Top UDFAs after the 2022 NFL Draft

Top UDFAs after the 2022 NFL Draft
Reading Time: 7 minutes.

With the NFL Draft over and UDFAs signed, I take a look at how the undrafted free agents fell and how they stack up against my top 200 big board.

Disappointingly, I had 30 players on my top 200 big board go undrafted. It just shows the level of information the NFL has on these players that make them fall. Whether it be medical concerns, character concerns or simply just me missing on a player, there are various reasons players go undrafted. 

I try not to factor in too much a player’s character concerns or off the field issues into my evaluations. It may knock them down a few spots, but, it doesn’t drastically alter my grade. That is because I am not privy to the same information the NFL is. The same goes for medicals. Which, this year in particular, have really hampered players. 

That said, there are plenty of UDFAs that should be able to challenge roster spots this year. Here are the top UDFAs according to my big board. I have also factored in the media consensus thanks to The Athletics 2022 Consensus Board

These are the top 10 UDFAs following the 2022 NFL Draft. Here are the players followed by there ranking on my big board.

TOP 10 UDFAs

1. Carson Strong – QB – Nevada – #52

UDFA - Strong
Image Credit: USA Today

Carson Strong was thought of extremely highly and was believed to be a day 2 pick for most of the NFL Draft cycle. #52 on my big board and #99 on the Athletics consensus board. He was such a good prospect which is shown with the money he has made from going undrafted, becoming the highest paid UDFA of this draft cycle.

As a player, Strong has a huge arm and processes the field really well. He does lack some mobility, but teams were never going to ask him to explore that side of his game. Strong has been picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles and if he can develop then he has a chance to be a backup on the roster. 

Why did he fall?

Degenerative knee issues. Also, there are reports he did not interview very well. 

Team – Philadelphia Eagles. 

2. Verone McKinley – S – Oregon – #93

Verone McKinley had 11 interceptions in his time as an Oregon Duck and led the nation with 6 in the 2021 season. He is a player who has improved year on year and when watching Oregon tape had a knack for being around the football constantly. 

Ranked #93 on my big board, and #122 on the consensus board, it really was a shock that he went undrafted. He is instinctive which has led to production and he will have a chance to succeed joining his old teammate Jevon Holland.

Why did he fall?

Undersized and has short arm length. Also has some tackling issues. 

Team – Miami Dolphins

3. Dare Rosenthal – OT – Kentucky – #94

UDFA - Rosenthal
Image Credit: USA Today

Kentucky had multiple draft picks along their offensive line with Darian Kinnard and Luke Fortner both getting drafted. But, when watching the 2021 game tape Dare Rosenthal really stood out and impressed. He is super athletic, he is powerful, strong and held his own against quality opposition.

Rosenthal was so good last year he actually declared early for the 2022 NFL Draft. He was rated much higher by us coming in at #94 on my big board, on the Athletic consensus board he came in at #188.

Why did he fall?

Has off the field issues. He got dismissed from LSU after serving a suspension for breaking team rules.

Team – Atlanta Falcons

4. Mykael Wright – CB – Oregon – #120

Projecting best as a nickel in the NFL Wright displayed physicality, fortitude and fluidity on tape. For a smaller corner he competed with much bigger receivers and was able to follow their routes and was a solid tackler. He is also a competent kick returner.

Again, Mykael Wright was ranked a lot higher by myself coming in at #120, compared to the consensus board which had him at #218. This one is potentially my biggest miss and I will have to revisit this to see where it went wrong.

Why did he fall?

Concerns over his speed and his size. This could also be my biggest miss of the 2022 draft cycle and I was just to high on him.

Team – Seattle Seahawks – Minicamp Invite

5. Kellen Diesch – OT – Arizona St – #123

Kellen Diesch Stats, News, Bio | ESPN
Image Credit: ESPN

It was a real surprise when Kellen Diesch went undrafted. He was ranked #123 on my big board and #143 on the Athletic consensus board. Diesch was a grad transfer to Arizona St from Texas A&M and really blossomed in the 2021 season. He had excellent athletic testing at the combine and was expected to be a good backup option.

Why did he fall?

Needed to add more weight and short arm length.

