First-round picks are fun and exciting, but they comprise just a small percentage of the prospects that make an NFL roster. Every year, teams find gems in undrafted free agency. San Francisco's run game was essentially built through undrafted free agency with Matt Breida (who they recently traded to the Dolphins) and Raheem Mostert.
Here are the best undrafted free agents signings for each team:
Bills: Washington OT Trey Adams
Adams was graded as a top 100 caliber player. Although it was a deep draft class at the position, there is a shortage of quality tackles across the league. The Washington product likely slipped because of his medical history, but he will now have a chance to compete for a roster spot.
Dolphins: Middle Tennessee State LB Tyshun Render
Render is the prospect that Bill Belichick went to scout in the rain rather than attend the NFL combine. Miami, with deep New England ties, plucked the linebacker from the undrafted heap. It would not be a surprise to see him make the roster. Ole Miss defensive tackle Benito Jones is another interesting name.
The 2021 draft is a year away, but it's never too early to size things up. The Pick Six Podcast Superfriends, along with the college football experts on our Cover 3 Podcast, break everything down; listen below, and be sure to subscribe for daily NFL goodness.
Patriots: Arizona RB J.J. Taylor
Taylor is a really unique weapon. He is small but fast. Despite his size, he is a physical player. The path to the roster is a bit more challenging than some other players, but the player is really good. The Patriots likely would not have brought him in if they did not have a specific role in mind.
Jets: Nebraska CB Lamar Jackson
No, the Ravens quarterback did not switch positions like many suggested pre-draft. New York needs cornerbacks so it was no surprise to see them hit the position hard post-draft. Jackson needs a little polish but he could be a contributor with his size and ability.
Ravens: Oregon TE Jacob Breeland
Baltimore traded Hayden Hurst, but still has a few good players at the position. Breeland was arguably the best tight end available, so it seems unlikely that he would choose the Ravens unless he was given some assurances to make the roster. The Ravens use their tight ends a lot so it could pan out well for him.
They also needed some interior offensive line help, so Missouri's Trystan Colon-Castillo and Clemson's Sean Pollard are also names to know.
Bengals: Iowa State LB Marcel Spears Jr.
Cincinnati's undrafted free agent list was not as impressive as their draft choices. They loaded up at linebacker. Spears has some traits that could endear him to the Bengals coaching staff. The linebacker position needs a big overhaul and Spears could be a part of it.
Browns: Oklahoma State CB A.J. Green
Cleveland essentially explained this for me by giving him what equates to sixth-round money in undrafted free agency. They did not have a seventh-round pick, so this is like getting another draft pick. Green could have the chance to cover Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green this season.
South Carolina State's Alex Taylor and Southern Mississippi's Drake Dorbeck are a few developmental tackles as well.
Steelers: Mississippi State LB Leo Lewis
Pittsburgh could have used some more bodies in the linebacker room. Lewis was a highly-recruited player out of high school. Ole Miss defensive tackle Josiah Coatney is a prospect to watch after the Steelers lost Javon Hargrave in free agency. Coatney is more of a traditional nose tackle.
Texans: TCU OG Cordel Iwuagwu
Ole Miss running back Scottie Phillips has some appealing traits but Houston should already have enough running backs. Iwuagwu is a local product that is not the most athletic but could pop in and contribute as a run blocker while he develops.
Colts: Georgia K Rodrigo Blankenship
Adam Vinatieri is not returning to Indianapolis so the door is wide open for Blankenship. Some felt as though the Georgia product was the best kicker in the draft and now he gets a chance to prove it.
Jaguars: San Diego State CB Luq Barcoo
There were not many players with better ball skills than Barcoo. He recorded nine interceptions last season. Teams make a lot of money taking a chance on players who have a history of production. Missouri interior offensive lineman Tre'Vour Wallace-Simms could bolster their line depth as well.
Titans: Florida International DT Teair Tart
Tennessee's scheme requires a lot of big bodies along that defensive line. Tart certainly meets the standard. Coming out of junior college, he was a 4-star recruit. Last season, Tart had four sacks for Florida International.
Broncos: Wake Forest CB Essang Bassey
Denver selected too many wide receivers to bother with the idea of adding a defender. I'm kidding, of course, but Bassey was regarded as a potential starter as a slot cornerback. The Broncos lost Chris Harris Jr. to the Chargers in free agency so Bassey could step into a role early.
Raiders: Ohio State LS Liam McCullough
Teams do not often add a long snapper for the fun of it. There is generally some thought behind the decision. It does not hurt that McCullough comes from a traditional program like Ohio State; we know how much the Raiders love that pedigree.
Chargers: Eastern Michigan CB Kevin McGill
How many defensive backs can Los Angeles reasonably afford to retain? McGill is a jumbo athlete with four interceptions over the past two years. Chris Harris Jr. and Casey Hayward are two of the best veterans to teach him.
Chiefs: Florida P Tommy Townsend
The Chiefs are moving on from Dustin Colquitt and that creates an opportunity for Townsend, who was regarded as one of the best available punters. Kansas City also needed some cornerback and offensive line help so they paired off some other intriguing names: Auburn cornerback Javaris Dais, Michigan cornerback Lavert Hill, Mississippi State interior offensive lineman Darryl Williams and Missouri interior offensive lineman Yasir Durant.
Cowboys: Portland State TE Charlie Taumoepeau
Dallas had a strong showing in undrafted free agency. They might have signed the best group after getting one of the more impressive 2020 NFL Draft hauls. My initial thought was to include Rhode Island wide receiver Aaron Parker because I am confident he will contribute on specials teams early. CBS Sports' Patrik Walker also pointed me in the direction of James Madison edge rusher Ron'Dell Carter, who I liked as a prospect. I even considered Texas Tech offensive tackle Terence Steele before settling on Taumoepeau. He is a well-balanced young player who could carve out a niche in that offense.
