The NFL Draft is definitely the way for teams to build their core and for struggling teams to try to start over and bring in new fresh talent to their rosters. However, maybe just as important as the draft itself is when teams sign and bring in guys who fell through the cracks and went undrafted.
Players like Antonio Gates, Arian Foster, and even one of the Cardinals all time fan favorites Kurt Warner are proof that talent can be found through signing undrafted players. This year, the Cardinals hope they were able to find some talent in their 2013 UDFA class.
The biggest name in the Cardinals undrafted class this year has to be Tony Jefferson. Jefferson is a 5’11″, 213-pound safety from the University of Oklahoma. In three years at Oklahoma, Jefferson accumulated 258 tackles including seven sacks and eight interceptions. Jefferson was named a second team All-American his junior year.
Because of the lack of depth at the safety position for the Cardinals, many feel Jefferson has a good chance to make the roster if he can have a strong training camp and preseason. Jefferson’s college teammate and fellow safety Javon Harris was also signed by the Cardinals after the draft, and while Harris may not be as good a player as Jefferson, he is also considered to have a good shot at making the roster because of the Cardinals lack of depth at the position.
Another guy that has a lot of Cardinal fans and media members talking is Padric Scott, defensive tackle from Florida A&M. Scott was not even invited to the NFL Combine, but really shows well on tape and takes double and triple teams up front as a 3-4 nose tackle very well.
Scott played nose tackle in a 3-4 scheme in college, and with the Cardinals running a similar style system under Todd Bowles, many feel Scott has a great opportunity to make the roster due to the Cardinals lack of depth, as well as the overall high demand at the nose tackle position.
There are other intriguing names on the undrafted list for the Cardinals besides the three guys I have already mentioned. Many feel local product Dan Buckner, a wide receiver from the University of Arizona could make a push for that fifth or sixth wide receiver spot depending on how many Bruce Arians decides to keep on the roster. With the Cardinals struggles on the offensive line last season, it would not be out of the question for a guy like tackle Jamaal Johnson-Webb from Alabama A&M to grab a roster spot.
At this point it is all speculation. All of the Cardinals undrafted guys have yet to even show anything in training camp, much less even played a preseason game yet. But I feel the Cardinals did a good job of bringing in guys with talent at postions where there really is not a ton of depth.
Therefore, for the time being, I will give the Cardinals a B+ for their undrafted free agent class. Again, until we see these guys in the preseason, it will be impossible for anyone to know how these guys are going to perform.