Team – Miami Dolphins

6. Dai’Jean Dixon – WR – Nicholls – #129

For disclosure, I was much higher on Dixon than most. But I am happy with my evaluation of his on field play and think he will be a good option for the New Orleans Saints going forward. He has really good size at 6’4” and 200 Lbs and he is extremely productive on the field. He had 236 receptions for over 3800 yards and 35 touchdowns.

Now, he isn’t going to blow you away with speed, but, he just has a way of getting his hands on the football and he was one of the top players at the NFLPA Bowl. He has something to work with and has a chance to make the Saints roster.

Why did he fall?

Off the field issues. Accused of Sexual assault in high school which was later withdrawn. Low level of competition.

Team – New Orleans Saints

7. Mario Goodrich – CB – Clemson – #134

Mario Goodrich, Lee's Summit West, Wide Receiver
Image Credit: 247 Sports

If you said before the 2022 NFL draft that Mario Goodrich would go undrafted no one would have believed you. He came in at #158 on the consensus board and #134 on mine.

Playing opposite Andrew Booth in 2021, Goodrich put up really good production and played really well. It led to him being first-team ALL-ACC in 2021. He has signed a big UDFA deal and his experience and ability to play both man and zone should help him in the NFL. 

Why did he fall?

Injury concern. Had cracked ribs which meant he could not participate at the Senior Bowl. Also meant he ran slow as he wasn’t at full health.

Team – Philadelphia Eagles

8. Justyn Ross – WR – Clemson – #139

After a fantastic freshman year, Justyn Ross was slated as one of the most exciting receivers in college football. But, after having to take a year out of football due to injury concerns, the hype died down.

Then returning in 2021 Ross led Clemson with 46 catches and 514 yards. If Ross can ever get back to his best he will be one heck of a football player.

Why did he fall?

Major injury concerns. Had a rare spinal condition which led to him missing the whole of 2020. Ross was actually told he would never be able to play football again before miraculously returning to Clemson in 2021. He did only play 10 games in 2021 though because of a fracture in his foot. It also meant he put up poor athletic testing numbers though the draft process

Team – Kansas City Chiefs

9. Alec Lindstrom – IOL – Boston College – #145

Buffalo Bills draft prospect scouting reports: OL Alec Lindstrom
Image Credit: BillsWire

A surprise UDFA, Alec Lindstrom had all the making of an NFL player. A extremely intelligent player, he was a leader for Boston College and played 36 games for them over his college career. In fact he actually had the highest pass blocking grade of any center in the last 2 college seasons. Coming in at #145 on my big board, Lindstrom was #182 on the Athletics consensus board.

Why did he fall?

Undersized and lacks true athletic ability.

Team – Dallas Cowboys 

10. Dohnovan West – IOL – Arizona St – #146

A true center, Dohnovan West more than had his suitors. He was ranked extremely highly by a lot of the media, some of whom had him ranked as a day 2 prospect. But it wasn’t to be for the former sun devil who was ranked #146 on my big board and #148 on the consensus board.

Landing with the 49ers he has a chance to learn from one of the top centers in Alex Mack and as a developmental prospect, I really like this upside. West played in 29 games at Arizona St without having a single holding call.

Why did he fall?

Is undersized and so will have to be a scheme fit in the NFL. 

Team – San Francisco 49ers

OTHER TOP UDFAs

  1. Reggie Roberson – WR – SMU – #151
  2. Obinna Eze – OT – TCU – #160
  3. Jerrion Ealy – RB – Ole Miss – #164
  4. Tre Turner – WR – Virginia Tech – #167
  5. Austin Allen – TE – Nebraska – #171
  6. Christopher Hinton – DT – Michigan – #174
  7. Derrick Deese – TE – San Jose St – #176
  8. Mike Rose – LB – Iowa St – #177
  9. JoJo Domann – LB – Nebraska – #184
  10. Markquese Bell – S – Florida A&M – #186
  11. Josh Jobe – CB – Alabama – #187
  12. Christopher Allen – DE – Alabama – #188
  13. Kaleb Eleby – QB – W. Michigan – #189
  14. Zonovan Knight – RB – NC State – #190
  15. Haskell Garrett – DT – Ohio St – #192
  16. Tre Williams – DE – Arkansas – #193
  17. Kennedy Brooks – RB – Oklahoma – #194
  18. Charleston Rambo – WR – Miami – #195
  19. Dontario Drummond – WR – Ole Miss – #198
  20. Tyler Vrabel – OL – Boston College – #199

Feature Image Credit: SI.com

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