Giants: Ohio State WR Binjimen Victor
Ohio State wide receiver Austin Mack received a vote of confidence from one of our editors but I actually prefer Victor. New York struck gold last year with Darius Slayton so it is possible they do an above average job identifying quality players at the position. Rhode Island offensive guard Kyle Murphy and Maryland running back Javon Leake are a few other sleepers.
Eagles: Baylor DB Grayland Arnold
Arnold is one of my favorite undrafted free agents. He may play cornerback, he may play safety. It does not matter. He has an innate ability to be in the right place at the right time and shows good athleticism. His career may begin on special teams but Arnold has lasting power.
Redskins: LSU TE Thaddeus Moss
A series of concussions rendered it impossible for Washington to bring Jordan Reed back for another season. The son of Randy Moss is stepping into an opportunity where a clean slate exists. He should be given a realistic chance to make that roster.
Bears: Oregon State RB Artavis Pierce
Chicago needs some depth at running back so Pierce is one to watch. He possesses good size and can also contribute catching passes out of the backfield. Kentucky wide receiver/tight end Ahmad Wagner is also interesting. He was playing basketball at Iowa three years ago so there is still a lot for him to learn. UK did not exactly light it up throwing the ball last year because they had so many injuries at quarterback. I asked Lynn Bowden Jr., who was drafted in the third round by the Raiders, to describe Wagner's play.
"He is 6'5". If people can not see what he could do when we did have a stable quarterback, I would just tell them to turn the film on. He has a basketball body frame but he is one of the best competitors that you would ever want on a team," Bowden said.
Lions: Washington TE Hunter Bryant
Medicals had to be the reason for Bryant's fall down draft boards. He had no business being available after Day 3. Detroit can get a young, developmental player to stash behind last year's first-round selection, T.J. Hockenson.
Packers: Michigan State WR Darrell Stewart
The Packers finally got a receiver! Stewart is a really confident, tough player. He was highly productive for the Spartans and could become a consistent contributor for Green Bay. Florida State defensive back Stanford Samuels has good size and pedigree. There is a chance that he sticks as well.
Vikings: Texas A&M WR Quartney Davis
Davis has really good footwork. He is not going to be asked to account for a loss of production brought on by Stefon Diggs' departure. Justin Jefferson was drafted to answer those questions. The Texas A&M product can work quietly in the background to give Minnesota more depth than they had last season. UCF cornerback Nevelle Clarke is a competent player as well. The Vikings drafted three cornerbacks, but Clarke has the ability to compete with those players.
Falcons: Vanderbilt TE Jared Pinkney
Atlanta's depth at tight end is not going to scare away Pinkney. There is a good chance for him to make that roster. Austin Hooper left in free agency but the team acquired Hayden Hurst from Baltimore. Pinkney was one of multiple Vanderbilt offensive players to see his production drop this past season. Atlanta is counting upon coaching being the source of his decline.
Tennessee State wide receiver Chris Rowland is a small, but he's fast and motivated to make that roster too.
Panthers: Virginia LB Jordan Mack
Carolina added a long, versatile defender in the form of Jeremy Chinn. Mack is another sideline-to-sideline player who can alter the game. Matt Rhule is always going to take a chance on athletes that just need a bit more polish. Arkansas State wide receiver Omar Bayless has a really cool story of overcoming adversity. Panthers fans will have an easy time rooting for him, and his production last season speaks for itself.
Saints: Michigan State LB Joe Bachie
New Orleans drafted Zack Baun in the third round, but he could soon receive some competition from the Michigan State product. Bachie was suspected of being a mid-round pick but a diluted drug test may have led teams to steer clear of him. He is an active, high-volume tackler. Oregon interior offensive lineman Calvin Throckmorton is another player who wears many hats and could find a role.
Buccaneers: Oklahoma CB Parnell Motley
Some were higher on Motley, but it was a bit of a surprise that he went undrafted. Tampa Bay's depth is not strong enough to rule him out. At some point, it is worth banking on the known commodities and Motley fits the bill. The wide receiver room is pretty deep right now but Jacksonville State wide receiver Josh Pearson is another player with talent.
Cardinals: Arizona CB Jace Whittaker
Arizona's cornerback room could use a bit of depth. Patrick Peterson will not be able to play forever. Whittaker played just down the road. He accumulated three interceptions each of the past two years. Air Force cornerback Zane Lewis is another promising talent. He possesses the size that teams covet on the edge.
Rams: Arizona State OG Cohl Cabral
A trio of receivers -- Washington State's Easop Winston, UMASS' Earnest Edwards and Syracuse's Trishton Jackson -- have traits that will shine. Los Angeles can not afford to keep all of them so it was impossible to pick one. The Rams have always found good value in late round receivers. They also need some interior offensive line help so Cabral was an easy choice.
49ers: Alabama DB Jared Mayden
Everyone keeps betting that San Francisco will address its defensive backfield but it continues to punt. Mayden has the versatility to play slot cornerback or safety. There will be a spot for him. He was well-coached at Alabama. Washington running back Salvon Ahmed has developmental traits in the aftermath of the Matt Breida trade.
Seahawks: Washington State QB Anthony Gordon
Minshew-mania struck Jacksonville last year. Perhaps lightning will strike twice for Washington State. Gordon has a big arm but was inconsistent last season. He should not be called upon to contribute early but there are traits worth developing at the next level.