Undrafted free agents are vital to Denver Broncos success
By Andrew Wade
The importance of signing undrafted free agents
Some might wonder why it is so important to sign undrafted free agents if they weren’t good enough to get drafted. I equate it to calculated gambling. Signing an undrafted free agent will cost you a tiny amount in signing bonus and a roster spot.
If the player makes the roster, they will be playing for the minimum salary. If they don’t, then at least you had a camp body to push other players. In some cases, you hit the jackpot.
There are many reasons players go undrafted. Sometimes they had a ton of college production, but scouts don’t believe it will translate to the pros. New starting quarterback Case Keenum is a great example of this.
Some players don’t have the college production to even show scouts their abilities. Former starting running back and pro-bowler CJ Anderson is an example of this. Coming out of Cal, he rushed for a little over 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns total in two seasons.
There are situations where players don’t have great height or speed and come from a small school. Todd Davis ran a high 4.8 40 yard dash and hailed from Sacramento State.
Others, just legitimately fall through the cracks as was the case with All-Pro Chris Harris Jr. Harris was a multi-year starting cornerback at Kansas before switching to Safety his senior year to help the team. Unfortunately, teams scouted him as a safety, and his size didn’t line up with a prototypical safety.
Regardless of the reason, NFL teams need to do their due diligence to understand what players might be available and what players have a trait that could make them stand out at the next level.