Unfortunately, there’s only 254 draft picks for the NFL Draft. It’s been that way for years, and the 2019 NFL Draft was no different. Plenty of players get tagged with mid-round grades, and despite the high praise, not all of them get drafted.
Sometimes this leads a player into a much better situation. Some of them are left with options and can decide which team is the best fit for them and their skill set. For the 2019 NFL Draft, I had plenty of players that I thought would get drafted somewhere on the third day of the event and they ended up becoming undrafted free agents.
Over the last 24 hours, we’ve seen plenty of players that have signed with new teams. As I look through each name, I’m going to provide you some of the best undrafted free agent signings for the 2019 NFL Draft!
Kansas City Chiefs
Even though the Chiefs traded away draft picks from this year and next year to acquire Frank Clark, they still drafted well. They were able to grab Juan Thornhill in the second round and Khalen Saunders in the third round. But just because the draft ended, that doesn’t mean the fund stopped. The Chiefs were able to land two excellent and competitive players that should have been drafted, to be honest.
James Williams, RB, Washington State
Going into the 2019 NFL Draft, I had a good feeling that James Williams would be drafted. He was one of the most resilient runners in the entire draft and made something out of nothing almost every time. The running back room belongs to Damien Williams after his contract extension, but the Chiefs could certainly use a player to catch passes out of the backfield. Nobody on the roster is better than Williams. During his career at Washington State, he had 202 receptions and could quickly become a third-down back for the Chiefs as a rookie. Pro comparisons aren’t my thing, but if I had to give one for Williams, it would be James White.
Gary Johnson, LB, Texas
Another one of those players that probably should have gotten drafted. Johnson had a stellar Combine by running the 40-yard dash in 4.46 seconds and had 16 reps in the bench press. Outside of being a bit undersized at 6’0″ and 226 pounds, he looked fluid, and after watching plenty of his tape, it checks out, he is. There will be concerns on him over pursuing on plays or taking a wrong angle, but overall, he seemed to stand out in just about every game for the Longhorns. Meanwhile, he had 90 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. With his quickness and range in the open field, there’s plenty of reasons to believe that he can develop into a nice rotational player for the Chiefs.
New Orleans Saints
Devine Ozigbo, RB, Nebraska
During the offseason, the Saints lost Mark Ingram but replaced him with Latavius Murray. Wouldn’t exactly call that an upgrade but it seemed like Ingram was ready for a change of scenery. Much like every player in the draft, they’re all looking for a new home, and that’s precisely what has happened for Devine Ozigbo.
He was one of the biggest Combine snubs, and he should have been invited to the event. Despite having only one year of starting experience, he showed out in a big way. He was an explosive runner with 7.0 yards per carry, and he flashed the lateral quickness and burst that’s necessary to survive in the NFL. He’s aggressive and will feast on the opportunity of going undrafted. He’ll have to beat out Martez Carter and Dwayne Washington for the third spot in the backfield, and I’m confident he can and will.
New England Patriots
Jakobi Meyers, WR, N.C. State
Throughout the entire draft process, I was much higher than most on the N.C. State trio of Ryan Finley, Kelvin Harmon, and Jakobi Meyers. All three of them got “draftable” grades on my board, and it was criminal that Harmon lasted until the 6th round and Meyers went undrafted. But for Meyers, he couldn’t have fallen into a better situation.
Meyers going to the Patriots is going to pay off in a big way for both parties. At the Senior Bowl, he was one of the better route runners of the group. He did a masterful job attacking the middle of the field, and when you put on the tape, it shows. More often than not, the former quarterback is operating out of the slot and beating coverages with slant routes or attacking the outside without routes. That won’t change in New England. Tom Brady is going to dump the ball off to him as much as he can, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Meyers eventually ended up with 92 receptions like he did for the Wolfpack last season.
I know the Lions signed Danny Amendola but I'd be happy if they ended up with Jakobi Meyers from N.C. State during the third day of the draft. I've said many times about how I enjoy the way he runs his routes & w/out question, he is smooth when attacking the middle w/slant route. pic.twitter.com/RThPRFSX0O— Russell Brown (@RussNFLDraft) March 17, 2019
At the Senior Bowl, Meyers told me that the College Advisory Board told him to return to school and that he would go undrafted. While they were right, I hope he proves them wrong. He’s still only two years into being a wide receiver, so I hope he stays on the right path and develops into precisely what the Patriots want him to be. His work ethic and positive attitude are there, it’s now time for him to get molded into the “Patriot Way” and for everyone else to reconsider why they passed on him.