Despite NFL cutdown day signaling the end of the football road for many, an assortment of players released on Saturday will ultimately contribute in the regular season for some team.
It just might not be with the club that just let them go, but it will happen. It always does.
Let's look at the some of the young players who didn't make their team's initial 53-man roster who should get another chance and are the most likely to make an impact in the future.
The FFT crew provided instant reaction to the cuts and trades that went down on Saturday. Give a listen below, and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts:
Dakota Allen, LB
Cut by: Rams
Allen played in the wide open Big 12 at Texas Tech, so he got plenty of experience as a linebacker playing in space. He broke up five passes and had two interceptions in his first two years with the Red Raiders, but his senior year was a bit of a downer. A smooth-moving second-level defender, Allen lacks in the strength department and he isn't very fast (4.77 at the combine), but he's extremely quick, which bodes well for his future in the NFL with linebackers often tasked with covering shifty slot receivers and twitch running backs. His three-cone time was in the 86th percentile at the position. His short shuttle was in the 94th. Allen had a strong preseason for the Rams and mostly flashed reliable tackling skills.
Anthony Johnson, WR
Cut by: Buccaneers
Johnson was excellently productive at Buffalo in his two seasons there after transferring from junior college. He reeled in 133 passes at 17.8 yards per attempt with 25 touchdowns. A jack of all trades and master of none, the nearly 6-2, 209-pound wideout flashed possession receiver type skills (shielding defenders with his body, catching the ball away from his frame) and deceptive downfield speed to go along with high-end ball-tracking ability. He's not an otherworldly athlete but can make plays after the catch too.
Malik Jefferson, LB
Cut by: Bengals
Jefferson came into the league as third-round pick in 2018 and needs to refine his skills beating blockers at the point of attack and when sinking in coverage, but he can fly. At 6-2 and 236 pounds at last year's combine, he ran 4.52 (89th percentile) and had a 36-inch vertical (68th percentile) with a 125-inch broad jump (89th percentile). Jefferson would be best in a weakside linebacker role that gives him more opportunities to roam freely and tap into his immense range as a tackler.
Jazz Ferguson, WR
Cut by: Seahawks
The 6-5, 228-pound Ferguson had a combine eerily similar to D.K. Metcalf. Super-fast 40 for a big man (4.45) but brutal agility-drill times that placed in the 7th percentile for the three cone and the 1st percentile for the short shuttle. In essence, it told the story of the type of player he was at Northwestern State, a linear downfield monster. In his one year at the small school following his transfer from LSU, Ferguson made 66 grabs for 1,117 yards with 13 touchdowns. While simply flipping on the afterburners early and running past everyone on a deep ball is his specialty, Ferguson flashed polished high-pointing skills in the red zone too.
Cut by: Redskins
Reaves was a tremendous playmaker in college at South Alabama. Reaves made at least 80 tackles in each of his final three years with the Jaguars and totaled 20.5 tackles for loss, eight interceptions, and 22 pass breakups. While not the biggest nor the fastest safety, Reaves' game is predicated on lightning quick reactionary skills and a keen awareness of what the offense is trying to do on a given play. He stood out against the run and in coverage during the preseason for the Redskins.
Cedrick Wilson, WR
Cut by: Cowboys
A downfield burner in college, Wilson went in the sixth round in the 2018 Draft after averaging 19 yards per reception with 18 touchdowns while at Boise State for two years. At 6-2 and 197 pounds at the combine, Wilson ran 4.55, but he plays faster than that time, and he tracks the deep ball very well. His rookie season was lost due to injury but he came back strong with In the 11 receptions for 122 yards in the preseason. A team who wants some depth at the receiver spot and wants that pass catcher to be a field-stretcher, should be all over Wilson.
Devine Ozigbo, RB
Cut by: Saints
At 6-0 and 235 pounds, Ozigbo has fullback size but has the juice of a back 20 pounds lighter. His ankle flexibility allows him to make impressive cuts in tight quarters too. He slimmed down before his senior season at Nebraska and totaled 1,082 yards on the ground while averaging a hefty 7.0 yards per rush. In the preseason for the Saints, he registered nine catches for 61 yards and a touchdown to go along with 21 rushing the attempts for 92 yards.
Allen Lazard, WR
Cut by: Packers
Lazard was an undrafted free agent in 2018 after a dazzling career at Iowa State with 3,309 yards and 26 touchdowns at 13.9 yards per catch over his four seasons there. The almost 6-5, 227-pound wideout has serious box-out capabilities and can really go up and get it. He latched on with the Packers late in 2018 and flashed in the preseason with six receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown. Lazard was a former top recruit and ran 4.55 (good at his size) with a 38-inch vertical (81st percentile) at the combine in 2018.