards and two touchdowns. His explosiveness in college was on display the next season where he averaged 19.9 yards per reception on 67 receptions. 10 years after finding undrafted slot receiver gem Doug Baldwin, have the Seahawks struck gold again?
rb trey ragas – las vegas raiders
The Las Vegas Raiders have a 2021 total cap of $12.8 million spent on the running back position, the 9th-highest in the NFL. That includes a two-year, $11 million fully guaranteed contract handed to Kenyan Drake this offseason. It is expected that incumbent Josh Jacobs and Drake split the workload this season, but a question arises from this scenario. Would the Raiders keep third-down specialist and kick returner Jalen Richard at a $3.5 million cap hit?
Richard, a sixth-year veteran has seen his touches decrease from 123 to 75 to 41 since 2018. The 41 touches in 2020 mark a new career low for Richard. On top of his decreasing role on offense, Richard was the primary kick returner for the Raiders, but the Raiders combined for 22 kick returns for 418 yards. The average of 19.0 yards of kick return was third-lowest in the NFL. The Raiders brought in two undrafted receivers with return experience in Dillon Stoner and D.J. Turner. Richard’s role in the backfield is non-existent and his return job is not safe with new competition emerging.
Trey Ragas and his cheap UDFA contract better complement Jacobs and Drake on the depth chart. The rest of the depth chart consists of 30-year-old Theo Riddick and fellow undrafted rookie Garrett Groshek. The Raiders in 2020 ranked 19th in rushing yards per attempt and have been in the bottom-half in rushing yards per attempt in back-to-back seasons despite ranking in the top-third in rushing attempts.
Ragas broke out during his freshman season in 2017 with 813 yards on the ground and 9 touchdowns. His best season was the following year with 1181 yards on the ground, 25 receptions for an additional 229 yards (9.2-percent Target Share), and 10 total touchdowns. In 2019, he averaged 7.1 YPC at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette while splitting carries with future NFL players Elijah Mitchell and Raymond Calais. If the Raiders remain committed to the ground game, then Ragas better profiles the third-string role than Richard and Riddick.