Every year, impact players are found in the undrafted free agent pool of the NFL Draft. This year will be no different, as we saw several players from my personal top-100 rankings go undrafted due to medical or off the field concerns.
Here are 5 of my favorite UDFA signings from this past weekend after the end of Day 3 of this year’s NFL Draft.
OT Desmond Harrison – Cleveland Browns
Harrison is an extremely high upside player. With rare athletic traits and a violent demeanor as a blocker, the troubled prospect physically overwhelmed all comers during his 2017 season before being invited to the 2018 Senior Bowl.
Harrison was a former prized recruit and saw some brief playing time with the Texas Longhorns, so physical ability is not the question here. Instead, it is the off the field issues. NFL Draft Scout’s Dane Brugler was once quoted with saying “Harrison has more baggage than a 747”, not exactly a ringing endorsement of his ability to keep his nose clean off the field.
GM John Dorsey has rolled the dice on more than one troubled prospect this off-season (WR Callaway), but the risk here is essentially zero.
WR Byron Pringle – Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City’s wide receivers are comprised of a lot of quick, shifty players. That certainly describes Pringle. I thought Pringle was an outstanding route runner, but his draft status seems to suggest the league was less than enamored with his abilities. Pringle should be a competitive part of the wide receiver battle and I could certainly see him challenging his way onto the 53-man roster.
LB Skai Moore – Indianapolis Colts
Moore’s slip through the draft is almost certainly tied to his medical history. One of the more productive pass defending LBs in all of college football, Moore missed the entire 2016 college season on account of a herniated disk in his neck.
But Moore did play all of 2017 and showed little rust from his time away from the game. No, he didn’t test as the high end athlete that I had anticipated he could have, but that’s a testament to his instinct and ability to quickly react to the play in front of his face.
Moore arrives in Indy to a barren roster and if healthy he could easily land a roster spot.
CB Holton Hill – Minnesota Vikings
Hill is supremely talented. He’s also reportedly a bit of a loose cannon with his discipline off the field. Here’s hoping Coach Zimmer and the rest of the Vikings staff can get him focused. If they do, Hill might be the most talented player to go undrafted in the entire draft.
Hill is the most physical corner of the draft and without his off the field concerns he would have easily been a Day 2 selection. Him going to Minnesota, of all places, is a wonderful roll of the dice for the Vikings to look into.
DL Poona Ford – Seattle Seahawks
The stout Ford should give Shamar Stephen a run for his money on the inside. I really appreciated Ford’s ability to stack up the point of attack despite only pedestrian length. His squatty build offers a strong anchor and effective leverage.
Ford plays a low priority position but if he can surpass Stephen, he can make the roster.